Monthly Archives: April 2021

Does therapy work?

The answer is yes. The research clearly shows that people who participate in therapy have better outcomes when compared to those that do not (Karyotaki et al., 2016). Approximately 80% of people who receive therapy derive benefit from it (American Psychological Association, 2016). There is also evidence to indicate that people who receive in-depth counselling experience longer-term gains, even after the therapy has ended (Abbass et al., 2006). The most important elements in successful therapy are the relationship between client and counsellor, along with the client’s expectations and contributions to self-improvement (Wampold, 2015). The options for improving mental health can range from low commitment (such as self-help books) to higher commitment (like medication and/or therapy). I would encourage everyone to speak honestly about what they are looking for, regardless of whether they are talking to a family doctor or a psychologist. You are the expert on your life.

Abbass AA, Hancock JT, Henderson J, Kisely S. (2006). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapies for common mental disorders. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4.

American Psychological Association. Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. 2016.

Karyotaki, E.; Smit, Y.; Holdt Henningsen, K.; Huibers, M.J.H.; Robayse, J.; de Beurs, D.; Cuijpers, P. (2016). Combining pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy or monotherapy for major depression? A meta-analysis on the long-term effects. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Wampold, B. (2015).  How important are the common factors in psychotherapy? An update. World Psychiatry, 14 (3), pp. 270-277.

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