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Does psychotherapy really work?

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If you've already taken the course, please post your replies below. I'd love to hear from you!

Here's a few comments from members of the Counseling Psych Cafe.

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Laura (Michigan, USA)

This course has been very validating for me. It seems the work I am doing with my therapist is on target. My first two therapists were not holistic, but I reaped many benefits from working with them. The theraputic alliance was very powerful.

However, the work i am doing with my holistic therapist is more inside out type of work, full of shifts. He pushes me in ways that I need and he has my best interest at heart. I don't know what I would do without him. I treasure my time with him.

Roxanne (Santa Rosa, California)

Thank you for this free course! It is very generous of you and very helpful. I especially found the section on feeling your feelings and experiences to be most useful.

Your course helps me to see that therapy does take time and can't be rushed. I would be grateful if you talk about attachment and abandonment issues in the future and how best to revisit childhood stuff. Thanks again!

Tmara (Michigan, United States)

I appreciate your free seminars. I have been in therapy for about five years. I go to a private office because what I do is very visible in the community where I live. This is very costly but it has been well worth every penny.

I can see that my therapist has helped me change from the inside out. I could relate to the man on your blog. Once my therapist said, "I can't connect to you right now." I was devastated but soon began to try and connect more with others. Recently I told her I felt like she had power over me. She said, "I don't have any power over you but we are really connected. Maybe that's what's making you feel uncomfortable."

That insight changed me forever. I think what you do matters so much. I just thought I would finally come out and connect with you and tell you.

Thank-you Tamara.

Sounds like you're doing wonderful work in your therapy. It's inspiring to hear real life stories.



I thought this eCourse was fantastic! It made perfect sense and really helped me better understand how my brain works.

I was diagnosed with depression when I was 17, I am 23 now. I have struggled with the top down approach. I have tried forcing myself into thinking a certain way yet I always seemed to fall short.

Through experiences and the bottom up approach I feel like I've done a complete 180 in my life. This eCourse brings a more realistic view to therapy whereas, I think, people before thought it was a matter of changing your thinking, and while that is part of it, it is really only a small part of it and this eCourse showed that.

It's so good to hear when people really get it, Tiffany.

Thanks. Shrinklady

Hope (Michigan, USA)

Everything I have learned sence joining your site has been delightfully enlightening. It is said that knowledge is power, the insights you so gracious share have helped more than the years I've spent in therapy. Thank you for making a difference for so many.

Well, thank-you Hope.†


Olivia (Ontario, Canada)

Feedback should be honest, and I have to admit I was disappointed by this ecourse. While the subject is interesting, and the fact that it is free very generous, I failed to find it enlightening or insightful.

Nothing was wrong, just I knew it already, and had it articulated, so... I guess that this feedback is mostly written as an encouragement, in the hope of reading something deeper.

The concept of "bottom up" and "inside out" was hardly new for me (and is not limited to therapy), so illustrating it by two examples does not add so much. But I am still grateful for this seminar, very clear and well organized.

Thanks Olivia for your comment. You might find my next course "Getting Better Therapy Results" more enlightening - at least in regards to how brain science can be applied in therapy.†

Talk to you then maybe, eh.


Laura (PA, US)

I found the course helpful in now knowing what to look for to see if my therapy really is working for me. It made me realize too however that I made a good choice recently in changing therapists.

The therapist I was seeing before, was a nice person, but nothing had been changing for me. It felt more like I was discussing problems with a friend, crying on her shoulder and that's it. There wasn't much feedback and there were sessions I walked out feeling worse than how I felt walking in.

The woman I now see is much different and I believe she is helping me. But I think after reading these emails, I would like to delve into more "feeling my feelings" in therapy.

As far as what else I'd like to learn from your ecourse is to go deeper into what you talked about in lesson three. It sounds like visualization. I'd like to get into more specific exercises. For example, that one example you used somewhere in there about not able to get someone out of your mind. I went through a break up about 10 months ago and he is continuously on my mind, I miss him and having problems getting over him. He treated me very badly in the break up. Logically I know full well if anyone else disrespected me in the way he did, I'd give that person NO time in my consciousness. However, the emotions are different when he's concerned.

So I'd like to learn more about how to deal with that. Thanks for the ecourse.

Luc (UK)

Thanks for the e-course, I was initially interested in the course as I have been seeing my Therapist for nearly a year and progress is painfuly slow (according to me, therapist says theres no rush) still havent really got to the 'BIG' stuff, and wondered whether my therapy was actually working for me or not.

Since taking the e-course I can really see that Yes, I think it is working, although I havent managed to share everything with her yet, I am fundamentaly changing, I can see my behaviours have altered, Im not so passive in relationships anymore Hooray!

So yeh thatnks for the course, really helpful to me and made me see that yes therapy although painfuly slow is going in the right direction. Thanks so much x x x x


i found this e course to be very insightful. i have a very good relationship with my therapist and i was thinking that it was maybe a bad think but from the e course i learned that that is the basis for change. i want to go through the course again as i know there is a lot more in there. i do feel happier because i know i have found the right therapist for me and that is half the battle. thank you very much for this course.



I spend a lot of time thinking the therapy isn't working because I still spiral into negative thoughts and beliefs - but this e course has been helpful in realising the changes that have occurred eg I am more spontaneous and less self conscious.

An earlier comment also is helpful in getting others point of view. My partner says I am more open and warmer than I used to be and I can hug people now without cringing - these weren't the goals of my therapy but they are changes from the bottom up!



Very insightful ecourse and spot on. I've changed on the inside as a result of my therapy experience.


Lori (New York, USA)

Very interesting food for thought. I've been working w/ one therapist for a number of years now, and started doing some EMDR with another as well. Lots of the notions of connecting with body & emotions, past & present, etc. have started falling into place.

Mostly importantly, I am definitely recognizing an accelerated pace of improvement the more I've become knowledgeable about the workings of true change via your site, course and other reading as well. Thanks.


Darlene (Greenville,S.C, US)

I love this, would like to be apart of this, it is right up my alley,and a way of life for me. i am so excited, thanks so much.



Hi Suzanne

Thanks for this eCourse and inviting me to give my feedback about what my most important "take-away" lesson was. For me the thing that sticks with me most is the way you spoke about when therapy is effective that:

"...You're bigger on the inside. You can handle stuff more easily, take on new things...adapt to change faster..." It's certainly been my experience that this is the case.

Cheers Suzanne.


I thought it was great to look at therapy from the perspective of whether or not it helps your life expand. This seems like a pretty good metric to me.

What I have learned personally after seeing two different therapists is that a different measure of the quality of therapy is that you should consistently walk out [of your session] feeling just as much or more balanced than when you came in.

Walking out feeling shaky, stressed, upset, or dissociated can be a sign of a therapist who isn't doing enough to contain the process.

While you might get to some insights faster by not pacing as carefully, it can cause therapy to cut into the rest of your life in a negative way. Any therapist can occasionally mess up, but if it's a pattern that you leave a good portion of the time in a worse state than you came in, it could be a reason for a change.


That's bang on, Julie!


Kara (New Jersey)

I learned from your course that my therapist and I are on the right path. I have formed a safe, trusting connection with her and have seen positive changes as a result of this.

Thank you for a wonderful sight! I think I got lucky because when I began therapy, I didn't know what to expect or look for in a therapist. Your sight is a wonderful guide to therapy.


Beatrice (Harare, Zimbabwe)

I have learnt a great deal of important information regarding therapy. The holistic approach, if handled well, does the trick.

Yes, it is important that clients focus their minds on what is positive, the good things they expect to experience. This undoubtedly changes their mind set. I have benefitted a lot from the short course.

Thank you very much.


patrick (ohio, usa)

Both my therapist and myself were blown away in that we are right where you were talking about. my therapist has continually asked me to look to the inside and feel what my body tells me.

thank you for all your effort putting this together.



I'm fairly new to therapy. Never thought I would even consider therapy. I would love to experience some of the ahha moments seen here. I'm currently dealing with too many life long and serious recent issues and wanting answers/results quickly.

My therapist keeps reminding me that it's going to take a long time to discuss the issues let alone try to resolve them. My health benefits ran out so I can no longer afford to see her and I will have to put these issues all back where they were and suffer in silence. Although my suffering isn't so silent.

Marriage is suffering, I'm not socializing and am withdrawn. I did enjoy having my therapist to tell all my dirty little secrets to. My wife became angry and jealous of my relationship with my therapist because I didnít share with her. Then when I did share some information with her I felt violated.

I am going to continue to visit this site and hopefully Iíll find enough encouragement to hang in there and keep fighting.


Ainsley (Croydon Park, Australia)

My friend showed me this material and I was so impressed. It teaches about learning from the inside out and that is exactly how learning needs to happen. With my little children I've always found that if they don't learn lessons from their little hearts, the lessons don't stick.

I agree with the Shrink Lady's material because she teaches people to look inside themselves, into their hearts to see what makes them tick. It's from there that everything else is built. She is awesome and does a fantastic job.

I love the site and think its just what the world needs, a site which explains about psychology, how it all works, and really helps people to improve their own lives through knowledge and understanding of themselves. There are even blogs and places on this site to share and learn from each other. What a wonderful place to be when sitting down with a coffee!

My kids sure are benefiting from my knowledge too. Thank you Shrink Lady.



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