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Does going to therapy really help you?

We’ve moved into a space where therapy has become a buzz word. This reflects the growing awareness of the value of therapy. And, it also reflects how catchy going to therapy has become. And so now, many of you may be wondering, “Does going to therapy really help you?”

The simplest answer is, “Yes, therapy does help you.”

Why is therapy helpful?

The simplest way to answer this question is that therapy is helpful as it gives you a private and personal space to help you slow down, reflect, and re-evaluate your life. Therapy provides an unconditional and nonjudgment space to process your life experiences, reflect on your transitions, and help you define the next steps you want to take in your life.

Why do some people feel that therapy doesn't help?

As with any experience in life, we have to be mindful of our expectations and our perceptions. If we are going to therapy with the expectation of being told what to do, then we may find therapy unhelpful. Therapy is a space for continuous exploration that is done by the client. Clients will get out of therapy whatever they put into therapy. For example, if you show up sporadically to your sessions, are unwilling to explore difficult questions, you may find therapy very unhelpful.

Another reason that therapy may feel unhelpful can be related to the interactions

between the clients and the therapists. The success of therapy is largely facilitated through the connection between clients and the therapists. However, finding a therapist that you connect with may take some effort and some time. Finding a therapist can be compared to finding the right hairstylist or the right barber. You may find that you have to try out a few until you find the one that you connect with.

Also, another important lesson about the relationship between the client and the therapist, is knowing when to move forward with a new therapist. Sometimes when you’ve worked with a therapist for a period of time, the relationship may end because the issue you were working on has been resolved. However, you may experience another issue at a later time and you may want to return to that previous therapist. But after returning, you may find it difficult to reconnect with that previous therapist. Knowing when to either terminate therapy altogether or when to move forward with a new therapist is very important as this helps you to understand that growth and change are inherent parts of the therapeutic relationship.

Other Reasons Why Therapy May Feel Unhelpful

Therapy requires commitment, time, investment, and willingness. If clients are forced to go to therapy when they are not ready, they may not be able to do the emotional, and sometimes physical, work required to facilitate healing. Due to the intensity, intimacy, and commitment required in this dynamic process, therapy may feel very overwhelming to some. Hence, therapy may feel unhelpful if you are:

· Emotionally unwilling to commit to therapy

· Not ready to commit to the time requirement

· Unbelieving of the value of therapy

· Feeling forced to go to therapy by a third party

· Feeling emotionally un-ready for the intimacy of therapy

· Feeling overwhelmed by the process of therapy

· Concerned about the financial cost of the service

· Feel unable to connect with the therapist

· Feeling hurt by a previous therapist

There are a number of reasons why therapy may feel unhelpful for you. Hence, it is extremely important that if you are working with a therapist and you are having a negative experience, that you take the time to bring your concern to the therapist. Don’t hide from what’s happening in the sessions. Share your concern with the therapist. If you did experience hurt by a previous therapist, and are starting with a new therapist, share your concerns and fears with the new therapist as well. The important thing is to be open, honest, and authentic in your sessions so that you can get the most out of your experiences.

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