Relationship Counseling in Dallas – Coltharp Counseling

The mental health profession is an unusual field to work in. Unlike my prior career as a mechanical engineer, professional counseling is more of a soft science where successful treatment cannot easily be quantified. Every individual client has a unique set of circumstances and past experiences that have resulted in their current state of being. Thankfully, there are common patterns present throughout the therapeutic process that can help measure a client’s gradual progress in reaching their goals. Below are three ways of knowing if therapy is working for you.

1.  Decreased Symptoms

The most obvious measurement of counseling success is the client experiencing a decrease in symptoms that initially led them to seek help in the first place. That breakup that seemed unbearable a few months ago no longer feels like the end of the world. Or perhaps it’s become easier to get up in the morning and go to work. Maybe you are feeling less anxious about your dating life and no longer need constant reassurance from your boyfriend that he’s still attracted to you. When feelings of pain, fear, boredom, disgust and frustration aren’t as overbearing as they once were, it’s a good sign that therapy is working.  

2. Heightened Emotional Awareness

Have you ever seen a blurry image come into focus? What once seemed obscure gradually became easier to identify as the picture sharpened. Professional counseling has a similar effect on clients. Prior to starting therapy, you might have had a gut feeling that something did not quite feel right, but you couldn’t identify what was wrong. However, after some time in working with your therapist it became apparent that people were pushing your emotional boundaries and taking advantage of you. New insights into relationship dynamics may lead to you setting boundaries in toxic relationships and gravitating to people who really care about you and want you to succeed. 

3. Recurring Positive Behaviors

The Japanese word “kaizen” means “gradual and continuous improvement.” Counseling education is primarily about helping clients learn how to take charge of their lives and advance to a higher state of being. Many times when I begin working with new clients they often tell me that they are defeated and lost. They say that they feel exhausted and numb, and are resigned to live an empty and meaningless life. And yet through our work together many of them transition away from giving up and shift towards taking charge and creating the lives that they want to live. Signing up for interesting classes, meeting new people, traveling the world, etc. are positive behavioral signs that therapy is helping you get to where you want to be. 

How to Get to Where You Want to Be

It’s important to remember that clients can and should routinely ask their therapist how their counseling treatment is progressing. Professional therapy is an investment of time and energy, and clients should feel comfortable in their working relationship with their counselors. 

My primary goal in working with each and every one of my clients is to create a safe and engaging therapeutic environment purposefully designed to help you reach your goals.

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