This blog shares 3 signs therapy is working. You may wonder, how do I visualize my progress? How do I know that I’m actually achieving my goals? Have I got anywhere since the beginning of my sessions?
Especially if you’re new to therapy, you may wonder when you know that you’re making progress in therapy. With this being your first time in therapy, you’re unsure of what to expect. Even with individuals who have gone through the therapeutic process before – you may have mixed conclusions.
It’s normal to fluctuate between feeling in control and stable to feeling lost and overwhelmed again. Matter of fact, that’s a part of our human nature. It’s unreasonable to expect yourself to always be kept together and positively happy 24/7. Sometimes, you need to have those bad days.
As you go through the therapeutic process, you will have break-throughs and step-backs. Signs that therapy is working among this include: First, you can more easily acknowledge triggers. Second, you consider using healthy coping mechanisms more. Third, you notice small changes in yourself.
3 Signs Therapy is Working: You can more easily acknowledge triggers
Whether you are struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, or more, you likely have triggers. Triggers are stimuli that provoke emotional or physical reactions. Individuals with PTSD may have several triggers as a result of a traumatic experience. With anxiety, someone may feel calm until something occurs, and they start to get nervous.
Triggers are not always easy to identify. They may live subliminally inside of your mind, and all you know is that your alarm bells are suddenly ringing. It takes self-reflection and retracing our steps to understand what our triggers are.
It’s also important to understand the why around triggers.
Why does this send me into a panic attack? What are my fears, worries, or concerns with this situation? Is there something specific I am anticipating to happen, that I feel I cannot prepare for? What am I trying to avoid, and why?
Your triggers are unique to you and can be pretty much anything. Sounds, smells, someone’s voice, tangible items, forms of transportation, and more. Being able to connect your current feeling and state of mind to your trigger, is a sign that therapy is working.
3 Signs Therapy is Working: You consider using healthy coping mechanisms more
You consider using healthy coping mechanisms more. Maybe not every single time, but let’s face it, healing is hard. It’s normal to fall back into old behaviors or habits you are trying to work on moving forward from. Even in these instances, you recognize what you could have done instead.
Prior to starting therapy, you may have used coping mechanisms that were unhealthy, whether you were aware of that or not. This includes engaging in self-harming behaviors, such as cutting or burning. You may have also used drugs or alcohol to subdue emotional pain.
Now, you consider healthier alternatives for yourself. Maybe you want to turn to something relaxing, such as deep breathing, taking a walk, or spending time with a close friend. You recognize that your past coping mechanisms did not truly help, and sometimes just made the situations worse for yourself.
You and your therapist can come up with a list of healthy coping mechanisms to engage in rather than previously unhealthy ones. Depending on your interests, available resources, time, and more, you can find effective ways to self-regulate.
3 Signs Therapy is Working: You notice small changes in yourself
You aren’t going to see massive changes happen overnight after your therapy session. As life presents itself with opportunities to practice the work outside of sessions, you will notice changes in your behavior or perceptions.
These small changes may make themselves known in the moment where you’d usually feel triggered, distressed, etc. Something that would usually upset or discourage you, doesn’t as much anymore.
You notice feeling better about yourself and life in general. You may have a greater appreciation or gratitude for yourself and the things around you. This includes nature, things you currently have, the relationships you have, and more.
There may be excitement or contentment instead of anxiety around certain things. You may feel more outgoing, or happy about being a homebody and staying in. Regardless of what it may be, you’ve accepted parts of your reality, and can feel good or neutral about them.
You and your therapist can reflect back on where you started, to where you’ve come in session. Change may not always feel significant, even though it is.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues, as well as information on Therapy: Where to Start.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.