How do you know therapy is working? I feel this is an important question to ask yourself, and rightfully so as you made very important steps to open up to another person about your issues. A large part of how effective treatment works is to be present with the inner knowing that you feel the difference from the start of therapy to the present moment.
So how do you know therapy is working for you?
To begin with, the therapeutic alliance is the most important aspect of your therapy. You must be able to feel safe, heard, “gotten” and un-judged in order to have a healthy therapeutic connection with your therapist.
Being vulnerable can be a very scary and daunting place to be. We spend our lives putting on masks and pretending to be other than our true selves. This is done this in order to protect ourselves and quiet that “Inner critic” in our heads. We don’t want to expose the wounded parts of ourselves in fear of ridicule and rejection.
When you are in session with your therapist, the goal in the therapeutic relationship would be that you feel safe being vulnerable and you feel you are never being judged. If you can feel this way than this is one indicator that therapy is working or will work for you.
What are Some other Signs that Therapy is Working?
Another important factor is that you feel that you can provide feedback of any kind with your therapist and it will be met calmly, empathetically and openly. If the therapist doesn’t have you “quite right” or is not going in the direction you feel is working, you must be able to communicate with them without fear. If your feedback is met in a negative way in any way by the therapist, this is an indication that perhaps the therapist has some more work to do within themselves. This is okay because we are always growing and, even this type of response can be healed and worked through with the therapist if they are able to centre, ground and bracket “their own stuff” and work with you to repair this rupture.
Feedback is extremely important for your Therapist, so be open about sharing your feelings and asking for your needs to get met. (I know this is a difficult concept for many)
So What Should be My Next Goal for Therapy?
Your goal might be to feel as if you are becoming more regulated, calmer in your reactions to stress and feeling as if the smaller hurdles in life do not feel as huge as they used to. You will probably notice a lot more “A Ha!” moments showing up in your experience. You may feel more clear in your mind, relaxed in your body and calm in your spirit. Happiness and joy may become easier to attain and feel and gratitude may be more of a focus in your life. It is important to be able to recognize the things in our life we have to be grateful for rather than focusing on every negative aspect of our lives. If you feel you relate to these shifts happening for you, then therapy is more than likely working quite well for you.
These are just a few examples here of How do you know therapy is working for you. There are many more and I feel these may be the key factors.
If you feel that therapy may be beneficial for you, please feel free to contact me Psychotherapy with Shelley to inquire about booking a complimentary consultation.