Helping Children When a Family Member has Cancer: Understanding Psychosocial Support Services

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How will I know if counseling is working?

Here are some ways to decide whether counseling is helping you and your family. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get to these results, and you have to do the emotional work for most of them:

  • Am I getting more insight or understanding into my problems? Is it easier to see the overall picture, not just the details?
  • Do I feel less anxious or worried?
  • Is it easier to make decisions?
  • Do I have a clear idea where I am now emotionally, what I need to work on now, and what can wait until later?
  • Am I OK with how I am feeling and acting?
  • Do I have a goal for completing counseling?
  • Could I put into words how counseling is helping me or a family member?

Your family should be asking (and answering) the same questions if they are involved in the counseling sessions. If your answers to these questions are mostly yes, you are probably on the right track. If you don’t feel good about your answers to these questions, discuss them with your counselor. If the relationship with the counselor feels right, it may be that what you expect to get is different from what you are getting. It’s always possible that the counselor is not the right one for you. This may mean you need to find someone who is a better match for you. The extra effort this takes could make the difference between a good outcome or a more painful one for you and/or your family.

Last Medical Review: 08/09/2012
Last Revised: 08/09/2012