How to Know if Therapy is Working

As crucial as therapy is for many of us, it is also oftentimes intimidating, confusing, irritating and sometimes even scary. For kids in foster care, this can be especially true, given the traumas they’ve endured early in life. These tips below come from a former foster youth who wants to help teenagers better understand their therapy journey and its benefits.

When I was in foster care, I grew to detest therapy. It wouldn’t be until many years later that I saw its value and realized how critical therapy was to my healing. Depending on the issue, therapy can take weeks or many months before you see results. There are all kinds of therapy and you’re better off if you set up short and long-term goals. Here is a good article on this topic. Based on my personal experience with it, below are ways you can tell if your therapist is helping you.

  1. First, is the chemistry right? It will take a few sessions to know if you like talking to this person and you’ll have an inkling this person may help. Give it three sessions if you’re not sure or don’t hit it off right away. I’ve ended up benefiting from therapists I hated or didn’t like the first time. And if you don’t like the therapist, be honest. Tell him or her that this isn’t working for you. They’ll ask why and they’ll ask you to be specific. Their reaction could change your mind or confirm what you suspected.

Bonus: If you’re not ready for therapy, then do self-care work by reading self-help books, watching YouTube and Ted Talks on the issues you’re dealing with (depression, anger management, etc.). Blogs, books and videos are really no substitute for therapy but it’s a good starting point to self-discovery and self-improvement.

Article first published in Fostering Families Today Magazine.

Georgette Todd is the author of “Foster Girl, A Memoir” and has been featured in newspapers, television, radio and film. She will be starring in a foster care documentary, “Breaking the Cycle,” that will come out in 2019. For more information about her work, you can visit her official website: