Mental Health


Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

4 Basic Principles of Effective Psychotherapy

A psychotherapist can help us overcome personal difficulties or mental health burdens. If you are new to psychotherapy, you may have lots of questions. How does it work? What are the results? Who is best suited to see a psychotherapist?

Each discipline of psychotherapy has its specificities. Depending on the theoretical approach, the treatment method can be quite different. 85% of the success from psychotherapy is due to factors independent of the method used or the theory behind it! 

Studies show that regardless of the method used, the success of psychotherapy depends essentially on two things: the therapeutic alliance (that is, the patient’s relationship with the therapist) and the patient’s motivation.

Listed below are some basic principles that determine the effectiveness of psychotherapy.


1. The relationship

A good relationship involves feeling comfortable and confident with your psychotherapist. This is called the therapeutic alliance. It is the quality of the relationship that makes psychotherapy successful. Without a good relationship, it will be impossible to move forward with psychotherapy.

In fact, this is something that we also observe in school. When a child is asked what his favorite subject is, he will quote the one taught to him by his favorite teacher. The better a student gets along with their teacher, the more likely they are to be successful. 

Because you learn from someone for who they are and for the relationship they have built, and not for what they know. In psychotherapy, the logic is the same. If the current passes, the work undertaken will be much more successful.


2. Motivation

The benefits of psychotherapy are most effective when the person is motivated to make change happen. If you want something to change in your life, then you need to find the motivation in yourself to consult, to be diligent, and regular in the sessions. 

You don’t do psychotherapy to “please” someone or because you feel threatened. You start a process because you want to or because you have reached such a level of discomfort that you absolutely want to get out of it. 


3. Benevolence

Benevolence is an essential concept for all care and support relationships, and you will need to make sure your therapist has it. A kind-hearted psychotherapist has kindness and integrity for the patient. 

A good psychotherapist will show the following traits:

  • Encourages the patient
  • Allows the patient to express different opinions
  • Gives the patient freedom as an individual
  • Shows understanding when the patient makes a mistake

For a recommended psychotherapist, Brian Collinson is a leading and certified psychotherapist in Oakville who addresses a wide range of emotional issues. 


4. The choice of words

A good shrink pays attention to the words they use. A word-weighing shrink is someone who is already starting to take care of you because words have a significant impact on people’s lives. 

Beware of negative comments that somehow lead to negative behavior. If you tell someone not to worry or not to stress, chances are they are just getting stressed. A doctor who tells you “be careful, it will hurt” will hurt you irreparably. 

Accepting to let things happen, accepting to let yourself go through painful events, accepting even negative emotions is much more effective than giving yourself the order to let go.


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash