Who would run away
Why would someone begin therapy only to stop shortly after? It is not really about why but rather what kind of personality they have. Some people like to avoid. Avoid confrontation. Avoid being assertive. Avoid being vulnerable. Avoid being outside their comfort zone. Being a patient in therapy could be all the above.
The good news is that if you are able to keep on going to therapy, you can work through each of these reasons you may experience. If there is a chance for you to be able to work on these things, a non-judgmental and supportive environment would be most beneficial. Unfortunately, there are some that have not been treated properly by their previous therapist. That puts a bad taste in their mouth and becomes one more thing they try to avoid. Therapy should be a place you could learn to trust, and see how allowing yourself to feel vulnerable ends up being valuable to you. Once having a negative experience associated with therapy, it is more difficult to try to again.
Trying to stay positive and realistic, I have heard some upsetting situations about people being turned off from therapy. At the same time, I have also heard of many more people that found therapy helpful. I understand it is easier for me to recommend trying another therapist then it is for you actually go.
I want to discuss one example that is relevant to many people. Relationships. A therapeutic relationship is different than others. However, it is still a relationship. If a patient comes in, trying to “make my life miserable” by testing me, by me not reacting to them, they can learn to trust that not everyone wants to see them hurt. Once that is clear, the work with relationships outside the room can begin and I have a better idea of how they treat others. There are also those who come to therapy who have a hard time expressing themselves in session. As they learn to feel more confident with themselves and not worry about what people think, they bring it outside the room as well.
As a therapist, I only know what I see and am told. I ask questions if I am confused about something or just need more clarity. Through that, we both learn to understand you better. Sometimes, it is learning that other people don’t treat you well and you need to set boundaries healthy for yourself. There is usually a combination but you could only do what is in your power. You may need to make decisions when it comes to behaviors of others that is not your job or place to change.
Through speaking to your therapist and working together in a positive way, you really can feel happier. If you don’t know how to start, ask the therapist to help you with goals. They may not do the work for you but will help you understand what you want therapy to be about.
Therapy is uncomfortable at times. There are other times it feels good. That is why commitment is so important. You are saying that regardless of each individual session, you will look at the overall picture of progress. You will feel bad sometimes, especially when memories you don’t want to think about are brought up. Think about it! If these memories are causing such unpleasant feelings, do you think that they weren’t there to begin with?
Running away from therapy because it is too hard for you to be there is sending yourself the message, AGAIN, that you can’t do it. If it feels to difficult for you, let the therapist know. Get to know the therapists’ personality and views on things through casual conversation. Listen to questions and feedback and guidance to see if the therapist could be helpful. Of course you need to feel comfortable. Sometimes though, a therapist will not be the look you like physically, won’t have the tone of voice you like, or be the right age. If you are looking for help, then focus on that. Does the therapist have the right skills for you?
Not every therapist will be the correct match, but only you know if you gave it your all before quitting.