There are a lot of different therapists out there trained in many different styles of therapy. This can lead to confusion, doubt, and possibly hesitation on the part of the client when sitting down trying to figure out where to start.
I recently went to a fantastic presentation by Scott Miller PhD., psychologist and researcher. He reminded us that in the world of therapy there are some really great treatment approaches to combat various diagnoses and symptoms. These treatments are evidenced based, meaning they have been proven to be effective in treating the intended diagnosis. However, of all the various “evidenced based treatments” not a one has been proven to be more effective than the next. So what gives? Where does that leave the client in their quest for treatment?
This is what I want you to know: treatment matters but don’t get stuck on figuring out the right treatment for you. This is the job of the therapist. The most important variable in making progress in therapy is the relationship or “alliance” between you and your therapist. This includes the therapist knowing what interventions to apply, but also simply how you both work together to make change. How cool is that? So what I always tell the clients I work with is this: please let me know if we are not a good fit because I know this has a huge impact on treatment. My goal is to get you feeling better and if it’s not with me, that is okay.
Another fun fact is that three years after terminating therapy, clients remain relatively stable in terms of symptom stability and maintenance. So if you are feeling better, that is something to celebrate and though it won’t be perfect, where you leave treatment in terms of symptoms is roughly how you can expect to feel after a three year period. Therefore, if you are finding therapy helpful, it can be beneficial to continue therapy.