Therapy works. But did you know that about 50% of people drop out and more than 30% feel that they get no benefit from it? So how do you know if your psychologist is working for you? Better yet, how can you get the most out of your sessions?
The most important factors in effective therapy
These things are therapeutic alliance and early change.
Therapeutic alliance is the quality of the relationship between client and psychologist. Many studies have shown that this factor is more important than technique when it comes to improvement. People often know whether or not they will have a good relationship with their psychologist from the first session, so don’t overlook this!
Changes or improvements that occur early in therapy also point to long term improvement. In fact, if you don’t see positive changes by your 6th session, more sessions with the same psychologist probably won’t work for you.
These two factors also affect each other. A better therapeutic alliance will lead to early changes and improvements. In turn, early improvements will make a better therapeutic alliance.
How to know whether you’re getting effective therapy
The way to see if you have early changes and a good relationship with your psychologist is by measuring these two things.
Making the effort to measure your therapeutic alliance and progress every session from the very first one is important. It lets you and your psychologist know whether things are working. Then, if your situation isn’t improving or if the relationship isn’t great, you can work together to make changes.
There is a quiz called the “Session Rating Scale (SRS)” that can quickly check the therapeutic alliance between you and your psychologist. It includes four questions that look at whether you feel understood and respected, whether you worked on your goals, whether the approach used by your psychologist is a good fit for you, and your overall rating for that session.
Alternatively, there is another quiz that can quickly check for improvements in your situation over time, called the “Outcome Rating Scale (ORS)”. This looks at your individual well-being, how your relationships are going, and your satisfaction with work or school.
What should I do now?
By having a good quality therapeutic relationship and ensuring that you’re seeing early improvements, you’ll reach your goals faster. Do the ORS quiz to see if your therapy is effective right now. If you think things could be better, discuss it with your psychologist or talk it over with us.
If you have yet to find a psychologist who works for you – or if you haven’t seen a psychologist at all but think it could help you – we can help you find someone that meets you needs.