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How long do you have to stick with therapy to get to the current issue?:P


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I know I gave up on therapy way too soon (after 2 sessionsXD) but I was just feeling stressed out by going (on top of all the other stress I was already feeling...) and I wasn't quite seeing how it was going to help me. I think because all we had talked about up to that point was things in my past, which I know affect the present, but I was more concerned with what was going on in the present:P I'm considering going back (although not sure how to handle the fact that my boyfriend doesn't want me to...) but don't want to just end up feeling like its a waste of time and quitting again... So I'm wondering how long it might take to start dealing with the problems at hand and feeling like its helping? I know each therapist is different in their approach, but I'm assuming they all start with this "intro" period rather than jumping right into the problem? I know there really are no quick fixes for life problems, but I'm just really needing some hope of resolving some stuff soon before I become too weighed down to function... and not wanting to waste more of my precious time on things that are not going to help.

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Therapy is hard work and work often takes a lot of time and effort to attain valuable and meaningful results. Digging into the past may help to uncover some of the reasons behind your difficulties in the present. That may, in turn, give you the knowledge and skills to work through your present problems. I think the key is trusting in the therapy process without placing time constraints or pressure on attaining quick results. It would be difficult to assess a time frame as to when things might start evolving for you in a positive way. Perhaps you didn't match well with this particular therapist? For me, I'd say somewhere around 10 sessions in...and only after I'd made a connection with my therapist... did the real work begin. But everyone is different in this...Maybe you might consider giving it another try?

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I had an alternate thought, if you're getting impatient to talk about current problems: it's your session, take control of it. :-) You're entitled to say, "Can we come back to your question about the past later, I need to talk about what my current situation is, instead?"

Just because the therapist asks questions doesn't mean they know better than you do where you need to go. Many of them ask questions mostly so that complete silence doesn't descend on the room. ;-)

It may be necessary to look at the past, and some therapists' styles emphasize it. You should be able to talk about whatever you think is helpful, though, at least some of the time.

Conversely, I have heard of therapists who wanted to be in charge. Again, though, you're the one payin'. If you don't like where it's going, find someone else to work with.

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There are many different styles of therapy. Some place a lot of emphasis on going through the past to uncover reasons for the present, but some deal with current issues first and slowly uncover the past. As malign says, take charge and say that you really need help with your present problems for now. You've spent two sessions on the past, you should be able to state your needs now and not have have to follow what the therapist wants to do, if that is take a longer-term approach.

Therapists who do short-term, present-problem therapy are coming to the fore more as a response to the reluctance of medical insurances schemes to pay for long-term therapy. I've had both types. I gained a tremendous amount from the in-depth therapy with the therapeutic relationship added to it, but I've had great gains from short-term therapy focused on the present, too.

State your needs and what you're looking for. :) Of course there are roots of today's issues in the past but you're entitled to say you'd rather focus on the present for now. You'll be the one doing the work and the one paying for it. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I know I gave up on therapy way too soon (after 2 sessionsXD) but I was just feeling stressed out by going (on top of all the other stress I was already feeling...) and I wasn't quite seeing how it was going to help me. I think because all we had talked about up to that point was things in my past, which I know affect the present, but I was more concerned with what was going on in the present:P I'm considering going back (although not sure how to handle the fact that my boyfriend doesn't want me to...) but don't want to just end up feeling like its a waste of time and quitting again... So I'm wondering how long it might take to start dealing with the problems at hand and feeling like its helping? I know each therapist is different in their approach, but I'm assuming they all start with this "intro" period rather than jumping right into the problem? I know there really are no quick fixes for life problems, but I'm just really needing some hope of resolving some stuff soon before I become too weighed down to function... and not wanting to waste more of my precious time on things that are not going to help.

Therapy doesn't help everyone. I tried two therapists and found it absolutely worthless.

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