Therapy can be an extremely valuable tool for helping people navigate through life challenges, define identities, and feel satisfied and fulfilled in life. But, if you do not connect with your therapist, achieving any of these things will be extremely difficult.
Therapy is an incredibly personal thing, and it is as much about the relationship between you and your therapist as it is what you are talking about in the sessions. Because of this, if you and your therapist have a different type of communication style or are otherwise unable to communicate your feelings appropriately, you may not get the support you need. So, what can you do if you feel you’re not getting what you need from your current therapy sessions?
What to Tell Your Therapist
The first thing you can do is bring up your concerns to your therapist. Trust us; your therapist will not be hurt or upset if you tell them that you’d like to pursue something different or alter your approach. They are there to help you improve your enjoyment of life and get through your challenges. We know it can feel awkward to talk to your therapist and tell them that maybe you aren’t quite connecting in the way you want to, but realistically the only way for you to solve this disconnect is to talk about it.
Your therapist can then either agree on a new approach or communication method, or they can suggest a different therapist who may be a better fit for your needs. The goal of any great therapist is to help you — even if that means referring you to another therapist. Simply tell your current therapist what isn’t working for you, and you can begin making the changes that you need to get the support you are looking for.
What to Do
So, what should you do when you aren’t getting what you need from your current therapy sessions? Here we’ll dive into a few things you can do to change your therapy routine and make changes that’ll help you find the best type of support.
The first thing you’ll want to do if you aren’t sure your therapy is working for you is to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want a therapist who will assign me “homework” to complete in between sessions and keep me accountable?
- Do I need a therapist with more expertise in a specific area?
- Do I need a therapist who allows me to talk through things more rather than providing solutions as we discuss topics?
- Do I need a therapist that I can identify more with?
These questions can help you self-assess and figure out what you are really looking for in your sessions. This is the best way to know what you need to change about your current therapy situation to have the types of sessions you need.
Ask Your Therapist
As mentioned above, if something isn’t working for you, the best place to start is with your therapist. They may be able to change their approach to something that is more helpful to you — maybe this means offering more “homework” for you to do between sessions, taking a bit more of a hands-off approach, or even referring you to another therapist who may be a better fit for your needs.
Do Your Homework and Work on Your Lifestyle
Therapy sessions alone are not going to be enough to change your life on a dime. You need to really take home the practices that you discuss in your sessions and work to improve your life on many fronts to achieve the place in your life you want to be. Maybe that means that you enact some of the practices that you talk about in sessions in your daily life or you focus on moving every day and eating balanced meals. The point is that without putting in some effort of your own, you are very unlikely to see the changes that you are looking for. Some things that you can do to promote a better life are:
- Keeping to a consistent and restful sleep schedule
- Eating regular and balanced meals
- Getting at least 20-30 minutes of activity each day
- Working on developing a regular schedule and budgeting your time
- Try incorporating activities that you enjoy (and that relax you) into your daily life
Talk to Your Doctor
For many mental health conditions, combining therapy with medication can be the best way to reach the results you are looking for. But, you should not start any medication without first bringing your doctor into the loop. Your doctor and therapist can work together to help you find the right solutions for you.
Try a New Therapist
Sometimes, you and your therapist may not mesh well together. This is totally fine, and there is nothing wrong with changing therapists to find someone who works better with you. Realistically, if your therapist isn’t a good fit for you, you aren’t going to feel comfortable opening up to them and being yourself — which can make it extremely difficult to reach your goals. If you aren’t getting what you need from your current therapist, it may be time to start looking for a new one. If you are looking for a different therapist, consider visiting Love Heal Grow and scheduling an appointment with one of our therapists to see if they would be a better fit for you.