The short answer to a topic such as this is that: if you have the means to continue to go, then go. The ‘means’ being money or an insurance plan that funds this. This is a common point to come to in therapy- the question of whether or not you should continue therapy after you start to feel better or after problems in your family have begun to quell. The answer is yes. Part of life is the natural highs and lows that come with it. There will be things that happen day to day that you will appreciate from an outward perspective.
“Therapy can be a place where a person can feel fully accepted for who they are, with all their unique abilities, quirks, gifts and talents and where their challenges can be understood in a compassionate way.” Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT often says. The more you go to therapy the deeper your relationship with your therapist will become and the more comfortable you will get confiding in them! It will begin to feel more like a relationship than something to just go to.
A common misbelief is that it is unnecessary to continue counseling after you have received the help that you need for the issue that you originally started coming in for. For instance, if you were experiencing a communication issue with your boyfriend, and that has been resolved, you may feel the need to discontinue going to counseling. While that is a fine option, it is still beneficial to have someone to talk and vent to about day- to day problems, especially if problems in your relationship arise again. A counselor can offer a fresh perspective on why your partner does the things they do and break repetitive relationship- centered thought patterns that lead to unhealthy behaviors. But then, “Therapy helps people to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships, become free of old patterns, or simply find ways to process pain or memories that have kept them feeling stuck,” says Dr. Mitch Keil, a clinical psychologist.
Counseling is especially true for families. The natural consequence of counseling is that things will go smoother in your household and so cutting back on the sessions could be a natural progression. It is recommended that families in therapy continue for at least 6 months after the first session. This is so that families can work towards effective communication without a mediator in the future.
Stressors as a Teen
Continuing counseling means continuing progression. There are numerous places to touch and improve on. This is especially true if you are a teen. Stress related to school, finding colleges, jobs, and financial stress, and peer groups are all things that a counselor can shed light on and work through with you. Sometimes, your counselor acts more like a life coach. They will share resources with you and sit down to make pros and cons lists. They will share books and articles with you. They will research colleges and after high-school options with you. Your counselor will become your biggest fan and biggest advocator who can help steer you in the right direction. “Counseling is an empowering process in which people take responsibility for and control over their lives.” Brittany N. Murphy, PHD, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH said.
For Mental Health
If you have an overarching mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, or anger…It is probably most important for you to keep attending counseling sessions. Mental health should be put at top priority, as it dictates most every other aspect of our lives. It is something that is deeply rooted and affects us in ways we aren’t fully aware of. Counseling is the most effective tool for uncovering these issues and starting to recover from them.
For Past Trauma
If you are attending counseling for trauma work, it’s no doubt that what you are dealing with is intense and that the nature of your counseling sessions is intense. This is probably the counseling scenario that has the most amount of individuals running. What is important to remember is that this is a temporary thing that will benefit you long term. In order to move on to the future, you must rid yourself of the past- and counseling is the safest place to do this.