How Does Counseling Work

Extra-therapeutic factors (40%)

Client activities outside the therapy session, homework, support system, client attitudes and strengths.  These factors can be things like knowing why you want counseling, what you want to work on or change about yourself, ability to follow through with practicing new skills, or willingness to try new thinking patterns or ways of experiencing feelings.

Relationship (30%)

Counselor and client connection or therapeutic alliance.  Choosing a counselor you feel comfortable with is an important choice.  You should feel like you can easily talk to your counselor, learn to trust the counselor, and know that the counselor has experience with the issue you bring to counseling.

Placebo, Hope or Expectancy Of Improvement (15%)

Many clients experience this feeling of hope immediately after scheduling the first appointment.  Some clients experience a flood of hope during or after their first few appointments

Structure, Model, and/or Technique Used (15%)

Modalities used in therapy, such as cognitive, rational emotive, client-centered etc.  The particular model of treatment is not as important as the therapeutic relationship or extra-therapeutic factors, but it does make a difference.  Your counselor will be able to adapt the treatment to meet your specific needs and goals

References: Escape from Babel (Norton, 1997); The Heart & Soul of Change (APA, 1999).