The short answer to this question is: no. I know that people love to see their therapists. It feels good to be understood and validated. I get it, and I want to say this: yes, you’re right and you are entitled to those feelings. Listen, after I see my therapist I feel awesome. She hears me, gives me homework, and is, in general, a wonderful human being. Sometimes we disagree on things but we talk about it when we do. It’s so important to have an open and honest dialogue with your therapist. You want to be able to be yourself with them. The more you hide from your therapist, the less effective your treatment will be. It’s important to make sure that you’re an honest person in therapy so that your therapist knows you, otherwise what is the point of going to see them?
Even though I believe therapy is great, I believe the best sort of therapy is time-limited. There are different forms of therapy that do last long periods of time, like psychoanalysis. And then there are shorter ones like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It depends on your individual needs. One reason, sadly, that therapy shouldn’t last forever is that it’s expensive, and free therapy or counseling is hard to find. It’s certainly out there but you’ve got to research it. There are many options for how to get well and you’ve got to do what’s best for you.
I believe that therapy shouldn’t last forever because you are there to gain the tools to help yourself. Your therapist’s job is to help you develop that skill set. You shouldn’t have to rely on them for guidance for the rest of eternity. You want to be able to use the tools you’re taught in their office and apply them to your everyday life. Now, if you don’t believe in therapy, that’s another story. There are some people out there who are convinced that therapy will not make a difference in their lives. I’ve given up on convincing people that therapy is the right choice for them. I don’t have to be the poster woman for therapy. Therapy isn’t paying me to advertise for it. Therapy is something that helps me on a personal level and if you’re interested in knowing more about that I am happy to explain how it does that. But what also helps is having a support system. What’s important is communicating with your friends and family what’s happening in your life. What is going to make you feel well is setting boundaries with others and not accepting less than you deserve. Saying no to projects when you can’t do them is helpful.
Therapy is part of a plan to be well, but don’t think it’s the only answer. It’s best when used with a combination of lifestyle changes. Think about what your challenges are, and then use therapy as a part of your plan. Here I am telling you what to do again. You can take or leave my advice. If you want to stay in therapy indefinitely that is your choice and go with that. But if you want to use it as a means of learning skills you can do that too! What works for you?