I have been going to weekly therapy for a year and half, as well as group therapy for the past year (with the same therapist). I am very comfortable with him and feel that we have a good rapport. It was difficult in the beginning because I have a lot of difficulty recognizing and expressing my emotions, but now I think that I have come to trust him. My issues included anxiety, depression, childhood trauma (bullying, divorce, isolation), and a medical condition I have with psychosomatic causes (scarring alopecia). The therapy is not very goal oriented and I don’t have any clear idea on when it might be completed. Though I have gained insight into the way I function and the causes of my distress through much introspection, I can’t say that my issues have gotten much better. I want to believe in him and our relationship…that it can truly help me to form better relationships and minimize some of my depression and anxiety. However, I know I also have to think rationally and evaluate the changes that have been made in the past 18 months.
My sister and mother are worried about me…partly because of mood swings I’ve been having and partly because of my alopecia having flared up the last year. My sister wants me to set up an appointment with her former therapist (who is more goal oriented) but I feel I will be undermining my therapy and therapist. I don’t know what to do. It took me a long time to open up to him and I don’t want to let him go…but I also want to get better. (From Greece)
Your therapist sounds like he has been helpful and supportive. The easiest thing to do is for you to put your need for a more goal directive therapy out to him. Therapists have different styles, training, and process — but I can’t imagine a therapist not wanting to honor your need to set goals and make progress toward them.
The establishment of the relationship is often key to many transformations in therapy. Now that the relationship has been established, it is time for you to help set the agenda.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Unsure about My Therapist. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/09/25/unsure-about-my-therapist/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.