Therapy doesn’t always work

September 29, 2022

Sinking into a comfortable chair, facing a pad and paper, junior Kian Quinn-Calabrese prepares himself to share another personal story. But he’s not in a writing class or conversing with some friends, he’s speaking to his waiting therapist.

In 2017, Kian entered adolescent therapy hoping to work on anger management and to receive advice for his declining mental health. While Kian’s experience was not satisfactory, he recognizes the impact that therapy can have on adolescents’ mental health and well being.

“My parents weren’t exactly happy with me being more aggressive with my brother and having some anger issues,” he said. “So I began, and they took me to therapy to, you know, correct those.”

But Kian’s initial sessions with his therapist were not as productive as he hoped, and he felt a disconnect in the whole experience. 

“The first time I had met them wasn’t really a good experience. They just seem to be judging me the entire time,” Kian said. “I wasn’t really happy with it.”

Over time, Kian grew to appreciate the therapist’s listening techniques, but he wished they would do more to provide tangible solutions to his issues.

“They never gave me anything to help me. It was more of just a place for me to vent, and they wouldn’t say anything,” Kian said. “They would ask for a lot of details, but they would never tell me what to do in the situations.”

When the sessions moved online during COVID-19, both parties mutually agreed to part ways, coming to the conclusion that Kian didn’t have enough to talk about at the time. 

In retrospect, Kian believes therapy didn’t have the positive impact on his mental health that he hoped for.

“Just overall, the therapy didn’t really change my mental health. My mental health was declining, but it didn’t really change or help me get better in any way,” he said.

Nevertheless, Kian recognizes the benefit of therapy sessions on certain individuals who are struggling with personal issues. Even though it didn’t work well for him, each experience with therapy is unique.  

Kian said, “If you feel that stuff is not going right in your life, and you just need someone to talk to, yeah, therapy might be something for you.”

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