The earliest signs of progress in therapy often manifest as increasing awareness of the various ways in which one is “stuck.” Relatively early in treatment, the client may begin to recognize self-defeating patterns or habits of thinking, feeling and behaving without necessarily being able to change them immediately. Later, after watching these habits at work and discussing with the therapist the causes and effects of these habits, the individual is able to make concrete changes and let go of old patterns. As this self-actualization process deepens, the client begins to feel more natural, spontaneous and at ease in all areas of life. Genuine emotions come more freely and relationships deepen. Old patterns of worrying and obsessing become much less disruptive.
Along the way, however, there are likely to be difficult times in treatment, and it is not uncommon for the client to experience occasional periods of increased confusion or anxiety—at times possibly feeling angry with, resentful toward, or distrustful of the therapist. Ironically, although such times may be difficult, they can also be some of the most encouraging signs of therapeutic progress and real-life change. If you at times feel frustrated with the therapy process, openly discuss these feelings with your therapist as he/she is trained to use these doubts as powerful treatment tools rather than distracting obstacles.