“I don’t know what I am doing in therapy…” (a phrase that makes me cringe!)

“I don’t know what I am doing in therapy…” (a phrase that makes me cringe!)

“I don’t know what I am doing in therapy…”  I have heard this time and time again, and truthfully- it drives me crazy!

Would you go to a mechanic and pay without know what was being done to your car?

Would you go to your primary care doctor with concerns and leave without knowing a treatment plan?

Then why, oh why, would you go to therapy and not know what you are doing there?  I hear people all the time, “Oh, I have been in therapy for years, but I don’t know what the plan is.” Or, the ever popular, “I just go and we talk, I don’t know what we are doing or if it is helping.”  I can completely understand why a person might think therapy is pointless if they are not getting the help they need, if there is no forward progress, and no means to measure success.

Therapy is there for you.  It is about you; your goals and your needs.  Your therapist should be constantly checking in with you, determining where you are and where you would like to go.  You should be part of the treatment plan development process, you should always know what you are working on, and you should be able to see your progress.

If your child is in therapy, the same applies.  You should understand the treatment plan, the coping skills or strategies your child is learning, how to support them at home, and given information, psycho-education, or referral sources for more information regarding their issues.  If the therapist says that is part of the child’s confidentiality, I highly suggest you talk to another therapist.  Respecting confidentially is different than conveying and understanding a treatment plan; additionally, children’s confidentially is different than adults.

Asking questions is not and should not be a “problem.”  Any therapist should take the time to explain anything you would like regarding your treatment, your diagnosis, or other treatment options.

Please, remember- it is your time, it is your money, it is your treatment- make sure it is what you need it to be.

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