When Therapy Doesn’t Help

By Joe Nelson | January 24, 2007 10:52 am

Diabetes is a condition that can make people feel like they have done something wrong even when they haven’t. The unpredictable fluctuations and frustrations that come with diabetes, even when you behave the way health-care professionals have suggested, can make you think that you messed up. For instance, when someone like me suggests that if you go to therapy you will feel better, and you follow my advice, you expect that you will feel better. However, sometimes that isn’t the outcome. So what might interfere with effective therapy, and who is at fault?

This is a complex question, and all of the people involved likely share some of the responsibility.

First, you must ask yourself the following questions: Why are you going to therapy, and what do you want to change? Most of us who seek therapy have some type of pain or problem that we can’t resolve on our own. We may be struggling with relationships, strong feelings that can get carried away, or some behavior we would like to alter. Clearly, we want help in moving ourselves or others from our current situation.

The more clear and specific you can be about what you want to change, the better your chances of finding a therapist who can be helpful. If you are uncertain about what issue you want help with, the therapist can help you identify it, but it might take a couple of sessions to figure that out. Once you have identified the “what,” the therapist will hopefully be able to identify the “how” part of the process. The therapist should be able to verbalize to you how he is going to be helpful and what part you will play in the process.


Now I’ll identify some of the issues that can interfere with good therapy. If you have further questions about these, I hope that you will leave a comment at the end of this blog entry.