A lot of people take tentative steps forward as they start in the journey for therapy.

It starts with recognising that something is not quite right with your life, that you are feeling depressed, that you have nightmares, that you are hypervigilant when you go out. You may have had problems all your life but never felt in a position to be able to do anything about them.

One fear that my clients talk to me about is worrying that therapy will actually make them feel worse. Somehow we move through life thinking that we should not air our dirty washing in public, that we should not feel, that we should just push things down and carry on regardless. I actually think that this is really unhelpful. I guess a fear is that everyone will suddenly become uncontrollable and everywhere we look people will be shouting, screaming, crying, breaking down and unable to return to any sense of normality.

Well sometimes in my sessions clients do express high levels of emotion but it rarely stays the same forever and clients work through a variety of different emotions. 

Many people are fearful of opening pandora’s box, of finding out negative things about themselves that they did not know before. Somehow we are fearful that there is a whole other set of experiences that have happened in our life and we have no recollection of. In my 20 years of providing psychological therapy, I have rarely seen this happen. I often see people reconnect with experiences but not always in a negative way. For example when working through a birth trauma, the client suddenly remembered a midwife who helped her shower and how lovely that felt. 

I specialise with working with people who have experienced trauma in their past. Trauma that is still impacting on their current functioning now.

If you are considering whether therapy is the right thing for you, it can feel like it’s a tough decision to make. Either you carry on regardless, carry on as you are or you try and process and work through these past experiences so that they stop having such an impact on your functioning now.

The problem with therapy is that there is no certainty, we can not clearly say. Yes if you come for 10 sessions and talk about these experiences your current difficulties will go. But when in life is anything so certain? Who would ever have thought school would be cancelled for a few months or that we would all be working from home like we are now as a result of Covid. We can however look at the evidence around psychological therapy, I can share my personal experience of working with clients and the transformation that they have experienced. I rarely see people who make no progress. For me in our early sessions together we focus on your treatment goals and our treatment always reflects on what you want to achieve through engaging in therapy. 

Click here find out more about what an EMDR session might look like https://drhannahbryan.com/2020/06/what-happens-in-an-emdr-session/

So in summary there is always a risk, with anything that it could be harmful and it could make you feel worse, but if you are working with a therapist who you feel you can engage with, if you have a good understanding of your treatment goals and what you want to work on you can usually do some great work together. It’s hard, deep emotional work so it’s certainly not easy.