What are the risks of therapy?

Key Points

  • Most people who have therapy or counseling for depression improve.
  • However, 1 out of 10 people will experience a worsening of their condition. For some, this is a result of their problem worsening (unrelated to the treatment). For others, the deterioration is related to the therapy or the therapist they are seeing.
  • If your depression is getting worse or not improving after a reasonable time, be sure to discuss this with your therapist.
  • You may benefit from a change to another therapist, another form of therapy, or to a medication treatment. If you are taking medication treatment, a review of your medication treatment may be helpful.
  • Each treatment has benefits and risks.
  • Persistence is important. If you try a treatment, it is important to stick with it to allow time to see if it helps.
  • If you do not benefit from the first treatment you try, there is still a good chance your problem will respond to a different treatment.

For More Information Please See:


Kraus, D. R., Castonguay, L., Boswell, J. F., Nordberg, S. S., & Hayes, J. A. (2011). Therapist effectiveness: Implications for accountability and patient care. Psychotherapy Research, 21(3), 267-276. dio:10.1080/10503307.2011.563249

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Download: Fact Sheet: What are the risks of counseling?

Last Updated: March 12, 2013