Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Many clients seek out psychotherapy when they have reached the limit of their ability to solve their own problems. They see the therapist as an expert who has some sort of special or magical knowledge that supercedes the client's own knowledge.
Unlike most medical care, psychotherapy requires a highly active role on the part of the patient. While the therapist holds specialized knowledge of principles of personality, behavior change, emotional intelligence, and healing, they can only be a guide. The client remains the expert on their own feelings, thoughts, and actions. It is only through a close collaboration of therapist and client that care can be individualized enough to be applied to the client's own life and circumstances.
When you begin psychotherapy, you can expect to be asked a lot of questions. Some will be simple questions asking for factual answers, but others will require soul-searching and discomfort before you find the answers within. Recommendations of the therapist will be experiments in which you will be asked to observe your responses to following their advice. Recommendations that do not work out are not a failure by the client, but a discovery that the solution may need alteration.
It takes time for a client to come to trust the therapist, and for the solutions discovered in therapy to enact lasting life change. If you are becoming disheartened, it is only in discussing your concerns with your therapist that other options for a solution can be explored and healing can begin.