Is your therapist helping?
By: Allan Schwartz
"In all types of psychotherapy, there are clear signs that things are improving if the therapy is working. Examples of making progress in therapy is that, 1. There is a feeling that one's life is more manageable and that it feels like one is more in control of life, 2. There is a clear feeling of increased self confidence and that one is moving forward in life, 3. Not only does the patient see behavioral changes but so do friends and relatives and, finally, 4. There is a much better understanding of one's self and ones behaviors. In addition to these signs it is worth asking one's self, "Am I getting my money's worth from the sessions? Of course, these are very subjective questions to ask or to rely on. Still, it's important to think this way as a guide to answer the question, "Should I continue with this therapist or not?"
"In addition to these watching for these signs of progress, there are certain questions that each patient should think about in relation to the mental health practitioner they are seeing. For example, 1. Does my therapist listen to me and to the concerns I bring up in therapy? 2. Does my therapist talk more about himself than about me? It's amazing how often I hear the complaint from readers that their therapist spends vast parts of the session talking about his life. 3. There seems to be no structure or focus to the sessions. Sessions meander from one topic to another and have little to do with why one came to therapy."
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