If you’re going through therapy, you may find moments where you feel like you’re treading water, rehashing the same stories and not making any headway. You share your thoughts and feelings in every session but it doesn’t seem like you’re moving forward. It’s as if you’re at a standstill, but you can’t quite pinpoint why. Frustrating, right?
But here’s the thing: just as you encounter plateaus when trying to lose weight or learn a new skill, therapy can also experience its ‘stalls’. There’s no need to feel disheartened. Let’s explore what to do when therapy seems to hit a dead end.
Recognize That Therapy Is Not Always a Straight Road
First and foremost, understand that therapy isn’t a straight line from problem to solution. It’s more akin to a winding road with its ups, downs, and unexpected twists. Feeling stuck doesn’t mean you’re not progressing. Sometimes, your progress is occurring in the depths, not visible right away.
Speak Up About Your Feelings
Open communication with your therapist is vital. They are your guide on this journey, but they aren’t mind readers. If you’re feeling like you’re not making progress, voice it out. This discussion could lead to a deeper understanding of what’s causing the stall and how to move past it.
Explore Different Strategies
Therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Different folks resonate with different approaches, and that’s perfectly fine. If a particular strategy isn’t working for you, your therapist can help you explore other methodologies like art therapy, EMDR, or mindfulness techniques.
Be Patient with Yourself
Change takes time. Your thought patterns, emotions, and behaviours didn’t form overnight, so they won’t disappear that quickly either. Understand that growth is often slow and steady. Realising you’re in a therapeutic stall shows you’re in tune with your process – and that’s already a significant step.
Re-evaluate Your Therapy Goals
Have your therapy goals shifted or become too ambiguous? It could be helpful to reassess them. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Clear and concise goals can provide a sense of direction to your therapeutic journey.
Consider Taking a Short Break
If therapy seems to be adding more stress than relief, you might benefit from a brief pause. Use this time to introspect and engage in self-care. When you’re ready, you can return to therapy with renewed energy and a fresh outlook.
Remember, Stalled Therapy Isn’t Failed Therapy
A stall in your therapy journey doesn’t mean the end of the road. It’s simply a hurdle that can be crossed with a little patience, open communication, adaptability, and self-awareness. Remember, you’re the driver on this journey, with your therapist as your co-pilot. Ultimately, the power to forge ahead lies with you.