Going for therapy is a huge step towards bettering yourself, so props to you! Sometimes, however, therapy may feel like a drag or pointless. You may not be able to open up initially, you may have sessions where you just rant and there's no conclusion, but whatever the case, it's good to remember that therapy is a slow process.
Some days you may think that therapy may actually not be working out for you and that you should just quit, or switch therapists - but both those decisions are difficult to make. If you're unsure of how therapy is working out for you, here are some signs that it may actually be helping you out -
1. You Look Forward To Your Appointments
For the first few appointments, you may feel nervous and maybe even scared - it isn't easy opening up to someone with your darkest thoughts. But gradually, you may feel that nervousness go away, the thought of talking about your emotions in a safe space may actually even make you happy. This is when you can know that you're comfortable with your therapist and it doesn't feel difficult to connect.
Shedding of these initial feelings of nervousness is a great indicator that therapy is working for you - it feels safe and natural.
2. You Hear Your Therapists Voice In Your Head
As creepy as it sounds, you know what I'm talking about. Whenever you're in a situation that triggers something within you, you tend to hear advice from your therapist in your head. Or you tend to repeat something your therapist said to you in a session to take control of the situation.
This is a great sign - it essentially means that you have good advice to count back on and that it comes to you in a time of need means that your therapist has done a good job!
3. You're Not So "In Your Head" Anymore
You don't stew a lot on one thought, at least not as much as you used to, and you've learned to mediate the voice in your head that constantly criticizes everything you do and say. A lot of people seek therapy for mental illnesses like anxiety which leads to a lot of overthinking, being able to control these thoughts and move out of your own head is a milestone in therapy.
So if you are able to stay out of your own head, even to the slightest extent after therapy, you should know that it's working out for you.
4. You Learn To Have Fun Again
Depression and anxiety can both that a lot away from you, and one of the main things with mood disorders like depression is the inability to feel pleasure by doing tasks that otherwise bring joy. Not being able to enjoy or have fun are the first symptoms of depression.
But after therapy, people usually experience moments where they feel like doing "fun" things again. They long for doing tasks that bring them joy and sometimes even act on that desire and feel happy. The will to go back to having fun, enjoying tasks and feeling joy are some signs that therapy is working.
5. Self Care Becomes A Big Priority
Noticing that you are beginning to pay attention to yourself is a great sign of improvement. This could be as simple as booking a weekly massage, journaling about your thoughts and feelings or asking your boss for that overdue raise. Taking care of yourself in the smallest ways possible becomes routine.
You stand up for yourself, have a higher sense of self-esteem and value yourself more. This spike in self-esteem and self - care is a definite sign that therapy is working out for you.
6. Your Therapist Says You're Making Progress
This seems like a very obvious way to answer the question of whether your therapy is working or not, but it’s important to set goals with your therapist and have a mutual understanding that you are looking to make significant progress through this process.
Your therapist knows your goals and if they tell you that you're moving towards those goals, it's a huge achievement! And it also means that therapy is helping you move in the right direction.
So if you see any of these signs in your daily life after therapy, you can be sure that it's working out for you and you're making some real progress.