Do you like cheeseburgers? Boy I do, but I also like a lot of other foods. I don’t want to eat the same thing everyday. The same idea applies when you end up with a therapist who relies on just one approach to help you. Some forms of therapy demand a sort of “workbook-stick-with-the-program” pre-packaged approach that can leave a client feeling oddly out of sync with the therapist. It feels forced. Or the person doesn’t feel like the therapist “gets it” even when they are kind and supportive. This can actually worsen your situation by making you feel as if you did something wrong. Don’t give up. There are actions you can take that will help.
Don’t Give Up
First, if you are left feeling this way, I encourage you to give your counselor some feedback. Explain to them you feel your time together is not heading in the direction that works for you. If they are listening, they will respond in a way that welcomes and allows change, and you will feel empowered for having done so. Second, if this does not happen, it is pretty predictable that you will stop attending. If this is the case, I want to encourage you to try someone different. Don’t give up, because there is a therapist out there who will help you to feel heard and understood, and that you will connect with.
Of all the people that I have met who stuck with their therapy, no one has ever said they regretted it. In fact I have heard many say “Therapy was the best investment I ever made in myself.” Others tell me “Going through therapy clarified my thinking.” Yet others reported learning information that changed their lives for the better, perhaps via solid research that let them know they are not alone, or by countering previously faulty knowledge.
Cheeseburgers are soooo delicious, just not for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Achieving a positive outcome in therapy is first and foremost based on the relationship you have with your professional. Science bears this out; the strength of your alliance with your therapist is paramount. When you experience a type of therapy or an approach that feels forced, it might be that the therapist only knows one way to treat your issue, and that may not be what clicks with you. If you continue on that path, it is unlikely you will meet your goals. And there is no one therapy that is right for every issue! So if you are not feeling it, don’t give up. First check in with your counselor and see if you can make some changes together. If that does not work, then find someone you click with, and get to work, for it is your work to do.
P.S. I’m now offering both online scheduling (click the blue button at the bottom of the home page) capability and the option of online, real time video therapy sessions. I explain it in a 2 minute video you can watch. Go to my web site to check it out.