Therapy is always an interesting experience, and no two are the same. Likely you are in therapy to address issues in your personal or family life and, even more likely, you are hoping the therapy will lead to the changes and positivity you seek.
So how can you tell if the therapy is "working"? After all, it isn't quite like a medication for allergies or pain killers for a headache. It's much harder to define.
Obviously the therapist tends to have greater insight and perspective on the big picture, and therapy takes time. However if you are stressing over prognosis Here are some areas that you can focus on to evaluate the effectiveness of the process.
Bear in mind that you need to account for your own part and how far along you are in the process.
1. Look around:
Are you noticing the concepts from therapy playing out around you? Are you more aware of how certain people or situations trigger certain feelings and emotions? Do you have the tools to address the issues you face? Are you able to put them into practice? Therapy is designed to provide a framework to process and navigate your life and the issues you face, so evaluate the growth, revel in the small milestones, and make sure you are at all times focused forward.
2. Look within:
How do you feel? This is tough because many of us feel bad even when things are going well, and many can't see growth because they are too deep in. It's hard to keep going when you still don't feel well. The trick is to really try and take a step out and rise above the maze. Do things not feel AS bad? Were you able to do things with slightly less anxiety? Was the craving to use even a slight bit diminished? Did you delay your relapse by a day? An hour? A minute? Did you smile one time more then usual? Looking at how you feel inside will let you know how you are doing. Remember: it may not be what you want it to be. But if it's better then it was, even by a bit, that's progress
3. Feel the drive:
It is important that no matter the stage, and no matter your resistance, that the therapeutic relationship is always driving you forward. Is your therapy challenging you to grow? Is it developing with you? Does it push you to do and be and feel better? Though much of growth is on us, it's important that there is always a firm and caring nudge forward.
4. Provide and receive feedback:
Sometimes the most helpful way to get your answer is by simply asking. Your therapist should be able to give you clear and consistent feedback on your process even if it's not positive. Additionally, if any of the items above were concerning you, then they could be brought up in session.
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