Can Therapy Make My Problems Worse by Bringing Up Painful Memories or Trauma?

It’s very important that you have a therapist who is trauma-informed if you are going to therapy to process trauma. Processing trauma is something that needs to be done delicately and at the correct pace for the patient. If it is rushed, it can cause harm, so therapists need to be careful and well-trained. Rushing trauma processing can be very harmful, and this is not just something for the therapist to keep in mind but something for you – the client – to do as well.

It can be easy to get frustrated as the client and feel like you’re not making enough progress. Maybe you feel like you’re not doing ‘good enough’, your therapist isn’t working hard enough for or with you, you’re upset because therapy costs money and you want to be seeing results, or maybe you simply want to be better. It could be a combination of these factors or something unique to your situation. Checking in about these possibilities is never a bad idea – talking to your therapist about these concerns can be good. Sit down and talk about how you feel you’re not making the progress you want. They might see more progress than you do and be able to reflect that, or they might be able to adjust your treatment approach. However, trying to push yourself to ‘get to the hard stuff fast’ isn’t a healthy approach to therapy.

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