- You feel it is a good fit. You respect and feel inspired by your therapist. Even though the work may be hard, you look forward to going. You trust him/her.
- You feel that your objectives and goals are being met.
- Your life is changing. Inwardly and outwardly things are different. You may be feeling lighter, more empowered, or more confident, but there has been a shift.
- Your relationship with yourself and others has improved. You are listening to your own inner voice more often, feeling more assertive and you enjoy your own company more. You feel better.
- You feel hopeful.
Collaboratively, decide on a reasonable goal or goals to achieve. You cannot expect complicated problems to disappear in only a few weeks, but you should be feeling some shifts right away. Consider how long the problem has existed, and how deeply ingrained it is in your life then be realistic about the time and effort to transform it. Attend your sessions regularly and do what you agreed to in order to create change in your life. Look to your therapist as someone who’s helping you cope more effectively with a part of life that you’re struggling with, but don’t expect the therapy that you are doing to solve every problem in your life. Set goals for yourself with your therapist and when you reach those goals, reevaluate whether you want to commit to further work. If you are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder following a trauma, maybe you’ll want to work on several goals, such as stopping your nightmares, self-regulation, lowering your anxiety, reconnecting with people, feeling safe, and so forth. Small steps help us move into big change.Therapy can be hard work but it can also include humor, fun, creative enjoyment and delightful new insights. My clients laugh, cry, can feel discouraged, inspired and creative sometimes all in the same session. Be compassionate with yourself as you begin the process of making changes in your life. Sometimes it can be a slow process that takes work and persistence on your part. Investing in your own growth and awareness is a wonderful gift for yourself, your family and others.