Jonathan Levy LCSW - is therapy working for me?
Because psychotherapy is as individual and nuanced as you are, relief might not be instantaneous. As in learning any new skill, there may be periods of slow progress or steps forward followed by steps back. It can take weeks, months, or years to overcome a breakup, job loss, drug/alcohol dependence, or barriers to emotional intimacy, for example. That said, there are a few clues to knowing if you’re on the right track:
Do I Feel a Warmth and Connection with my Therapist? While touchy-feely isn’t for everyone, you should feel comfortable with your therapist, even as s/he asks tough questions or refuses to let you get away from facing difficult truths. You should trust him or her.
Does My Therapist ‘Get’ Me? You should feel as though you can relate to your therapist, that s/he is demonstrating signs of understanding where you’re coming from. Is your potential treatment plan largely consistent with your goals? Can you agree on where you’re headed?
Is My Therapist Asking the Right Questions? Therapy is not always going to be easy, fun work. There are inevitable uncomfortable issues you’ll need to face, like reliance on drugs or alcohol, painful family dynamics, and unhealthy relationship choices. Is the therapist going down the right path, even if it’s difficult? Do you exit your sessions feeling “right,” even if you’re slightly unsettled because you’re dealing with unpleasant topics?Do You See Incremental Change? Even if you’re still completely healed (and really, who is?), do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Do you feel as though you’re making progress? Are you smiling more? Reaching out to friends?
If you have concerns about any of the points above, it is important for you to bring them up to the therapist. After discussion with your therapist, if you feel that your needs are not being met or the match simply doesn’t fit, you should likely end therapy and seek a new provider. If you are having difficulty finding the right therapist you may want to read this and another post on picking the right therapist.
About the author: Jonathan Levy LCSW is an experienced Chicago therapist, counselor, and life coach. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Smith College. He is the Marketing Coordinator and co-founder of Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago. Jonathan Levy LCSW has tremendous success helping patients and most attribute his success to his warm touch and friendly demeanor.