In the middle stages of therapy, clients will usually take one of two paths. They either drop out and quit the process, or they stick it out and work through their issues. The truth is that this stage of therapy can become extremely uncomfortable. This discomfort is understandable, because the dust being kicked up in therapy sessions may have previously seemed as though it settled. The connections between current conflicts/issues and unresolved business are not obvious, which can result in unease. However, these connections are often necessary to draw in order to progress to making a permanent change.
Change is complicated. It takes a great deal of bravery to even entertain the thought of therapy, yet this experience can be extremely beneficial. If you are going to walk into the this territory, though, you have to remember that therapy is not always a comfortable, pleasant way to travel through your journey. While you gain an understanding of how current problems are connected to past events and your own present style of thought, you may likely feel agitated and confused. It is intimidating to learn how you may hold more responsibility over your current situation than you previously had thought. If you don’t press on at this juncture, you are more likely going to return to previous patterns. If you continue the path, although it is challenging, you will likely see how liberating it is to take such responsibility.
Taking on such a level of responsibility for yourself is a undertaking. There is often a lack of awareness about these particular issues. Many times this lack of awareness is something that has developed over the course of many years. Therefore, changing how you think about things doesn’t change overnight. The following suggestions can help you make it through this challenging process:
1. Remember that distractions are OK. Find healthy hobbies to keep you active, friends to hang out with, as long as you don’t completely avoid doing your therapy assignments.
2. Talk to your therapist about your discomfort. Rather than stopping therapy at this point, ask if your feelings are typical.
3. Remember what your end goal is, which is to feel better overall. You may have felt less intense feelings prior to starting therapy, but you are trying to make sense of something that is confusing and complex.
4. Do your assignments! It is common that people in therapy do not complete their therapy assignments. This is a problem because it slows the process of change down. Remember that the goal of therapy sessions is to process what you are practicing in between your sessions.
When going through therapy (if it is productive) you are likely going to experience some uneasy feelings about the changes you are trying to make. It is important to know that these feelings are common, and to some extent, to be expected. Remember to be open with your therapist about these feelings, so that he can help you through them. Also, remember that this unease will likely help you reach your long-term goal, which is general contentment.