19 October, 2020

Feel like therapy isn’t helping?

It can be frustrating to leave your counselling session feeling like you’re in the same place you were before you started. While you may not be seeing the progress you’d like, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sessions.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if therapy isn’t working for you.


Are you going regularly enough?

Change and healing take time and ongoing commitment, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get results after one session. If you’re not going to counselling regularly (or as recommended by your counsellor), this could be why you’re not experiencing the benefits you’d hoped for.

Think of your mental health like your physical health. Going to a personal trainer once every few months isn’t going to get you where you want to be – and neither is going to therapy every now and then. Consistency is key.


Are you committing to the homework?

You only get out what you put in. If you’re not doing your part outside of the counselling session, you won’t see change as quickly.

Your counsellor might have given you ‘homework’ to do between sessions to help you practise new skills and/or coping strategies, or shift away from damaging behaviour patterns. This could be anything from journalling and breathing exercises to rehearsing important conversations. It can help to write down your homework immediately after each session so you don’t forget.

If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough homework, let your counsellor know you’d like more – and make sure you follow through. Applying these new recommended skills can help you accelerate progress and get closer to your goals.


Does your lifestyle support a healthy mind?

Similarly to the above, you can’t expect to see progress if you’re not making an effort to cope with your problems and support a positive wellbeing outside your sessions. Counselling is a safe space for you to explore your feelings and concerns and come up with ways to make things better. But it’s ultimately meant to empower you to get through tough times on your own.

Take a holistic approach to your wellbeing by looking at your lifestyle outside of the counselling room. Are you eating nutritious foods and moving your body every day? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you maintaining connections with supportive and loving people? All of these factors have an impact on your mental health and wellbeing.


Would you benefit from a different approach?

While you can’t expect a life-changing breakthrough in every single session, you should feel like you’re on the right track to resolving or coping with your issues.

There are lots of different types of therapy out there, and some approaches may not be right for you. If you feel like therapy isn’t working, it might be worth asking your counsellor if they can try a different approach or new strategies and techniques.


Do you need to be referred to a different counsellor?

If you feel like your sessions aren’t going anywhere or you don’t feel comfortable opening up with your current counsellor, it might be time to find someone new.

Counsellors know having the right fit is crucial for your progress. They want what’s best for you, and won’t take it personally if you ask to be referred to a different counsellor if you’re not quite clicking.

Learn how to make the most of counselling over video with these tips.