When to Push vs When to Give Up


There's pros and cons I weigh up. Because my "walk away" point with one therapist will be difficult to another therapist.

For example, cost is right up there for me. If I'm struggling to afford a T, I'll walk away a lot quicker than I would with a T that is free.

The pros and cons list for therapists probably varies a lot, I think, from person to person. Professionalism and "have I done this type of therapy before" are big factors for me. Whereas, I'm a hot mess a lot of the time anyway, so "is this therapy making me worse" probably isn't as significant to me as it might be to someone else.


I changed therapists few times and had no qualms about it. Therapy is very expensive investment so I must feel good/safe or neutral at minimum at the beginning.

I had one therapist that first shared she dealt with her trauma in therapy. I did not give a rat's behind about her story so right away I thought if this is her way of marketing or relating to me...hmm. And then few times I asked about coping mechanism in a mindful sessions with others, she answered to me what seemed like "you do not know that already". I am chuckling thinking of it now but at the time I was like hmm OK (is this subtle shaming or what?). Then she had a cat that walked all over me in the normal session and I politely told her I like cats but was allergic "but" never asked her to remove it. She never did and the cat was very disruptive. This last one I often think I should have asked her to remove the cat but then I thought...it is a place of business and why is she letting run her cats? I did not know much about therapy and was being more polite then...What I know now is that she should ask if the cat is OK in the room? It was not my job to set the therapy parameters.

I left after two months. Best decision I made cause as I was leaving, she threw at me a book about shame as a referral. I was like good riddance!


I have only had two therapists. What I have learned about myself is that “trying harder” is itself a dysfunctional response. I should trust myself more and walk away sooner. If I get the feeling they are not on my side, I need to trust it. My situation/life experience is such that I seem to trigger unprocessed things in the therapists I’ve had, and it ultimately dooms the relationship because countertransference. A good therapist does’t enjoy being made to feel inadequate, even if they seek supervision about it.

your experience might be very different though so please don’t take this as advise

And for what it’s worth, those two therapists were over a nearly seven year span of weekly therapy, which I never missed voluntarily. I gave each therapeutic relationship and experience effort and attention and tried as best I knew how to learn from them both. But something about my past or my way of speaking messed with their ability to hold the frame.


How do you know if when something just needs to be pushed through and done no matter how hard or painful it is?
Talking for a minute aside from therapy, this is something I deal with every day in relation to a number of different things. I think it depends - generally - on our own values. For many folks, pushing on in spite of the hardship is what's important. For the rest of us, suffering is not what living is all about.

But with regard to therapy specifically, I think if you are asking the question, then it's time to start thinking about new options.


I’m still vacillating on this. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my T other than I’m afraid I’ll end up being too much for her but that’s more of a fear with anyone not just her. But the parts work is such a struggle and I’m not sure what I want to do about it. I don’t want to just give up on it if all I have to do is try harder, but it’s just so damn hard to break through this block I’ve got. I go to try to check in with my parts like she wants and it’s an immediate block and resistance and I go and cope with shit a totally maladaptive way instead and say F you to any of it.


I think “Giving Up” is an interesting idea.

Why push on -or- give up? Why not…

- Educate myself about other options -or- this & other options? (If I don’t feel I have a good grasp of what this is)
- Evaluate my own self in ^^that^^ context; this modality vs other modalities; and this/other modalities by a different therapist.
- Try something new? ((Entirely new, like a new modality or new therapist, sure; but also add ons; like if I’m stress sick 3 days before therapy? (Which I often am) Start an exercise routine 4 days before therapy to manage the stress influx. Or up my appointment times to acclimate to the stress, or get a med regiment or increase time off, etc.))

- Talk with my current T about the pain levels, life impact, problems I’m having?
- Talk with my current T about modalities, what’s working, what’s not, in my view & see what their thoughts on the matter
- Be better able to evaluate my T based on those answers

Because, instead of giving up? One can, instead, try something different.


But the parts work is such a struggle and I’m not sure what I want to do about it. I don’t want to just give up on it if all I have to do is try harder,
Personally… I won’t do parts work.

I’ve broken, before. It took a helluva long time to duct tape me’self back to working order, and I have absolutely zero interest in re-fracturing, or creating new fractures. Whether or not it would work is completely beside the point. There are lots and lots of trauma-modalities that work.

No matter what the modality it? You’ll find people that don’t get on with it. For a variety of reasons. Often? For the same reasons that others do get on with it. Regardless what the reasons are, though? Nothing works best for everyone.


I quit for a while. Been doing it for more tha. 10 years and decided I needed a break. I’m tired and found myself being too immersed in therapy and not being present enough in everyday life. I was too dependent on it and needed to do some things on my own. My perspective only. Good luck


New Here
How do you know when a certain therapy or therapist just isn’t going to be helpful and you should move on? How do you know if when something just needs to be pushed through and done no matter how hard or painful it is?
I believe learning to trust yourself/ listening to your intuition ... some call it a "gut instinct"... is really key in this situation.

Now, I can surely say my internal compass has been royally screwed up due to my trauma. So I completely understand the challenge youre facing.
I believe that knowing when something is truly wrong and out of alignment for you .VS. being hesitant to do something because fear is taking the wheel; are different things.