How to know if your therapy is effective

Therapy works.  But did you know that about 50% of people drop out of therapy and more than 30% get no benefit from it?  Make sure you’re one of the people getting effective therapy from a good psychologist.

The most important factors in effective therapy

You might think that the specific techniques your psychologist uses are the most important thing.  They definitely play a part, and you should ask your psychologist why the treatment you’re getting is right for you.

But there are two other factors that are even more important than technique. They’re the therapeutic alliance and early change.

Therapeutic alliance is the quality of the relationship between client and psychologist. Many studies have shown that it’s more important than technique when it comes to improvement. People often know whether or not they will have a good relationship with their psychologist from the first session, so don’t overlook this!

Changes or improvements that occur early in therapy also point to long term improvement in therapy. In fact, if you don’t see positive changes by your 6th session, more sessions with the same psychologist probably won’t work for you.

These two factors also affect each other. A better therapeutic alliance will lead to early changes and improvements. In turn, early improvements will make a better therapeutic alliance.

How to know whether you’re getting effective therapy

The way to see if you have early changes and good relationship is by measuring.

Measuring therapeutic alliance and progress every session from the start is important. It lets you and your psychologist know whether things are working. Then you can work together to make changes if your situation isn’t improving or if the relationship isn’t great.

There is a quiz called the “Session Rating Scale (SRS)” that can quickly check the therapeutic alliance. It includes four questions that look at whether you feel understood and respected, whether you worked on your goals, whether the approach used by your psychologist is a good fit for you, and your overall rating for that session.

There is another quiz that can quickly check for improvements in your situation over time, called the “Outcome Rating Scale (ORS). This looks at your individual well-being, how your relationships are going, and your satisfaction with work or school.

What should I do now?

Making sure that you have a good quality therapeutic relationship and you’re getting early improvements means you’re more engaged and reach your goals faster.

Visit our Mindfit member site and make a list of your goals. Then do the ORS quiz to see if your therapy is effective right now. If you think things could be better, discuss it with your psychologist or talk it over with us.

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