What a good question! You are correct, of course. If you go into every session skeptical about whether it will work, you are focusing on your skepticism, not on the work. That can certainly get in the way of any treatment. It may be that it is your way to avoid dealing with painful material. That kind of avoidance is totally understandable, but it isn’t helping you heal.
On the other hand, just because you are critical doesn’t necessarily mean that you are avoiding. Your skepticism in therapy may only reflect your general approach to life as a scientist.
Fortunately, there are many, many ways to do therapeutic work. So there are at least 2 ways to deal with this impasse:
- Ask yourself what would happen if you were to make a leap of faith, suspend disbelief and jump into a particular approach entirely. Think about your answer as honestly as you can. You may discover what you’ve been avoiding. That would be the next topic of conversation with your therapist. Or…
- If your answer to that question is simply that it just isn’t working for you, you could explore more evidence-based techniques and find a therapist who is certified in such a technique. Cognitive-behavior therapy, for example, may be a better “fit” for the scientist in you. Find a trained therapist so you won’t be distracted by questions about his or her qualifications.
I applaud your effort to find an approach that works for you. I’m glad you aren’t going through the motions of therapy, but instead want to find a method that is truly compatible with your needs.
I wish you well.