Why Psychotherapy Works for Depression and Anxiety

In my own last two articles, I described some of the common factors which make psychotherapy effective (or ineffective) no matter what theoretical orientation it’s approached from. Those factors were:

  1. The therapeutic relationship. Here is the degree to that the therapist and the client feel aligned with one another in working toward a mutual goal.
  2. The therapist. Some therapists are consistently more efficient than others. Few researchers seem willing to study the differences between the really good therapists and the really bad ones, but their education to which a practitioner adheres to a specific treatment protocol doesn’t seem to contribute.

In this information, I’m going to draw those two factors together into a third, connecting factor, which I believe constitutes the primary basis for effective psychotherapy. Jerome Frank, the pioneer of the Common Factors approach to psychotherapy, referred to this connecting principle as persuasion.

I’ve had some arguments with other therapists before who disagree with the explicit utilization of persuasive tactics in psychotherapy, because they think that therapy should really be an egalitarian enterprise — the client should be given the full freedom of choice regarding how to answer treatment.

My argument is that individuals often arrived at therapy specifically because they wish to believe something that they have not had the opportunity to create themselves believe. They would like to be convinced that life is worth living, or that the entire world is ultimately more pleasurable than it’s scary, or that they have more options available in their mind than they think like they do.

But there is more to psychotherapy than this type of direct persuasion. For me, psychotherapy is approximately why people are incapable of believe those things. It is approximately the belief systems which prevent them from accessing those possibilities. And so the job of addiction counseling Aurora is to help someone accept a new belief system. It doesn’t really matter which belief system they accept, provided that it’s wide enough and deep enough to support the types of experiences they certainly were missing before. This is exactly why all theories of psychotherapy yield similar results — they’re all myths about how a human mind works.

Due to this, the main determinants of growth and healing in psychotherapy are:

  • their education to that the therapist is able to successfully proselytize for his or her myth (charisma)
  • their education to that the client is able to engage with that myth (belief)
  • their education to that the therapist and client can apply that mythical system to the problems the client is facing in their own life (the therapeutic relationship.)

Dr. David Godot is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, California. He specializes in the utilization of clinical hypnosis, and is experienced with anxiety, depression, addictions, and mind-body medicine — such as for example the treatment of migraine headaches or irritable bowel syndrome.

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