The Benefits and Risks of Therapy

Therapy can be very beneficial, but there are some risks as well that you should know about. There is a risk clients will have for a time uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings. Clients may recall unpleasant memories. These feelings or memories may bother a client at work or in school. Clients in therapy often have problems in their relationships. Therapy may lead to a disruption in a marital relationship and may lead to divorce. Occasionally, a client’s problem may temporarily worsen after the beginning of treatment. These risks are expected when people are making any important changes in their lives. Finally, even with our best efforts, there is a risk that therapy may not work out well for you.

While you consider these risks, you should know also that the benefits of therapy have been shown by researchers in hundreds of well-designed research studies. People who are depressed may find their mood lifting. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious. In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are solved. Clients’ relationships and coping skills may improve greatly. They may get more satisfactions out of social and family relationships. Their personal goals and values may become clearer. They may grow in many directions–as persons, inc their close relationships, in their work or schooling, and in the ability to enjoy their lives. I am optimistic that with consistent effort and time, progress can be made. It is however, important for you to know that no promises can be made my me about the results of treatment or the number of sessions necessary for therapy to be effective.