In order to truly enjoy the benefits of therapy, you need to come in with realistic expectations. There are many benefits to counseling, but even the best mental healthcare has its limitations. In the first half of this guide, we explained What to Expect from Therapy: Step-by-Step. Now we will look at what not to expect from therapy.
Don’t Expect Results Overnight
Therapy is not a magic cure for all that ails you. It takes time to uncover the root cause of your personal struggles and find solutions for them. You may see progress right away, or it may take time for you to see changes in your life. Trust in the process, and you should see plenty of positive changes over time.
Don’t Expect Success If You Make No Effort
As harsh as this sounds, it’s true. If you don’t put anything into therapy, you won’t get anything out of it. Your therapist will give you tools to improve your quality of life. You have to use them. Once you do, you might be surprised by the improvement.
Don’t Expect Judgement – Your Therapist Will Not Judge You!
Do not worry about being judged during therapy. Your unique experiences have shaped you into the person you are now. There is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. The goal of therapy is to help you bring closure to the past and improve your experiences in the present/future. This all happens in a completely judgement-free and confidential setting.
Don’t Expect to Be Perfect
There is no such thing in perfection in any area of life. Therapy is about progress, not flawlessness. It’s about finding a balance of stress management, coping strategies, rest, support, and positive lifestyle changes to overcome obstacles with ease. You have the power to do all of that, even if the end results aren’t 100% perfect.
Don’t Expect to Be Medicated
Yes, psychiatric medicine is effective in many treatment programs. However, you should not come into therapy assuming you’ll be put on medication. Moreover, you shouldn’t fear therapy because you think you’ll be medicated. That’s simply not the case.
Your therapist can help you determine the best course of treatment, and there’s a good chance it will not involve medication. If medication is fitting for short-term or long-term treatment, you can work with a psychiatrist to find the proper prescription/dosage for you. At Family Counseling Associates, our therapists and psychiatrists coordinate care plans to provide the best mental healthcare for each client. Contact us at (978) 222-3121 to learn more.
Don’t Expect the Worst
At the end of the day, try to stay open-minded. Everyone has a different experience with therapy, but for most, it is incredibly positive. You get a chance to share your story with someone who truly cares what you have to say, and you can learn personalized coping strategies fit for your life. If you have any other questions about how therapy works, feel free to call Family Counseling Associates at (978) 222-3121.