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what to expect when you begin therapy

Beginning Therapy :: Sometimes You Feel Worse Before You Feel Better

You’ve finally found a therapist that you trust, you’re opening up, being honest about the parts of yourself and areas of your life that could use some help. You may actually feel better—validated, stronger and more confident. Someone finally “gets” you. There is some relief in feeling less alone with your problems. If you ask people new to therapy how they feel, you may get different responses. Many feel better, get some relief, and then stop therapy. Some individuals notice after they begin therapy that they feel worse than before. Therapists don’t advertise the latter, but they should tell you that psychotherapy and counseling can kick up some uncomfortable feelings and emotions, initially, and from time to time. You may also notice that your friends and family are not so delighted with the new YOU. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and it doesn’t always, but often, it does! It’s a pretty common occurrence when people begin to change as a result of therapy and those closest to you are less than delighted.

People liked you the way you were, and now you’ve made some changes. You’ve rewritten the script, so to speak. You may be more assertive, or communicate your needs more effectively. Heck, you may have expressed needs for the first time in your life. This is inconvenient for those invested in the old you.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a New York licensed Psychotherapist and Consultant with extensive training and experience. She provides pscyhological consultation, therapy and coaching to a range of clients including high-profile clients, working in-person, online and worldwide. As an EMDR therapist, couples therapist + women's emotional health expert, her specialties include: anxiety, depression, trauma resolution, addictions, relationship, intimacy and sexual concerns, health + autoimmune issues, loss + grief, creative, VIP + high-profile clients. She enjoys writing, photography, yoga, travel and really good key lime pie. For more, subscribe to her newsletter or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Psychology Today, EMDRIA and her personal website www.kimseelbrede.com or blog.