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  • Writer's pictureMichał Figura

Why doesn't psychotherapy work?

Although it is not obvious to everyone, psychotherapy is one of the methods of treating mental disorders. In the case of cognitive-behavioral therapy, this is confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Unfortunately, it sometimes does not bring the desired results. Here are some reasons why this happens:


Inappropriate therapeutic relationship: This is considered to be one of the most important ingredients in therapy, although it is not sufficient to determine success on its own. However, a good relationship with your therapist is the basis for you to feel safe and comfortable during the session. This will make it easier for you to talk to your therapist about your difficulties.


Wrong trend: Each psychotherapeutic trend is characterized by slightly different methods of working on your problems. This determines what the course of psychotherapy will look like. Before choosing it, it is worth doing some "research" and getting to know what the characteristics of a given approach are, so that you can make an informed choice.


Lack of motivation: Your involvement in the therapy process is crucial to its results. This means that you come to sessions regularly and decide together with the therapist what you are working on. It is also worth considering why you decided to undergo therapy. Was it because someone told you to, or did you want to change something in your life? It is obvious that in the first case you may have greater problems with motivation in therapy.


Too severe symptoms: Sometimes the severity of symptoms (e.g. depressive symptoms) is so great that it makes it difficult to work in therapy. In such a case, it is necessary to include other treatment methods, such as pharmacotherapy. A visit to a psychiatrist is then necessary, because a psychotherapist (if he is not a doctor - like a psychiatrist) does not prescribe medications.


Incompetent therapist: Unfortunately, Poland still lacks appropriate regulations regulating who can become a therapist. This may lead to a situation where, if you do not pay attention to his education, you accidentally end up with someone who does not have the appropriate skills. To avoid this, try to choose therapists through the certification process or

certified, who have been checked by appropriate societies for a given trend

(e.g. Polish Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy Association - PTTPB).


You did not do your own work: Here it is simple - a week has 168 hours. If you devote only one of them to working on your problems, it is difficult to expect spectacular results. Therefore, therapists encourage you to spend some time between sessions to do things that may be useful to you in the treatment process.


Excessive expectations regarding therapy: Sometimes, when going to therapy, it may seem that the therapist will be able to easily and quickly offer you a ready-made solution that you can use without any problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Therapy is quite a long process that requires a lot of work and effort on our part. It should also be remembered that progress in therapy does not occur linearly, and naturally, there are often worse moments. However, they can also provide us with valuable information and experiences.


Personal problems: Your life goes on parallel to therapy. You have no influence on some events there. Illnesses, job loss, partner's betrayal, financial problems and other similar factors have a negative impact on the course of therapy. It is important to be honest with your therapist in such moments and work out the best solution for your situation together.


There are many other reasons why therapy is sometimes ineffective. Nevertheless, it is worth considering together with your therapist why this is happening. As you learned from this article, these are often problems that can be worked on - and this is the essence of psychotherapy.



*cover image comes from iFunny.co

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