When is therapy not helpful?

A person who is a rigid thinker might be reluctant to make appropriate behavioral changes because he disagrees with them. A person who has problems with unrealistic expectations and impatience might believe that therapy is not useful because he thinks that he must progress much faster than him. There are many reasons why therapy may not be working for you. Your therapist, the type of therapy they provide, and how they relate to you may be the reasons.

You may also be unprepared to participate in the process that therapy requires. Keep in mind that this won't be perfectly linear, and sometimes you can have bad days or even weeks. The falls or plateaus you can witness when you track your symptoms don't mean that your progress has stalled or that therapy isn't working. It is more important to pay attention to the most important trends and try not to worry about the details of day-to-day changes.

Another common reason why therapy is no longer effective is the client-therapist relationship. This therapist may not be right for you, says licensed professional counselor Heidi McBain, LMFT, to Bustle. This often happens in the early stages of therapy, as you and your therapist get to know each other. You may also have reached an obstacle or a wall where you feel that you and your therapist are simply not making progress.

Klapow says that these blocks often happen, but that if they don't, you have to figure out the next steps. Sometimes people in therapy fear that, because they are not the “authority”, they do not have the last word on their own experience. You sound almost convinced that it's time to move on or directly ask your therapist to change his approach; I encourage you to follow your intuition. Whether or not it's worth a last conversation with your therapist is obviously your decision.

Such a conversation could be healing or simply add fuel to the frustration. If you think it would benefit you in any way to clear things up, it's worth a try. However, if you think it's a foregone conclusion, you might want to move on. The first time I drove my car to a therapist's office, I had no idea what the experience would be like.

The only images I had were of “Good Will Hunting” and “Equus”, both great films but which do not accurately show therapy. I was skeptical, worried it would be a waste of time and money. Remember that big scene in “Good Will Hunting” where Robin Williams' character hugs Will and says “It's not your fault until he breaks down and cries for the first time? After that, Will turns his life around and seems to instantly overcome his attachment disorder. The film largely implies that he begins to make use of his brilliance, stops wandering with his friends so much and drives to California to get back together with his girlfriend.

The “blank screen” cliché in which therapists barely interact with clients is another remnant from the early days of psychotherapy. Imagine you told a therapist that your father cheated on your mother and abandoned you as a child. Then he replied, “And how does that make you feel? For many years after starting therapy, I didn't know that online therapy existed. When I heard about it, I doubted the effectiveness.

Part of this was due to the Showtime series “Web Therapy”, where Lisa Kudrow plays Fiona Wallace, a terrible and self-obsessed therapist. I loved the show and thought Lisa Kudrow was hilarious, but it subconsciously distorted my point of view like “Good Will Hunting did. I assumed online therapists weren't as credible as office therapists. In addition to potentially being outside their area of expertise, some therapists may try to push their agendas or a treatment goal that the client doesn't share.

So we invited the therapists to take the stage so Christine could ask them how they felt an extremely frightening step for her, because she was sure they were looking down on her. A therapist who becomes defensive or upset with this conversation, he says, is proving that they are not qualified to deal with their problems, and you are probably right not to want to work with them anymore. Talkspace offers an unlimited messaging therapy plan that allows you to send text, audio and video messages to your therapist at any time; the therapist will respond every day five days a week. Learn from the process and think about what you really want and need from a therapist, and then find one with those skills.

But what if we could reframe customer resistance as something positive, healthy and useful, revealing something honorable in its core values? If so, then my first goal as a therapist could be to explore the many good reasons a client might have for not changing. While I don't like to attribute dire agendas to therapists who want to continue unproductive relationships, it's a fact that their livelihoods rely on patients paying for their services. I can't shake the feeling that you feel a painful distance or discrepancy between you and your therapist, that you're missing something essential. I thought any female therapist would be equally qualified and efficient, but I was worried that he would judge me if he talked about sleeping with women or using politically incorrect language.

It may be useless for a client that a therapist is not adjusting their therapeutic approach based on the individual problem the person is presenting and the underlying emotional problems. First, of course, you'll discuss with your therapist what gets you there and what your specific goals might be. . .

Keira Ouellet
Keira Ouellet

Devoted web nerd. Total beer fanatic. Certified zombie expert. Wannabe web trailblazer. Extreme internet geek. Certified internet ninja.

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