The attached article is long, but worth taking the time to read. It does a great job of describing how therapy relationships often get stuck into a comfortable but stagnant routine that can go on for years. Unfortunately, this sort of therapeutic stagnation is especially common. I believe more therapists than not are comfortable with stagnation and allow their clients to pay for long-term therapy that goes nowhere without giving it a second thought. I appreciate the author’s candor in describing his own experiences with this model and I even more appreciate that he became uncomfortable with his clients’ lack of progress, analyzed the reasons for his own complacency, and found ways back into productive work. The author does a great job in describing how therapy can get back on track again.
The concepts this author describes are the same ones I talk about all the time: collaboration and evaluation. It’s so important for therapists to involve clients in evaluating their progress, and to empower them to make the final determination of what is going to happen next. This article describes how effective evaluation and decisions can be made. If you are considering therapy it’s a good idea to read through these processes so that you can ensure that a similar process takes place in your sessions.
This article goes on to describe some common mistakes that therapists make when therapy has reached a dead end. These are also worth reading, as these are very unfortunate mistakes that therapists make in personalizing the client’s lack of progress or treating them like they are “resistant” and either stupid or unwilling to make necessary changes. Please, if you get in a relationship where you feel like this GET OUT and find another therapist.
Beyond that, the article offers up a few more suggestions for how to get therapy moving again. As a therapist I found these last couple of pages interesting. As a client or potential client it may provide more detail than is helpful to you. In any event I strongly recommend reading at least the first four or five pages of this article. It’s provides a good education into how a lot of therapy really works. http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/magazine/recentissues/2013-mayjune/item/2129-when-therapy-is-going-nowhere