Just how does one measure the value of therapy? It’s tempting to think the results are “intangible,” like “I’m less depressed or anxious about things than I used to be,” or “I’m getting along with my co-workers better now.” Here’s another one: “I feel better about myself than before.”

But let’s look at it a little more closely. I’ll give you real examples from real people with whom I’ve worked over the years. No identities are revealed, they are conglomerates of a number of different people, but completely real, ordinary situations with outcomes that are very typical of work that has happened in my practice.

“I’m less depressed than I used to be,” has meant “I’ve stopped gaining weight, I don’t need to sleep 10-14 hours/day, I have more energy to do the things that are meaningful to me, I’m not in danger of losing my job, I have energy to reach out to people where before I was too shut down. In fact I have met someone new and we’ve been seeing each other for about four months now. This person/relationship is so much healthier for me than the last situation was! I changed my job and I’m well on my way to establishing a meaningful career that I love.”

“I’m getting along better with my co-workers now,” has meant “I’m no longer in danger of losing my job. I feel calmer inside and I know myself so much better than I did before. I’m able to recognize why I get so triggered and I’m also able to manage those difficult feelings so that I’m not putting them on other people who really don’t deserve them. I’m much more patient with my kids, too, and they’re talking to me again. I’m actually beginning to believe I’ll have a chance to make up for some of the mistakes I’ve made that have hurt the people I love, and to build healthy relationships that I thought (feared) I had lost forever.”

“I feel better about myself than I did before” has meant “I am no longer willing to allow others to abuse me, to take advantage of me, or to be disrespectful to me. I’ve learned that I can set boundaries nicely, and don’t have to become a monster to let people know they’ve crossed a line. I’ve learned that I can have boundaries and people will still love me. If they don’t honor my boundaries, or respect me, then I know there are other people who will, and I don’t have to have disrespectful people in my life. I am secure in what I deserve, and by golly I’m getting it! I’m willing to go for things I used to think were out of reach, and finding that I can do them, and others want me to succeed. I am also learning who I can trust, because I have learned to trust myself. Oddly, I’m discovering it’s becoming easier to love and to feel loved, too.”

Cost of weekly therapy for six months: $2,500. Value of new relationships, saved relationships. Fresh enthusiasm for living a more purposeful and meaningful life. More honest and fulfilling marriage. Living with joy. Learning to trust and to love? Priceless

Author's Bio: 

Beth Strong, MA, LPC
Denver, CO 80206
303-322-4224 - Office