Did you know the most significant predictor for how effective psychotherapy will be is not to do with the particular approaches used. Instead, the single most influential factor has been shown to be the quality of the connection between client and therapist. So if you meet a therapist and the connection doesn’t feel comfortable or uplifting, then you’re right to wonder if this is the best person to work with even if they do seem to be saying all the right things and exude self-confidence.
Rapid advances in neuroimaging have allowed researchers to examine the relationship between psychotherapy and changes in brain function. Where the quality of connection between client and therapist is strong, the structure of the brain can change and alter activity in areas which involve executive control, emotion, fear and thinking about oneself. The positive effects of psychotherapy aren’t all in the mind, they are in our brains and bodies too! Psychotherapy has been shown to reduce blood pressure, chronic pain and inflammation. It has been linked to an enhanced immune system and better gut functioning. Increasingly, it is understood that psychotherapy is useful in creating the kind of robust mental and physical health which, long after therapy has ended, can better withstand the stressors of life as and when they arise.
The purpose of psychotherapy is to empower you. It isn’t only about feeling better in the present, it’s a preventative which can fortify and protect your wellbeing going forward into the future too.
Kathryn Creed BA Hons PGCE Dip Hyp CS