When you attend therapy as a way to discuss issues in your life or as part of an overall treatment strategy for mental health conditions, you may not realize some of your behaviors have an adverse effect on the outcome of therapy. Before you give up on therapy, reflect on your behavior and see what may need to change.
It's common to have concerns about behaviors or events in your past that might make you feel ashamed. Unfortunately, withholding this information from your therapist can prevent you from progressing through therapy and reaching a resolution. Although you may think your situation is unique, it is difficult to surprise your therapist, and they may see people each day who hide problems due to feelings of guilt or embarrassment. Practicing full disclosure can often be cathartic because you have verbalized the information and let it out, but in a controlled way that is only between you and one other person. Additionally, you may think you're not telling your therapist the truth, but it is usually obvious when there are gaps or inconsistencies in stories.
Having Unreasonable Expectations Of Therapy
Having unreasonable expectations of therapy is counterproductive. Some people believe therapy is useless because talking to someone does not solve anything. On the other hand, there are people who believe it is the therapist's job to fix them. Neither belief system is correct, and both will cause problems during therapy. Most people who do not believe in therapy will never show up for appointments, and those that show up are rarely engaged in the process. They can be standoffish and rude, which creates an impossible barrier between the client and therapist. The people who believe therapy is the solution to their problems neglect one of the most important aspects of therapy, which is accountability. It is impossible to be accountable for your actions (or inaction), thoughts, and feelings when you defer to someone else. Therapy is a tool in your arsenal, not the solution to all your woes.
Not Going The Extra Mile
Rarely does therapy begin and end with the session. There are often other components needed to help therapy be an effective treatment. You may be instructed to seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment with medication. Additionally, many therapists will give you homework or other tasks to do after the session. This may include writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal for later discussion, or going to a social event if you deal with social anxiety or self-esteem issues. Tasks like giving yourself affirmations can reduce negative self-talk.
Self-sabotage can lead to a vicious cycle where nothing ever improves, and most people are unaware they behave in this manner. Identifying problematic behaviors can help you change your mindset and be a better client. Contact a company like The Lakes Treatment Center for more information and assistance.