How psychotherapy works
The BIG question! And one to which there is no one answer. Followers of different schools would give different answers, but as an integrative training, let’s give an integrated answer!
Here are some of the factors which may contribute to the success of psychotherapy. What is necessary and sufficient will vary from person to person:
The creation and maintenance of the relationship based on the core conditions
Action: the client needs to act. Simply taking the step of booking a therapy session can result in change (the so-called waiting list phenomenon)
Commitment: the client (and therapist) need to be committed to the process and not just pay lip service
Ecological support. In other words the changes sought must fit with the clients social and physical environment or these must also change
Being willing and ready. Sometimes, even though a client has made the appointment they may not be willing or ready to change Realistic expectation: for example a 47 year old woman who weighs 18 stone and wants to weigh 8 is likely to be unsuccessful and a 19 year old man who has no qualifications and no social life is not going to become a stock broker with a wag style girlfriend after one session.
Willingness to challenge beliefs: in the above example, it is more likely that the client would believe that it was never possible. But it is, just not in one session