We want people to know therapy works. When a majority of the population believes in evidence-based therapies, then more people suffering from mental health conditions will heal. Knowing that therapy works comes from first-hand experience:
- Young lady with complex posttraumatic stress disorder recovers after 11 sessions.
- Man suffering from severe depression with suicidal ideations finds relief after 6 sessions.
- Couple on the brink of divorce who recovers and restores their marriage
Where is everyone?
If therapy works, like in the cases above, then why aren’t more people doing it? There are four reasons why people aren’t in therapy:
- Many people haven’t considered therapy because they don’t need it.
- Some people have been suffering for so long, they’ve normalized it. They don’t know they can feel twice as good as they do now.
- Some people have thought about giving therapy a try, but the thought of sharing their thoughts and feelings with someone they barely know intimidates them.
- Then there are those that don’t believe therapy works, at all.
Why not believe?
Many people have lost faith in therapists because of poor results.
I went to visit a primary care doctor hoping to develop a partnership because approximately 40% of people suffering from anxiety or depression seek care from their family doctor. Partnering with one just makes sense.
What I heard from the doctor was disappointing, “All therapists in Amarillo suck!”
He exclaimed his dissatisfaction; he really believed therapy was useless. I asked him why and he quickly listed the following reasons:
- All the therapist did was take notes, nod, and say, “Uh huh…”
- The therapist just said they’ll love my patients until they love themselves
- None of the therapists I used ever challenged my patients
To put it bluntly, there are some poorly trained therapists out there. I’m not going to lie and I won’t defend useless interventions. However, I will stand up for what the facts support: evidence-based therapies work. I showed him the evidence and convinced him that what we do at Recovatry is top-notch. He continues to send us patients today.
We continue to get referrals from this doctor because we measure what works.
Getting in the door
Wanting to heal is the first step. The desire to feel better gets someone in the door. Once a person is engaged in the therapeutic process, the healing begins. It can come on pretty quickly, depending on how motivated and vulnerable a person chooses to be. Most importantly, they need to know that what we’re doing works.
Consistency and frequency are important, too. If we can get a person to commit to six weekly sessions, we usually see progress. Most of the time, healing takes much longer than that. It can take many months of therapy, in some cases, for our clients to recover.
Lack of faith in the therapeutic process leads people to drop out early and cancel appointments, going many weeks between sessions. That won’t work. Showing up and engaging in the therapeutic process requires:
- Motivation to recover
- Believing that therapy will work
Many people want to feel better, yet they don’t believe therapy will help. How do we improve people’s faith in evidence-based therapies?
Narrow our scope and measure progress
At Recovatry, we help people heal and prove it with outcome measures, but what if someone presents an issue, like bipolar, that we aren’t equipped to provide an intervention for? Then, we don’t treat it. We refer the client to someone who has measured success treating bipolar, either through pharmacotherapy (i.e., medicine) or psychotherapy.
We stick to our specialties here at Recovatry. Here are the presenting issues that we’ve had great success with:
- PTSD; unresolved trauma
- Relationship issues
- Family issues
- Substance use
If it’s something other than what’s listed above then it’s currently outside our scope of practice. Therapy works when what we’re treating is something we’ve had great success with in the past. The bottom line is, we focus on what we’re good at and measure progress often. That’s how we make sure the evidence-based therapies we provide at Recovatry work!