Gift baskets tend to have a few items that you like and will use, but many get tossed or just sit on a shelf for months because they’re “too good to throw away.” Hanging on to that stuff you don’t need can fill up your, ahem, re-gifting closet, way too fast. Stick with me because both this post and therapy are not a straight line.
The same idea applies when you end up with a therapist who relies on just one approach as the mainstay of their practice. 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 because it feels forced.
If you are left feeling this way, I encourage you to give your counselor some feedback. If they are listening, they will respond in a way that allows a change in direction, and you will feel empowered for having done so. And 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.”
Therapy is not a straight line, just as life and relationships never follow exactly the path we might predict or prefer. It comes down to how you choose to handle the detours and road blocks. Some people get angry and rail against the perceived injustice while others retreat into stuffing their feelings. And some stall out, stuck in their own hamster wheel of frustration. Which one are you? I want you to know that none of those choices have to remain permanent.
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