Have you had a bad experience with a therapist and thought it was your fault? Yet, who determines the effectiveness of therapy? The reality is, effective psychotherapy is the therapist’s responsibility, not yours.
Aside from that, I bet you might still be thinking:
“I just read What Does A Psychotherapist Do? & What To Look For In One? OK, that all sounds good, but I’ve been in therapy already, maybe more than once, and it didn’t help. Should I even bother to try again?”
I understand. Trying to get help and have that help fail is extremely discouraging. You’re probably convinced you’ll never find a therapist who will understand you or is worthy of your trust.
Worse, you might think: “Maybe I’m hopeless.” Even worse than that, perhaps you had a therapist who blamed you; or said something like: “you aren’t willing to change or open up.” That’s uncalled for and very hurtful.
The Therapist’s Responsibility
It bears repeating: effective psychotherapy is a therapist’s responsibility. That’s because a good therapist compassionately understands your struggles, even with therapy itself.
Plus, having a hard time trusting and being open isn’t unusual. There are always good reasons. Maybe you have fears from early disappointments. If so, those fears must be sensitively understood. Sometimes the problem is the judgment of a particular therapist. Criticalness is not good therapy.
Consequently, you wonder:
How Do I Trust?
Even if I’m making some sense, you’re probably also thinking: “How am I supposed to trust you?” That’s a reasonable question. You’re not. How could you? You’ve been let down. Trust takes time. Trust is a matter of building on good experiences session by session.
Many good therapists do exist.
Yet, there are also too many therapists who aren’t able to understand and work with the complex ways that symptoms can be expressed.
Sometimes feelings can flood you with overwhelming intensity. Or you hide away your feelings as if they don’t exist. And, then, there are symptoms that are stubbornly unrelenting and difficult to solve.
If any of this is so, what does it take to get help?
An effective therapist finds new ways to understand and help you work out what hasn’t yet been sufficiently understood. It’s not up to you.
But, when you’ve tried and haven’t been able to get the help you need, it isn’t unusual to believe it’s your fault. Particularly if you became angry and frustrated.
Yet, believe it or not, there’s nothing wrong with anger. Anger should be part of any good therapy.
A final thought?
More than anything, a good therapist accepts and helps you make sense of whatever feelings you bring. They are all understandable, even if you don’t believe that right now.
Setting aside failed therapy experiences is, of course, difficult. Yet, if you can find the courage to try again, help is possible.
If you’d like to take the chance, please call me for a telephone consultation with any questions or doubts you have. I’m here to talk.