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  • Therapy Didn’t Work for Me: Now What?

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    You asks, “ therapy didn’t work for me. So what’s next.” 

    This is from the video series called Ask this Filipina Therapist. If you’d rather view the video, watch here-Therapy Didn’t Work for Me: Now What?

    Have you tried various healers from Reiki to a licensed practitioner and find yourself still surviving the everyday grind of merely surviving, and managing your symptoms?


    therapy didn't work

    I often come across clients who have seen multiple providers to no avail. Sheila shared “ she gave me a few tools, it was ok,” when talking about her past therapist.

    Sometimes, the culture we live in that emphasizes consumerism (consuming more goods and services) can set up this trap for all of us. 

    Do you find yourself buying books or courses, eager to start but don’t finish?

    Watching a new movie on Netflix every time not even remembering the plot of the last movie you’ve seen.

    Consumerism has seeped into our lives including  the therapy room. I’ve written about this in a separate article Consumerism in the Therapy Room. You can also watch the corresponding video here.



    This is a good question to be curious about. Perhaps, as a psychotherapist, I might hold a leaning towards the answer, yes. I will do my best to give a balance response.

    Therapy does not only happen in the therapy room. It can happen in the theater (for actors), in the garden, in the art studio, in nature. 

    When choosing the right fit for you, lean on what feels right without the whispers of everyone around you. One of things that is thwarted in the culture of consumerism, or in the case of trauma, is your ability to trust your own intuition. 

    The danger of trying too many things in the realm of healing is that the perceived failure in one modality  brings your hopefulness confidence down. Then,, you end up with the conclusion that therapy isn’t for me.

    It’s quite possible that therapy in the therapy room isn’t a good fit for you.

    But, there is a therapy that can work for you.



    This is not an exhaustible list but questions that can point you to the right direction. 

    1. What do I like to do for fun?
    2. What does an ideal therapist/ healer feels like to me? Close your eyes and you can visualize. 
    3. Do I feel that my therapist connects with me deeply?
    4. Am I too busy using too many variety of healing modalities at one time?
    5. Do I take the time to practice what is experienced in the therapy room (I’m an experiential therapist. Meaning, practice is done in the therapy room)?
    6. Are the systems around me set up for me to be successful in my healing? (are you living with a mother who violates your boundary while you’re working on setting healthy boundaries for yourself)?
    7. Is healing or being successful in my personal transformation prove costly to my relationships? ( watch the video: Unpleasant Exchange for Therapy).
    8. What is my learning style and does it match my past healers’ teaching style?
    9. Do you have a creative expression you are exploring (journaling, collaging, any art) or using with your therapist?
    10. Am I willing to do depth work ( if therapy in the past didn’t work or worked short-term, it may be because it only touches the surface like cutting-off weed only to show up the next day)?

    therapy room


    First of all, you deserve the right to take a break from therapy. My recommendation is that once you’re ready to access care, take your time finding the best fit therapist/healer for you not who other people say was the best for them.

    Group coaching may have its purpose if you’re working on simply improving a skill (which can be done in therapy as well depending on the specialization of the therapist).I wouldn’t recommend it if you’ve been disappointed with the different types of therapies you’ve received. 

    At this point, you need tailored care and most importantly, a corrective experience from your past experience of therapy. If you’ve never been in a group and the group is led by a trained healer/therapist, research and see if you’re called to do this.

    The issue with groups is that it leans on the phenomenon that people want to belong ( to be in the in-group), and participants match what is working with others, to work for them. When this doesn’t work, a healer may propose that your issue is graver than she has evaluated (this should’ve been done in the beginning, before taking your money) and that you should see a therapist instead. This can create a cycle of shame and makes you label yourself as a special case.

    Watch the video below as I answer the question, Therapy Didn’t Work for Me: Now What?


    It’s possible that your shopping around for various forms of healing is creating short-term transformation effect . Aside from the expertise of your practitioner, research tells us that your relationship with your chosen healer is a portal to your own healing.

    Therapy does not solely happen in the therapy room. 

    You can take a break.

    You deserve the best care.

    Healing is possible. 

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