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lallieth

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Women, Abuse and Trauma Therapy - How Do I Know If My Therapy Is Helping?
CAMH

It is very important to develop a trusting relationship with a therapist, and to feel comfortable and respected. However, this is only part of the therapy.

You may find that once you start therapy, you feel worse at first, but this does not mean the therapy isn't working. However, some women find that they are always in a state of crisis. Their therapists may not have helped them develop ways to cope with their overwhelming emotions. If this is true for you, the therapy is probably moving too quickly. Or your therapist may be getting you to think and talk about the traumatic events before you are ready.

You'll know if the therapy is working by asking yourself the following questions.

Increased ability to soothe yourself
  • Are you better able to understand, recognize and name your traumatic responses and the things that can trigger these responses?
  • Are you feeling more content in your life?
  • Are you getting upset less often?
  • If you get upset, do you think that you will be able to take care of yourself?
  • If you get upset, can you recognize that something from the past has affected the present?
Understanding yourself
  • Do you have more insight about the events in your life and how they affected you?
  • Do you know what you are working on in therapy, and do you have clear goals in therapy?
  • Can you see that some ways of coping that once helped are now causing problems?
  • Do you have a better understanding of the behaviours you developed as a means to cope and adapt to life?
Positive Coping
  • Are you able to set limits and boundaries with people? Do you feel more in control of your own life?
  • Have you been able to develop more positive and effective ways of coping?
  • Do you have a safety plan? For example, if you are re-experiencing the abuse through flashbacks or nightmares, do you have a plan that includes methods to soothe yourself, techniques to help you separate the past from the present, or a list of names of friends or supports to call?
  • Can you apply the skills and methods you leaned from therapy to other aspects of your life?
 

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