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  • Dayna Sharp, LCSW

What to Do When Therapy Hasn't Worked in the Past




Have you tried therapy in the past, that didn't "work"? Maybe you went just a few times and didn't feel good about your therapist. Or maybe you worked with someone for a few months, felt better for a while, but then started to feel bad all over again. Either way, it's a disappointing and frustrating experience when you put yourself out there, call a therapist, schedule an appointment, do the work, and in the end, feels like it may have been all for nothing.


It's Not Your Fault


Sometimes when this happens, people think it's their fault. That maybe they're "too damaged" or "too broken" for therapy to help them. This is 100% NOT TRUE. The truth is, sometimes the relationship between a therapist and a client just isn't a good match. Another truth is that all therapists have a different background--varying personal experiences and different education, training and skillsets. It's possible that your needs (everyone has them) just weren't able to be met by the particular therapist(s) that you've worked with in the past, either because they couldn't relate, or they didn't have the training to (try to) understand. You don't carry the burden of that!


It's also important to consider that there are many different kinds of therapy, and that not every modality will "work" for everyone. So if you had a therapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and you've had childhood relational trauma, while it might help to work on reframing thoughts, the therapy might not feel right, or you might not see lasting change that you deserve.


Try Again


It's easy for me to sit behind my computer and advise you to try again. To take another risk--when perhaps over and over again you've been let down. But I'm not the kind of therapist that gives flippant advice without feeling the vulnerability myself. And what I will say is that if you have been disappointed by a therapist or therapists or other people who were supposed to support you in life, it's even more important to try again. It's a near revolutionary act that signifies that you matter enough to try and it's a step outside of self blame and hopelessness that isn't--and likely was never yours to carry at all. To carefully choose someone who will be able to do the work, stick by you even when things get hard (because they do in every relationship), so that you can have a new experience where you can have your needs met, where you can feel better about your self and your relationships, it is one of the most important opportunities that you can give yourself.


At Creating Space Counseling and Wellness, I understand how hard it can be to take that first step. I get how hard it can be to find a therapist who feels *right*, to try again. I've worked with many people who have tried therapy in the past that didn't work for them, yet who have been able to find support, comfort and healing in their therapy with me. So, I know that it's possible to find what you need in therapy, even when it hasn't worked in the past.

Call Creating Space Counseling and Wellness today to schedule your first appointment. 856-281-1664

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