- Do you ever find yourself overcommitting then feeling exhausted and stressed and wondering why you can’t slow down?
- Do you decide not to pick fights with your partner when you are tired and irritable and then before you can turn around find you are at it again?
These are negative cycles we can all get trapped in and yet we know it would make such a difference to us if we could turn these destructive bad habits around. If your life and your relationships are becoming too challenging, and painful feelings keep emerging that are difficult to manage, it is really useful to turn to someone who can provide you with a genuine, professional relationship of support.
So let me declare my position straight away, as a therapist I think therapy is both curative and effective. I also believe that it is the relationship component of counselling that does heal. However there is is now compelling evidence to support my own experience. The number one reason that psychotherapy works is that it helps you change the way you relate to your problems. How? In 1999 Asay and Lambert did a study of the common factors accounting for change in therapy and found that up to 30 % was due to the connection you have with your therapist. A positive therapeutic alliance can help you:
- manage your feelings more effectively
- increase your ability to create and achieve realistic changes
- develop new skills and techniques for better relationships.
Another 30 % came down to the techniques used by the therapist and the hope and expectations of you as a client. Both these elements are within the control of the client and therapist together. More importantly however, the study found that the other 40% of what brings about change in therapy was associated with what the client does outside the therapy room. This is really good news. It means that the work you do with your therapist in session and the way you keep going with the changes outside your sessions, can help you solidify consistent changes.
Therapy works because it is two people in a committed relationship working hard to increase your happiness and well being. The evidence is in, now it’s your turn to take the next important step and give therapy a chance to turn things around for you.