Taking the leap of faith and deciding to get professional help is undoubtedly the first step towards recovery. As you move through uncharted territory and share all the skeletons in your closet with a stranger can become quite overwhelming. You work together with your therapist week after week peeling off layers of trauma one after the other.
However, for many of us, after we have been to a few sessions we find asking ourselves questions like “what’s next?” or is the therapy really working? Identifying whether your therapy sessions have been successful can be difficult to explain or measure. This is mainly because different kinds of therapies are used to handle different circumstances. As a result, success can mean a range of different things for different people. Below are six common signs to help you identify whether your therapy is working or not.
1. When you start to feel better
This is one of the earliest indicators that your therapy is working. While it’s true that the results from therapy do not appear overnight but as your sessions progresses over the course of time you should start developing feelings of being rather relieved as compared to your first day of therapy. To help keep a track of progress, many people now also tend to keep a therapy journal to track down their mood swings and the changes noticed over time. However, one important thing to keep in mind is when undergoing therapy or counselling there will be some sessions which will result in bringing up emotions that you have bottled up for years. When this happens, it may not lead you to feel good right away. The highs and the lows are inevitable and improvement happens slowly. It’s just part of the process.
2. When you and your therapist are on the same page
Therapy works best when both you and your therapist are on the same page. The best way to accomplish this is by sitting down with the therapist before starting therapy and discuss your thoughts and ideas in detail. Signing up with a complete stranger and sharing your deepest fears and emotions with them can be tough. That is why it is recommended that you go therapist shopping before to find counselling near me.
Meet with a number of therapists to see whom you are most comfortable with. A therapy will only be successful when you are honest with your therapist and are open to checking in at various points.
There will also be times when you feel that your therapist is pressing on to share issues which you might feel holds no bearings in your current situation. When this happens, it is important that you have faith in your therapist and believe in the process. Sometimes moments or incidents that we consider to be irrelevant can end up having an immediate impact on our current situation.
3. When you start looking forward to the therapy sessions
The first week into the therapy can be tough. After all you are sharing your most troublesome emotions with a complete stranger. Often this can result in you dreading the sessions altogether. However, with time, you will start to notice a bond developing between you and your therapist. Sharing feelings in a safe space will slowly become easier and you may even find yourself looking forward to the therapy sessions. When this happens, it is a clear indicator that things are moving forward in the right direction.
4. When the dust settles
As you continue with the therapy sessions you will notice an air of self-awareness around you. Things will begin to make sense and you will often find yourself having one of those a-ha moments. This is a really good sign. The positive changes in emotional and behavioral pattern are a clear indication that the wool has been pulled from your eyes and all those weeks invested in therapy is finally starting to pay off.
5. When you start prioritizing self-care
While you may start to feel like the weight has been lifted or you may notice a sense of being unburdened once the therapy starts working but this doesn’t mean that you should stop therapy or that the new outlook on life is going to magically vanish all your problems. Starting to feel optimistic and hopeful about life and everything in it is good but you need to remember that you are still not completely out of the woods. Keep up with the therapy sessions. At the same time try engaging in activities you once enjoyed. From long bubble baths to grabbing lunch with friends or just generally engaging in things that make you feel sparkier. As long as you make self-care your top priority you can be assured from never going down the rabbit’s hole again.
6. When you begin working on improving relationships
Another important indicator that points out if your therapy is working or not is the change in attitude with the people you hold dear and near. Whether it is your partner, a spouse, best friend or even siblings, if you notice yourself to be calmer in relationships instead of being gripped by conflict than therapy could be the reason behind this change of behavior. Staying consistent with therapy helps you become more aware about how you treat others and how much conflict exists in your life as well as the steps you take in order to resolve conflict.
Seeking help from a therapist to improve your mental health is no longer a taboo. Just like we seek help from a doctor to cure an ailment or visit a dentist to improve our oral hygiene seeking therapy helps in providing relief to our minds. However, while deciding to opt for therapy one must remember that therapy isn’t a magic pill or a quick fix to make your problems go away. It is a gradual process requiring both time and effort. By working together with a therapist, you end up recognizing your issues and then learn to work towards improving them in order to live a happy and a healthier life. To further understand whether you need therapy or learn if therapy is working for you or not, try getting in touch with a professional today. Good luck!