mental health · Social Issues

Why Therapy Isn’t Working For You – and What You Can Do About It

Often, I speak to people about what I do for a living and one of the first things they tell me is, “I gave the therapy thing a try and I just didn’t really feel like it helped”.

While true, therapy may not be for everyone or you may not be at a place in your life where you’re ready for the therapeutic process, it saddens me to hear people dismiss therapy altogether based off their one or two sessions.

Here are my reasons why I think therapy hasn’t been all that and a bag of chips for you. If you change these things, I bet you’ll notice a major difference in your experience!

 

  1. You’re not being open-minded

Lots of people go into therapy with the mindset that ‘this won’t work’. They come in with doubts, resistant to the process, ready to find anything they dislike about the process or the Therapist and use that as their reason for not continuing. Therapy will only work for you if you believe it will! Your thoughts are powerful – and so are your words. If you convince yourself it won’t work, you’re brain will find every reason to support that thought. Instead, go into with the thought that, ‘this CAN work!’ or ‘this WILL work’. Give it a try, don’t let one interaction with a therapist be the reason you think it won’t work. It’s a new, unfamiliar feeling, no doubt. But therapy will only help you if you let it!

2. You’re putting on a show

Many people struggle with being their true, authentic selves. The therapy room should be a place where you feel comfortable being YOU. It’s a place for self-reflection and growth. Don’t worry about what your therapist will think about you, don’t worry about what others will think about you going to therapy. Focus on working on yourself! Reveal your true self in session, vulnerabilities and all. You’ll take away so much more from the process when you do so! The therapeutic process is a judgment-free zone, a safe space to expose your shortcomings and flaws and work through them without concern of what anyone else has to say about it. But it can’t be that if you’re putting on your best performance of  Michelle Obama in session and going home acting like Blac Chyna! 

3. Your Therapist Isn’t A Good Match For You

You get a therapist and you think you vibe with them well and a few sessions in you realize they’re either going in a direction you’re not comfortable with, you’re not connecting with the things they are saying or just quite simply, the vibe isn’t right. It’s common to feel like its THERAPY that’s the problem, when really, it may just be that your therapist is not a good fit. And ITS OKAY TO SAY THAT! Don’t worry about hurting your therapists feelings. This process is for YOU, not them. Every therapist practices off of a theoretical orientation, which is the foundations that guide how they do therapy. While one therapist may choose to dig into your childhood experiences and how they’re impacting you now, others may focus on finding solutions to your current challenges. And there are plenty of other focuses that therapists practice off of or specialize in. If you feel like this isn’t a good match, don’t be afraid to tell your therapist. They may be able to help you find what you’re looking for elsewhere!

4. You’re not doing the work

Apart from being open-minded, there is work to do in therapy! Therapy is not a place where you just come, spill your guts and await advice about what to do next. Most therapists will challenge you to change your thoughts and behaviors, alter your routines, eliminate toxic components of your life and so on. Rather than provide advice, most therapists will push you to explore within yourself and find your own solution to your concerns. If you’re not making any effort to do those things, of course you won’t see much change in your life. Showing up to therapy is half the battle, the other half is doing the reflections and alterations that come with it!

5. You think you’re ‘crazy‘ for even doing this

You don’t know how many times a day I hear someone describe something they were thinking or something they did and immediately follow it with ‘but i’m not crazy‘.  Sis, I don’t think you’re crazy. In fact, I despise that word, crazy. Listen here, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. Stop thinking about the stuff you heard growing up about only ‘crazy‘ people go to shrinks. Stop thinking that you being a human being that feels a range of emotions makes you ‘crazy‘. and stop thinking that getting help for yourself is crazy. The quicker you learn to eliminate the word crazy from your vocabulary and eliminate what ‘crazy‘ looks like in your head, the quicker you’ll be able to learn and grow and be the best you that you could possibly be, okay? okay.

DON’T WRITE IT OFF JUST YET! I PROMISE, THERAPY IS AMAZING 🙂

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