Yesterday we wrote about the importance of the client’s role in therapy and their rapport with their therapist.  This view is emphasised in a new book by Professor Mick Cooper, of the University of Strathclyde, called Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly. His work is also supported by a group of colleagues including Barry Duncan, a highly regarded American psychologist.  In 2004, they stated that:

“clients, not therapists, make therapy work”.

Professor Cooper’s advice to those who are considering visiting a therapist is summarised below:

  • ask therapists for any thoughts about why you may be facing your difficulties and what they believe may be able to help you.  If your own thoughts radically conflict, then you might find it difficult to establish a good rapport;
  • consider a therapist to help you concentrate on your own strengths.  For instance, if you believe you are good at understanding the reasons behind your own behaviour, then choose a therapist who can help you develop these skills rather than one who prefers to focus on emotions or on the behaviour itself;
  • be sure that you work with a therapist who you like and who makes you feel respected.  A good working relationship is an important factor in therapy, whether that is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or psychology.

After all, the best indicator of the outcome of your treatment is how much you can actively involve yourself and this is more likely with a good working relationship.