When Therapy Doesn’t Work, What To Do Next

According to Psychology Today, Psychotherapy or therapy is defined as the practice of spending time with a trained professional usually a psychologist, a social worker, or a licensed counselor to help diagnose and treat mental and emotional problems. Psychotherapy can be conducted via a variety of ways such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy also known as CBT is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Mental health is one of the most important health issues many American experience every year. According to American Psychology Association’s survey report, 48 percent of those polled reported a visit to a mental health professional by someone in their household in 2004. 87 percent of those polled pointed to lack of insurance coverage as a barrier to seeking treatment, and 81 percent pointed to cost concerns. But also, ninety-seven percent of respondents considered access to mental health services “important,” but only 70 percent feel they have adequate access to mental health care. Although the data is little older it is still important to notice how people are depending on therapy to cure their mental health but does therapy really work for people who are experiencing rock-bottom of their life?

In my personal experience, it failed because I was causing more troubles than fixing my own problems. I have a trouble past where I once wanted to end it all with ultimatum, but I wasn’t sure if this was the right choice to end my life. First, I was experiencing stress from school work, financial troubles, parent confrontation, and underachievement. I was hurting myself by smoking heavy, heavy dose of drugs usages, depression, anti-social, and anger management. Before Fall semester of 2015, I was expelled from Penn State University than my depression symptom got worse where I couldn’t control my anger due to underachievement. My parents did not know about this information because I was too scared to tell them. I started doing massive amount of marijuana to ease my stress level down over telling my parent about school issue. October 2015, my only friend at the time came to my apartment and suggested me to seek for help since he was worried that I will hurt myself even more if I don’t. I seek for help.

I resided in State College PA, so I searched and found a local therapist who can help my symptoms. Although, my family was very successful and gave me a lot of money for each semester living cost, but I spent every penny before visiting therapist. I met a Dr. Mitchell who helped me to ease my stress and behaviors, but we could not keep moving forward because I could not pay him. I told everything that I wanted to share with him so he can help me get better but I needed find a job to support myself and pay him. I met him twice a week where I needed at least 300 dollars per week so I seek for a job where I can make fast money. I became a delivery driver. For several months, the therapy worked well until I got into a major car accident when I stopped visiting therapist because I thought he did not help me at all. After I stopped seeing therapist, I started to cause more trouble with another car accident and smoking heavily while losing weights. Although I quit marijuana, I was feeling very underachieved since my sister was a pharmacist while I was expelled student who have mental health problem. My depression got worse until I talked to my family for truth year and half later. Until this day, I haven’t talked to my father for 2 years even when I transferred and readmitted to Penn State in Spring of 2018 semester. Although I miss talking to my father, I am planning to graduate from Penn State and talk to him when he is ready.

Meanwhile, there is another path to successful therapy if your therapist is not helping you enough. According to Dr. Young, he suggests four tips seeking help within therapy. First, ask your therapist about next step. You should ask your therapist when you feel your therapist is not helping by asking various questions how he or she can help you to lead to right direction. Next, pursue lifestyle changes. You need to other changes other than a therapy session to cure mental health by creating your own routine, involve in new health environment, eat healthy, sleep 7-8 hours at night, and exercise 150 minutes per week. Third, do your homework. Follow and do homework that therapist assigns you. You enable yourself to adopt new coping mechanisms and move beyond the struggles of the past. Last, try new therapist and talk to your doctor. If your therapist does not help you, find a new therapist who can help you. Talk to your doctor for recommendation. These are some tips for people who feel your therapist is not helping you, don’t hesitate and use these steps to heal your mentality.



Chamberlin, J. (2004, July/August). Survey says: More Americans are seeking mental health treatment. Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/survey


National Center for Health Statistics. (2017, May 03). Retrieved February 11, 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drug-use-therapeutic.htm

Young, Joel L. 2015. “When Therapy Doesn’t Work.” Psychology Today. Retrieved February 11, 2019 (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201501/when-therapy-doesnt-work).

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar