The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp –
When it comes to improving your mental health conditions, there are many options for treatment and improving your lifestyle. Going to counseling, participating in group therapy, or scheduling a consultation with a mental health care provider are great examples of quality first steps to learning more about your condition, treating symptoms, and helping yourself. However, it may be difficult at first to understand how counseling can help you. Here are a few ways you can determine if counseling is working for you.
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Many mental health conditions have noticeable symptoms that make it difficult for you to get through daily life. Depression, anxiety, and other conditions can have a negative impact on your relationships, motivation, and lifestyle choices. One of the main efforts of counseling is to help reduce these effects and provide you with skills and healthy coping mechanisms to work through difficult situations.
You may begin to notice certain symptoms are easier to manage or have less of an effect on your daily life after time in counseling. If there is a specific symptom you’re struggling with, it’s important to talk to your therapist about it while discussing your goals for counseling. For more information on how you can determine if counseling is improving your symptoms, online mental health resources like BetterHelp can help you learn more.
A common effect of many mental health conditions is heightened levels of stress. Counseling can provide many ways to reduce and work through stress and anxiety. If you’re noticing less stress in your daily life or are using healthy coping mechanisms to work through situations, this could be because of the help from your mental health care professional.
It’s important to remember that your stress can also be heightened because of situations you’re in, such as work, relationships, or other negative interactions. Talking about these problems with your therapist and taking time to focus on these triggers can provide you with more options to combat stress and reduce certain symptoms of your condition.
Consciously Problem Solving
Many times, your condition can make you feel helpless or anxious in certain situations. If you’re consciously taking into account your surroundings and attempting to problem solve on your own, this is a sign that counseling is working for you.
A therapist is providing you with information so that you can strengthen your independence in these situations and take the necessary steps to help yourself. This can be in the form of utilizing breathing exercises, removing yourself from a situation, or even reaching out for help instead of attempting to combat your condition on your own.
What To Do If You Don’t Think You See Any Changes
Talk to Your Therapist About Alternative Solutions
If you don’t feel like you’re seeing any significant changes in your life, it’s important to communicate these concerns with your mental health care professional. Whether you’re taking medication, trying a new routine, or seeing a new therapist, it’s important to take into account what makes you feel uncomfortable or what treatments aren’t having any effect on you at all.
Counseling has varied results for everyone, so talking about alternative solutions with your therapist can help you to determine what methods work best for you. This could be switching medications, learning new coping mechanisms, or even seeing additional experts. It’s important to remember that your counselor won’t know how the treatment is affecting you unless you tell them how you’re feeling, so communicating the effects and changes you’re seeing or missing is crucial to a successful treatment.
Remember Progress Takes Time
Every person and condition is different, which means treatment won’t always have the same rate of success. Some people will go to weekly therapy for a month or two and expect to see change and results within that time. However, this isn’t necessarily the case, especially for severe symptoms or conditions. Progress not only depends on your mentality toward healing but also on trial and error to find a treatment that works for you.
If you’re feeling discouraged, talk with your therapist about your concerns. They can give you a better idea of how long treatment can take on average for your condition in order to see significant change. They may also have suggestions or additional resources to improve certain areas of the treatment. It’s always important to communicate your concerns or frustrations with your mental health care provider so they can help you determine the best treatment that will work for you.
Consider Changing Therapists
It’s important to remember that not everyone works well together. Even if a mental health care professional comes highly recommended from friends, family members, or online reviews, there are many factors that can prevent you from feeling connected to your counselor. If you don’t feel that therapy is working with this particular individual, you can either ask to be recommended to a different type of therapist or simply end your sessions and look for another professional.
Some people may feel hesitant about changing providers for a number of reasons. However, your relationship with your counselor is a crucial part of recovery and healing. It’s a normal practice to switch therapists if something feels off or you would like another opinion about your symptoms.
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