When people decide to go to therapy, often times they think it will be an answer to all of their problems, miraculously curing them of any neurosis or anxieties they may have. Unfortunately, that is not how therapy works. The process is long, difficult and exhausting. There are many stages of therapy you must go through if you want to come out the other end a healthier, happier and centered person.
The beginning of therapy is always the hardest step. After you have taken the incredibly difficult step of deciding to go to therapy, you will have your first consultation. At this meeting the therapist will ask a series of questions with the intention of getting to the root of why you wanted to start therapy. You will probably talk about the most traumatic events of your life within the first twenty minutes. This mental breakdown takes people by surprise. It is important to understand that you have to be mentally broken down before you can be put together in a whole and healthy way. This is also how some therapists decide if they are equipped to help their patient or if they should be referred to a specialist. Do not be alarmed if you have a horrible first session. It is an uphill battle.
Once major issues have been identified, the middle part begins. This where you will become more relaxed with your therapist and begin creating better life strategies. You will inspect your problems more critically than ever before, analyzing each action. You will speak about your issues and life events in greater detail than ever before, describing how they affected you in the moment and created a lasting effect in your life. This will help prevent you from making the same mistakes as before. The middle part of therapy lasts the longest out of the three stages. For some people this can even mean years of a middle part. The duration is determined by you and your therapist based on the rate of your progress.
The other purpose of the middle part of therapy is to identify when to end therapy. Because of the nature of the relationship between patient and therapist, ending the relationship can be a very difficult thing to do. During the end period, your therapist will discuss your progress with you and reiterate the strategies that have helped. Patients are often referred to other specialists or other forms of help such as support groups. Just because one on one therapy with your therapist is over does not mean you cannot continue the healing process. Each stage is an integral part of successful therapy.