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  • Mary Katherine L

How to Know if Therapy is Working

Even if you are finding therapy to be helpful, maybe you aren't sure that it's working. Here are three ways that you can know if therapy is working.

Keep track of your progress by using scaling questions.

Scaling questions are what therapists call questions like, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how anxious did you feel this week?"

Start asking yourself scaling questions relevant to your reason for attending therapy. Either keep track of your answers to note changes over time, or ask yourself scaling questions that are also comparative. For example, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how much more confident do I feel about tackling my anxiety?"

Take some time to think about what you've learned.

During the last session, I like to do an exercise with my clients where "Last Session Client" writes a letter to "First Session Client" in which they compare how they were feeling during the first session to how they are feeling during the last session. They also let their "First Session Self" know what they'll learn as well as what they'll need to keep working on.

Writing a letter to your past self, or just making a list, can be a great way to intentionally reflect on the new thought patterns you've built, the new skills you've acquired, and the new changes you've made.

Ask your therapist.

It has been my experience that clients don't always see their own progress. So, ask your therapist what changes they see. You may be surprised by the ways that you've grown without even realizing it.


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