This is a repost from a reply I made in another board. I realised it contains some important elements that others may find helpful.
Something else to bear in mind is that not all therapy is the same. Many people seem to think that if they have seen a therapist then they have "done therapy" when in fact one therapy can be the equivalent of going for a jog once a month and another can be like an action hero movie star workout. Its not like brand names - "coke is pretty much the same as pepsi ... a chrysler is pretty much like a dodge ...". The different schools of therapy are entirely different types foodstuff and vehicles. Some types: Psychodynamic, TFT, DBT, ACT, CBT, Hynotherapy, Mindfulness, Eclectic, Spritual, Schema, Rogerian, Faith healing, Energy Therapies and so on. If you go to a 'cheaper' therapist who wants to combine crystal healing and chakra work with 'the odd bit of CBT', and then calls that 'choosing the best combination for you', then you are not going to acheive anywhere near as much as if you were with someone who rigorously applied a structured programme of CBT, ACT, Mindfulness or Schema. Unfortunately, the crystal healer will weigh in at $40 a session and the CBT'er will be more like $100. You get what you pay for - but again - not all therapy is 'therapy'. This is unfortunately is where the real world of commerce overlaps with mental health, and therapists have livings to make as well. To take a mabbe an inappropriate (or just plain lame) metaphor: Just like a guy who can fix 15 truck engines a day, he will earn more than a guy who can only fix 1. If you do yuour research and are careful about who you accept as a therapist, then your chances of recovery are far higher than if you just pick someone solely on the basis of price. Remember - you are investing in your LIFE when you go to therapy - its not just a hobby, and neither does anyone owe you a cure. Its harsh but true - there is a price - but if it means the restoration of your life, I feel that its a fair cost to cover.
In addition - if you do not fully share ALL OF YOUR SYMPTOMS, THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS with the therapist, and instead pick and choose which ones you decide to tell him or her, or are not honest about your goals (eg really you just want to get laid but you say that you want to overcome SA ... I did that one for a while
), they are not psychic. If you dont tell them for example that you have severe attacks of paranoia involving the thought of others trying to harm you (like I did), for fear of being shamed or them laughing at you or not agreeing or doing something bad, then there is no way in this world they can guess. If you are trying to shoehorn yourself into a diagnosis that you gave yourself by reading websites and choose to edit out any of your symptoms that you feel do not fit your own diagnosis, then they cannot help you with what is happening underneath and the symptoms you choose not to mention. If you have deep emotional issues with trust, entitlement (being judgemental or feeling superior to others), dependence or a severe dislike of being told what to do, then these character traits themselves will interfere with therapy. Some therapies like schema are designed to work with exactly these kind of issues. But without honesty there can be no therapy and you will not progress until such time as you CAN be honest. Some therapists are better than others at making you comfortable and again THE STYLE THEY PRACTICE will have a huge bearing on this too.
This is admittedly only my opinion, but is based on several years personal experience of (7 types of formal) therapy, many years of reading and of trying most every trick out there. If you would like to know what I have tried, you can see it in all its (questionable) glory HERE