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5 reasons why psychotherapy may be failing

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I feel like I'm not moving forward, why? This is a question that patients ask psychotherapists on some occasions. Certainly, we are all different and this is what makes each session challenging. When a patient feels that he is not progressing no matter how much you attend intervention sessions, you need to know how to pay attention to the signs that indicate the causes of this. We will explore this topic below.

  • Related article: "Types of psychological therapies"

Why may psychotherapy be failing?

First it is important to understand that the psychotherapy process is twofold: psychotherapist - patient. All psychotherapists work differentlyThey have their own style of therapy, varied knowledge, etc. And above all they are people who have private lives, with problems, emotions, their own idea of ​​what happiness is, etc.

However, no matter how much variability there is, there are certain general factors that influence psychotherapy to be successful. If they are absent, progress will not be as expected or the intervention will fail completely, bringing with it disappointment, frustration, anger and above all, feeding a thought that is very common in people who attended therapy and it was not effective: psychology does not work, it is a scam or the psychologist does not work, it is bad.

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Psychotherapy can fail because ...

I will mention some reasons why a therapy process may fail, not be rewarding and successful or making progress too slow.

1. Therapist - patient / client link

For a therapy to start on the right foot, it is essential to create a good relationship with the patient / client. This relationship should be strong, positive, and based on healthy empathy. Above all, it is important focus on everything that concerns the patient's problem and his life in general. On the other hand, the patient must feel understood, comfortable and accepted by the therapist.

When this relationship has not been well forged and therapy is forcibly attended, this may be the cause of no progress. Is about a more common situation in the care of adolescents and adults with addictions or other similar disorders.

2. Work methodology

As I mentioned earlier, all therapists have their own style of therapy. Some work with approaches based on changing thinking and behavior, others have a more humanistic, person-centered approach... Therefore, the structure of their therapies is different.

Some will start the session with a long interview, inquiring into what thoughts are frequent when problem behavior occurs, and others with attentive and interested listening without doing any point, etc. On the other hand, there are therapists who are more organized, they keep track of appointments together with the planned session and the ready-to-work material, others perhaps are more about improvising or letting the patient set the pace of therapy.

If therapy does not progress, it may be because the therapy approach is not appropriate for the patient's problem, it does not make you feel comfortable, it is very passive or very active, it is focused on tasks and the patient does not like to perform them, the patient does not like the disorganization of the therapist, etc.

I recommend letting the therapist know if there is something about his therapy style that doesn't make you feel comfortable. On the other hand, if you are a therapist, it is good to explain to the patient what the therapeutic approach you use consists of.

3. Therapist's reluctance

On some occasions, patients or clients come to the office who have a personality or attitudes that the therapist cannot digest or tolerate. This is normal, it is a person who also feels and has the right not to achieve the total acceptance of the patient as he is. When this happens, it is a good option to refer the patient / client to a colleague.

4. Patient reluctance

In the same way as the therapist, patients may be reluctant to advance the practitioner, be negative, defiant, annoying, uncomfortable, unpleasant, uncooperative, desperate, etc.

If the patient does not collaborate with his therapy process, he will not advance. This is a common thing in therapy; Therefore, it is important to inform the patient that it is necessary to collaborate in everything that is requested, from tasks to techniques that will be carried out in each session to more general ones, in order to achieve progress significant.

5. Some aspects of the therapist

At times, when therapy does not progress, it may be because the therapist is not fully prepared to attend, due to fear, lack of confidence in their skills, lack of interest in updating, for making use of ineffective therapies and without an evidence base, because he does not like his job but needs money, etc.

Therefore, it is good for patients to seek referrals, ask the therapist if he has his license, degrees and collegiate in order, etc.

  • You may be interested: "10 tips for choosing a good psychologist"

Remember that…

If you are a therapist and you feel that your patients are not showing great progress, do a detailed review of your sessions, analyze if your therapeutic approach is the most appropriate for the type of population you serve, have confidence in them, do not torment yourself and above all stay updated, since the field of clinical psychology is very large.

If you are patient, don't be afraid to create a therapeutic bondTrust your therapist and if you don't like something, let it be known. Therapists are here to support those who request us, therefore remember to collaborate with your therapy process as much as you can.
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