What to do when therapy isn't working

What To Do When Therapy Isn’t Working

August 1, 2017 218 13 No Comments


For most people with mental illnesses, therapy is often seen as the last resort. It is the thing people turn to when nothing else has worked, and this often makes therapy seem like the ultimate solution that will rid you of all your symptoms. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. There isn’t one type of therapy that is going to be effective for every person or every situation. For this reason, it is important to keep in mind that it might be necessary to try different types of therapies before you find the one that is the best fit for your personal goals. Although it might be difficult to realize that a particular form of therapy isn’t working, it can be helpful to realize what doesn’t benefit you so that you can seek out alternatives in the future. You can think of therapy as a form of medicine; there isn’t one pill that is going to help every single person with a particular disease. Similarly, there are many different forms of therapy that all have various advantages.



Different Forms of Therapy

Depending on your needs, you may benefit from a different form of therapy altogether. There are many options out there, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. A common form of therapy is behavior therapy; this approach focuses on the way that learning influences your behaviors. For example, your therapist would have you pay attention to your behaviors and become aware of what factors cause you to continually engage in them. Alternatively, cognitive therapy focuses on your thinking rather than your behaviors. Utilizing this approach would involve paying attention to your thought patterns and working to change them. There is also an approach that combines the elements of behavior therapy and cognitive therapy called cognitive-behavior therapy. Lastly, humanistic therapy is an approach that focuses on the patient’s ability to make the right choices and develop themselves as well as they can. Many therapists often take an integrative approach to therapy. This means that they don’t strictly adhere to any one type of therapy. This dynamic approach allows you to benefit from various elements from different types of therapies. It is important to ask your therapist what approaches he or she is specialized in in order to be aware of what is going to bring you to the most success.

What Makes for Effective Therapy?

As you know, it takes months or even years to see improvement with therapy. But, you can tell if it’s working if you are learning and applying new things within your life. Therapy should be offering you new skills and guide you to accomplish your personal goals. Therapy might not be a fix-all for your problems, but therapy is working when it allows you to gain new perspectives and work through your problems effectively. Your therapist introduces these new ideas, but ultimately, you are the one applying them to your daily life.

Why Therapy Doesn’t Work for Some People what do to if therapy isnt working

Common reasons for why therapy doesn’t work for some people include unrealistic expectations and not being ready for change. It is essential to have realistic expectations for both you and your therapist before beginning therapy. For example, if your therapist has a different idea of what your goals are with therapy than you, therapy sessions will not be able to provide what you need. It’s important to have clear communication between you and your therapist to be aware of what’s in reach for you. In addition, it is important that you create small goals for yourself instead of expecting to see dramatic change in short time period. Although therapy can help significantly, patience is necessary for growth.

For therapy to work, patients have to be ready to change their attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors. Without a willingness to change, therapy will be giving you the tools to improve, but you will be unable to put these tools to work. Successful therapy involves being open to the idea of changing certain elements in your life or mindset to reach a healthier place.

Next Steps

It is also important to ask your therapist questions to make sure you’re getting the most out of your therapy. For example, it is a good idea to ask your therapist how long it should take to see results with the current form of therapy. This is helpful to know because the therapy you are taking part in might take many weeks or months to see improvement. If this is the case, it would be a good idea to continue on with the therapy for long enough necessary to see results. If this current therapy method doesn’t prove to be effective, you can always ask your therapist if you are able to try a different approach.

Other Forms of Treatment

Therapy is a great tool to improve mental health, but many individuals often benefit from the use of medication. Talking to your therapist or psychiatrist about more options in addition to therapy might be a good idea if therapy doesn’t seem like it’s working to the extent that you would like it to.

Changing Your Lifestyle

Although therapy plays a large role in improving mental health, it is only one part of the entire process. Consider changing various elements of your lifestyle so that therapy is working in conjunction with other forms of improvement. For example, stress plays a large role in your mental health. You can lessen daily stress levels by creating a schedule for each day and week to help manage time. Sleep is another factor that is very important when it comes to mental health. Sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours a night can greatly improve your well-being and possibly even help improve the effects of therapy. Similarly, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise are great ways to further change your lifestyle to match your goals of therapy.

Trying a New Therapist

There are many therapists out there, and each of them has a slightly different approach and a different specialty. For this reason, it might be helpful to try a different therapist if you feel like the connection you have with the current one could be better. Your therapist will understand because they too know that each patient is not going to a be a perfect fit for their style.

different types of therapySome Other Types of Therapy to Consider

Find out more about how drums can be therapeutic.  Or discover the healing effects of yoga. For children that are unresponsive to traditional counseling methods, read about play therapy and how it can help. For adults with problems in their sex life, learn how sex therapy can be deeply healing.


To learn more about alternative therapy services please visit: https://therapycable.com/mental-health-resources.html 


If you have a friend or family member in a desparate situation, Do not wait, please contact: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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