What not to expect from therapy
Therapy can achieve life-changing results, but here are four key aspects for which expectations need to be set.
Firstly, you may, understandably, be looking to me to provide direct advice or ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions. However it is not for someone in my role to give you those things; in fact part of my training is focused on ensuring that I refrain from doing so.
The reasoning behind this is that the ultimate therapeutic goal is for you to come to resolutions and solutions that are best for you, found by you and within you. And since you are the world’s leading expert on you, it is important that I do not ‘short circuit’ that process by inappropriately directing you to my own conclusions.
Instead, I will help you to find the tools within yourself to form your own answers and solutions for use during and beyond your therapy.
Secondly, I am not qualified to perform medical diagnoses or authorised to prescribe medication such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs. Whilst no topic is off-limits for therapy, including whether medication is something to explore or whether it’s helping, it would be for your doctor to determine whether you should actually receive a medical intervention.
Thirdly, therapy is not a linear journey of a predictable length and nor is it usually a quick fix. Processing and making sense of our experiences, doing the work to re-wire our nervous system and learning new tools and practises will take a period of time that can vary greatly between individuals, with some taking weeks and others taking months or even years. There may also be frustrating moments or pauses in progress along the way.
Consequently, it is not possible for me to say how many sessions you will need, or to quote you an average that has any meaning. That said, the aim is to work together for no longer than is, from your own perspective, necessary or valuable.
Finally, therapy is not about creating the perfect life. It is about allowing you and your life to be the best they can be, whatever that looks like and however imperfect.