Oftentimes counseling is not seen as a preventative measure (even though it can be and is extremely effective when used this way) but instead as a reaction to things getting really bad. So when counseling doesn’t work, the consequences feel huge! Even if this isn’t your last resort, you are likely invested in it being successful.
There are many things concerning therapy that you have control over! Let’s talk about some of the ways you can respond if it feels like therapy is not working:
1. Talk to your therapist.
Ask them if how you are feeling is normal. Should you be seeing more results? What can you and the therapist change about your time together that might make it more helpful? If something about the sessions aren’t working for you, tell your therapist! You are your own best advocate.
2. Do your (therapy) homework.
If your therapist has suggested lifestyle changes such as sleep habits, eating habits, or even visiting the doctor to rule out medical contributors - make sure you’re actually following through. The majority of what makes therapy a success is the work that you as the client do during the week. Your therapist may give you exercises to do during the week. Those can be a vital part of what makes your treatment work.
3. Consider finding a new therapist.
If you are doing all of the above and still aren’t seeing results, consider whether your therapist is a good fit for you. Oftentimes clients can feel stuck in a therapy relationship - perhaps thinking things are working because of them, or maybe not wanting to hurt their therapist’s feelings. If you feel stuck because your therapist doesn’t feel helpful in your journey to move forward, it may be time to find someone new.
You don’t have to give up on therapy if it hasn’t felt helpful! There is a huge variety of therapists, methods of therapy and ways that you can find relief from your problems.
If you are interested in starting therapy, you can contact Bethel Haven at 706.310.9076 to schedule your first appointment.
Maybe you or someone you care about is on the fence about whether or not to start therapy. You aren’t alone - there are many people who delay starting therapy even though they feel like it could potentially help them.
Here are some things to consider if you are unsure about therapy:
It is normal to be nervous
Most people are nervous about the idea of going to therapy for the first time. You aren’t alone! Your therapist will walk you through the process. You can read here more about what to expect from your first therapy session.
You don't have to commit
Going to a therapy session doesn’t mean you’re committing to going for any set period of time. You always have the option to not make another appointment.
Finding the right therapist for you
Finding the right therapist can feel daunting. Ask for recommendations from trusted people in your life or read through therapist bios on their websites. Finding the right therapist for you is possible! And there are many options to choose from.
Therapy can be part of a bigger picture of what helps you
Therapy doesn’t have to feel like a one-stop option. Therapy should be holistic and involve many aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.
The risk is low
If you go to therapy and hate it - you aren’t required to go back. You also aren’t required to stay with a therapist who you don’t connect with. The options are almost endless!
Finances don't have to be a barrier
The idea of going to therapy can be financially intimidating. You may feel that therapy is not affordable for you. At Bethel Haven (and other non-profits) you can find therapy available on a sliding-scale. This means that your income is taken into account when calculating your cost of therapy.
Bethel Haven is committed to providing affordable mental health services to everyone. Finances should not determine whether or not you are able to seek help. Call our office at 706.310.9046 to learn more about making an appointment with a Bethel Haven therapist today!
Most of us care about being successful in the things that we do - a difficult conversation, a project at work, raising our kids, or running a half marathon. We all have things that we would like to do and be successful in doing. There is a simple thing you can do that will help you set yourself up to succeed.
The secret to succeeding is the scale by which you are measuring. The secret to success is determining what you are capable of controlling and opening your hands to the rest.
This is probably the most common conversation I have in the therapy room.
Measure your success by your efforts, not by your outcomes.
Success is setting boundaries in a relationship that has become toxic - not in the way the person responds to those boundaries. You are successful in setting boundaries even if the other person is unhappy about it.
Success is putting in the hours necessary and double checking the work on our project before we turn it in - not how our boss responds. You are successful in finishing your project well even if there are some changes your boss would like you to make.
Success is loving and caring for our kids and teaching them all we can, not the decisions they make when they aren’t with us. You are successful in teaching your kids, even if they choose not to follow your lessons.
Success is in the daily training for the half marathon, not the time it takes to finish. You are successful because you put in the effort and training necessary, not because of a number.
Don’t measure your success by how others respond to you. You set yourself up for failure when your yardstick for success is an ever moving target of other’s opinions.
Measure your success by doing the work you need to do to find the inner confidence to know that your effort has been your best. Doing the right thing is the success. Measure your success by your efforts - not by your outcomes.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing