How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have recently starting seing a psychotherapist I've had

This answer was rated:

Hi There,
I have recently starting seing a psychotherapist I've had about 7 sessions now. I originally started as I have always had phases of feeling quite low, but could manage on my own but lately it all got too much and I sought some help, I am under quite a lot of pressure at work, have lots of historical family issues I also have a lot of issues with covering up my feelings and not really displaying the real me. That is just a short summary, I have been feeling pretty awful after each session, I feel worse, so much so I have had to take time of work, I'm withdrawing from my family and friends and seem to live in a world of my own, I have had some thoughts of hurting myself too but haven't actually done anything I don't think I would but the nagging thoughts are there. I get on well with the therapist and have disucssed this with her (I didn't mention the hurting myself point) she said it was normal and things usually get worse before they get better, I asked how long this would take and she said she couldn't answer this as everyone is different, but I was just wanted to ask someone else to double check this as I don't want to be taken advantage of as I am paying for for this privately and have heard lots of stories of therapists pro-longing theraphy for financial gain. I really don't think this is the case but it has been on my mind? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

First, I'm sorry that you are going through this and feeling worse. You seem quite in touch with how you feel and very aware of any issues you have to deal with. This tells me that you are motivated and insightful.

You said that you have seen your therapist for about 7 sessions so far. Depending on the type of therapy you are in, that could be a short or normal amount of time. I say this because although there are many different types of therapy, there are two that are most commonly used. Psychotherapy, basically "talk" therapy", can be open ended. You stop when you and the therapist feel you have gotten to the point you can cope on your own and your issues are manageable. Cognitive therapy, on the other hand, averages about 16 sessions. This type of therapy focuses on behavior based therapy. Homework assignments are common, making the actual needed therapy time less than regular therapy.

Your therapist is right. When you are in therapy, talking about your issues and feelings can make you feel a bit worse. You spend all that time talking about things that are upsetting you, and resolution of these issues is a slow process. Digging in and bringing up painful problems can make you more acutely aware of sadness, depression and other challenging feelings.However, if at any time you feel that you are not making progress and that your therapist is not listening to you and not responding in a helpful way, try another therapist. The trick here is to know when you are uncomfortable because you are working on a tough issue as opposed to when you just feel you are not making progress because the therapist is preventing your progress by not helping you appropriately.

However, I'm am most concerned that you have had feelings of hurting yourself but have not mentioned this to your therapist. It is important she is aware of how you feel so she may best assess how to treat you. If you are fearful you will be hospitalized, be aware that you can only be committed if you have a clear intention of hurting yourself. Otherwise, you can refuse treatment (this is true for the US. If you are elsewhere, you may ask your therapist for the rules around this). It is your right.

The fact that you are in therapy, that you are reaching out on Just Answer, and that you seem insightful and motivated all gives me the feeling that you are better off than you feel. Clients who are able to do those things often get better and do very well in therapy and beyond.

You may have already done this, but I suggest you seek out other ways to help yourself along with therapy. If I may suggest a few books that will give you some insight into your issues. One is called The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by ***** *****, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Another is Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor. Both of these can be found on or your local library may be able to get you a copy.

Most of all keep in mind that you are doing the right thing by reaching out and seeking help. Your willingness to do so will go a long way in helping you feel better.

I hope this has helped you,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you this has helped a lot. I am in the UK so will ask my therapist about rules.

I will also try to be completley honest with her.

Thanks again..

You are welcome! Take care.


Related Mental Health Questions