4 Ways Therapy is Working in Long Island, NY.
You’re in counseling or you’re thinking about going to therapy but you’re not sure how you’ll know if it’s really “working”. Let’s take the mystery out of it.
Although therapy is definitely a process, there are ways for you to see if the process is “working”.
4 Points for Progress
1) Progress towards goals.
In beginning of treatment, you and your therapist delineated goals. Some goals are harder to track because they are emotional based, but you can still see some kind of shift if you pay attention. Take a moment to check if you notice any movement, shift or progress towards the goals you’ve set.
Is there a shift and reduction in the intensity of your anxiety?
Are you challenging negative self talk & improving your beliefs of self?
Do you cope better when engaging in a tough conversation?
Can you calm down in a shorter time frame after being upset?
Are you beginning to identify past wounds or traumas so you can process through them?
Notice if your mind and body are beginning to feel safe, comfortable and heard in the therapy room. Small shifts and a calmer nervous system is progress.
2) Stronger Voice of Reason.
Do you hear your therapist’s voice in your head as you go about your day. The voice that challenges some of the nagging doubts, negative beliefs or critical voice. You may also notice your own voice of reason that’s been birthed and getting stronger in your time in therapy.
For example; “Where did I get that information from? Is it true? Does staying with that belief make me feel stronger or weaker?"
When you notice you have a better ability to challenge the “stinkin’ thinkin’” and prevent yourself from going down the rabbit hole of despair, you’re making progress.
3) Widened Bandwidth of Tolerance
Are you able to tolerate and better manage daily stress? Therapy can’t make your issues go away, but you can begin using and implementing ways to better deal with stressors.
Ongoing therapy helps address underlying causes of anxiety and distress, and doing deep level work provides a calmer mind and body. Over time, you’ll learn to better tolerate the unknown, disconnection, transition and disagreements with more ease.
4) Mind-Body Awareness.
One of the things about stress and anxiety is that it sometimes feels like it came out of no where. You might find yourself asking “Why did my body just get so irritated? Why is my husband suddenly aggravating me, Why do I have an edge of moodiness, Why am I suddenly having a hard time breathing?”. In therapy, utilizing skills from my training in Somatic Interventions and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I educate clients about how our bodies communicate with us, and how to listen in.
Ask yourself, have you been getting better at identifying body sensations and shifts in the body?
Am I aware when my throat starts to feel tight, when my belly is in knots, when my legs start to shake or when the pressure headache gets stronger?
Do I realize the times when I get spaced out or distracted easily and am not as focused?
You may begin noticing what may be provoking certain symptoms; the meeting with your boss, the talk about your sex life with your partner, the meeting with your accountant, the coffee date with your critical girlfriend, or a trigger related to family issues or a trauma.
When you’re more aware, you can better interpret and respond to what’s happening inside, and, around you.
When you’re attuned to yourself, you can more easily remind yourself to take a long inhale, repeat a supportive thought (such as “this is slowly resolving”), you can reach out to a loved one or I jot a symptom down to bring up in therapy.
If any of this resonates, you’re doing good work! Remind yourself of the work you’re doing as you deepen your healing experience.
Not in therapy but ready to do the work to build a better living & loving experience?
If you live anywhere in Long Island, NY I’d be happy to help you. Schedule your first session at my Cedarhurst office in Five Towns, Nassau County.