The attached article is a good one for both therapists and therapy recipients to look at. It addresses reasons why therapy might not be succeeding. I like it because it looks at the interaction between the therapist and their client, rather than just looking at what it is about the client that keeps them from changing, or what’s wrong with the therapist
The article raises a number of questions that therapists ought to be asking themselves about the types of interventions they are using or if there are factors in the way they perceive the client that are getting in the way. Clarification and evaluation of goals is raised first and foremost. I know I sound like a broken record, but if the client and therapist haven’t identified what goals the client is working on and aren’t checking on progress in meeting those goals it’s very unlikely that there will be progress. The only one of these questions that I’m not comfortable with is question #5: “Are we being patient enough?” I do agree with the author that it sometimes takes a long time before enough trust is built for the client to say what’s really going on. I don’t agree, though, that the fact that the client has not fired the therapist means that everything is probably fine. I’ve seen too many examples of clients staying in therapy without success because it feels safe or they become dependent on the regular sessions, and too many therapists that are comfortable with that dynamic. If progress is not being made there really should be a dialogue between the client and therapist about what’s going on, and hopefully the therapist is strong enough to initiate that dialogue.
The article also addresses fears that the client comes in with that might prevent them from disclosing important information or that keeps them from succeeding in getting better. These issues provide a nice inventory for any therapy recipient to review in order to determine if there are barriers their fear has created that impede their own success. Sometimes just reading a list like this and recognizing oneself in it is enough to loosen up the fear and allow the client to take the next step forward.
It’s a pretty short article, so take a look and see if there’s anything you take away from it that can improve your success either as a therapist or as a client. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/03/16/10-reasons-why-someone-in-therapy-may-not-be-getting-better/