In therapy, but nothing seems better? Thinking you need therapy? First some jokes about therapy, then some thoughts and to[s about therapy.
All three jokes relate to what you need to know about why therapy might not work. In the first joke, the therapist remains locked in personal problems and more help to him than his clients.
Most therapists are drawn to the field out of a personal need to both better deal with their problems, as well as to help others. Many therapists have been patients and found therapy personally helpful. Having had problems solved in therapy often makes for a better therapist. However, not always and so it seems with joke number one.
In the second joke, the psychiatrist is so busy diagnosing others, he seems to have lost the more common human capacity to offer compassionate help. In real life, in the same situation, hopefully most psychiatrists would also offer practical help. However, many therapists are all too focused on what’s wrong, finding someone to blame, attaching labels, and seeing only weaknesses. Not helpful.
The third joke reflects a bit of the second joke, but also on the need for good reality checking. Therapy cannot solve all problems and is not a cure-all.
Bad habits can be turned into good habits, but sometimes the bad habit is the only way a person can survive. When the person lives in a war zone, therapy will not work until safety is establish. War zone does not just mean bullets are flying, someone is being treated violently in other ways: think of domestic violence or bullying by peers at school. Finally, biological problems, either genetic or caused by illness, brain injuries, or trauma, often make change impossible.
The third joke also serves as a reminder to all seeking therapy. Therapy is not magic. You need you to do the work. Which is the subject of another joke: How many thearpists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one if the lightbulb is willing to change. However, even doing the work may not find you are being helped the way you want.
Emotional fitness tip one: Whether in therapy or thinking about therapy, get clear about your expectations. The best way is to set a SMART goal for therapy and share it with the therapist. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and time limited.
Emotional fitness tip two: Measure progress. Here’s an easy to use Goal Measuring Poster. Give therapy time to work, but also be clear with yourself and your therapist about how things are progressing.
Emotional fitness tip three: Get realistic. In order to get the best from therapy, become an educated consumer, make sure you are getting competent care. Next be honest about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Then do all the things everyone is told to do to stay strong–eat properly, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, have balance in your life between work and play, keep up social relationships, take any prescribed medications as directed. Add Emotional Fitness Training Exercises to your daily routine. Finally, don’t let stigma keep you from seeking therapy when nothing else seems to be working.
If everyone worried more about being kind to self and others, instead of whether someone was mentally ill or not; many of the world’s problems would be solved.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO
Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful. Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it? Comment and tell me why and how to improve.
POST INSPIRATION: Today’s WordPress Daily prompt: State of Your Year
How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.
It as not been an easy year. Why? One reason? Aging and what cannot be changed and what has to be lived with as we move forward. Particularly frustration personally is that I am stalled in my efforts to get more eBooks out. Then there is the state of the world. Finally, there are the everyday minor and major problems that hurt you or those your love.
My biggest achievement is that I keep going and doing what I can, when I can.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Seven Signs a Child Needs Therapy (parentingliteracy.com)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
- Measuring Therapy Outcomes (scottmiller.com)
- Practicing Imperfection (emotionalfitnesstraining.com)
- Pursue Progress, Not Perfection (thecoughlincompany.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)