Is my therapy working?
Therapy can be a lifesaver for many people, but let’s be real—it can also be downright frustrating. It’s not always easy to know if your therapy is actually working.
But fear not! I’m here to guide you through the murky waters of mental health treatment with brutal honesty and biting humor. Let’s get started.
The Waiting Game: How Long Does it Take?
One of the most common questions people have about therapy is how long it takes to see results. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer—you could start feeling better after just a few sessions or it could take months.
Tip: Keep in mind that progress isn’t always linear. You might feel great one week and then hit a setback the next—this doesn’t mean that your therapy isn’t working overall.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How to Measure Progress
So, you’ve been going to therapy for a while now—how do you know if it’s actually helping? Here are some signs that your therapy might be working:
- You’re able to handle stress more easily than before
- You’re having fewer panic attacks or other symptoms
- You don’t feel like punching your therapist anymore
Of course, progress looks different for everyone—these are just a few examples. At the end of the day, trust your gut—if you feel like things are improving (even if it’s slow going), then keep at it!
On the flip side…let’s talk about some red flags that may indicate that something isn’t quite right with your treatment:
- Your symptoms aren’t improving at all after several weeks/months
- You dread going to therapy each week or leave sessions feeling worse than when you arrived
- Your therapist keeps falling asleep during appointments
If any of these sound familiar, don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s okay to advocate for yourself and your mental health.
The “Magic Cure” Myth: Why Therapy Isn’t Always Enough
Here’s the thing—therapy is an incredibly valuable tool, but it’s not a cure-all. Sometimes, medication or other forms of treatment may be necessary as well.
Tip: Don’t assume that just because you’re in therapy, everything else will fall into place on its own. Take care of your physical health too (exercise, eat healthy foods etc.)
The Elephant in the Room: Talking About Termination
The end goal of therapy isn’t necessarily to see your therapist indefinitely—it’s more about giving you the tools you need to handle life on your own.
If you’ve been seeing a therapist for a while and feel like things are going well, it might be time to start talking about termination—that is, ending treatment altogether. This can be scary (it means saying goodbye to someone who has been helping you navigate some difficult stuff), but remember—the ultimate goal is independence.
Tip: Talk openly with your therapist about what termination looks like—how many sessions do they think it will take? Are there specific skills they want to help you master before wrapping up?
When In Doubt…Trust Thy Gut
At the end of the day—from finding therapist that suits our personality through discussing issues we face and interpreting correctly advice given by therapists during therapies—we all stumble upon doubt whether our therapy is bearing fruit or rendering futile effort. But amidst all this chaos; we forget one thing – trusting thy gut!
Even though logical evaluations remain vital when gauging progress in any form including self-improvement via cognitive-behavioral techniques and other modes employed during therapies; trusting thy gut remains indispensable ingredient required in determining path towards wellness upon course completion or transition into homework assignments directed within capable hands at clinics assigned by qualified practitioners especially those trained to work with diverse clients.
As you continue on your therapy journey, always remember this essential truth: progress takes time and it looks different for everyone. But as long as you’re putting in the effort and seeing even small improvements along the way, then yes—your therapy is absolutely working! Give yourself a pat on the back