How is the patient’s participation in psychotherapy improved?

There are quite a few people who, in proposing to start providing psychotherapy services after training in psychology, fall into the trap of assuming that their job is limited to applying techniques on patients. This one-sided way of approaching psychotherapy consists in ignoring the fact that in the consultation of the psychologist there is a dialectical process between the psychologist and the patient: both parties must do their part to achieve an appropriate therapeutic alliance, something that goes beyond the sum of the two people as individuals.

In this ever-changing stream of psychotherapy, professionals must be able to assume that they do not have full control over the sessions, on the one hand, and that their job is to facilitate the patient’s consent to psychotherapy on the other hand. somewhere else. . In other words: know strategies to promote the patient’s participation and involvement in the therapeutic process. We will talk about it in this article: what can be done so that, at the same time as the psychologists recognize the autonomy of the patients, make it easy for them to be interested in the success of the therapy.

What do psychologists do to encourage the patient’s participation in the therapeutic process?

It is of little use for a person to go to psychotherapy for the first time if he quickly comes to the conclusion that it will not be of any use to him, and in a few weeks he will stop attending the sessions. In the same way, it does not allow patients to progress by going to the psychologist just to be relieved to have someone listening to them, as if the simple fact of complaining about the suffering they were going through allowed them to improve their situation. For patients to transform their lives and improve their quality of life it is essential that they want to change and that they allow the psychologists to give them the support they need.

These are some of the most important strategies used by psychologists to facilitate patients’ involvement in psychotherapy, both in sessions and in carrying out day-to-day tasks to achieve their therapeutic goals.

1. Analyze the reinforcements in operation when it arrives at the consultation

The work begins with understanding the incentive systems that underlie the patient’s behaviors before starting therapy and relate to the problem they wish to overcome. In this way, it is possible to identify those who are problematic (for example, those who maintain dysfunctional management of anxiety) and those who offer promising opportunities, but whose potential is not yet exhausted. In this way, by making relatively few changes, The person may have a much more appropriate mindset and adopt an emotionally healthier lifestyle.

2. Boost your self-esteem through cognitive restructuring

Self-esteem is closely linked to self-efficacy, our conception of our own horizon of personal development and learning, and what gives us a picture of all that we are capable of if we stick to it. let’s put. Therefore, helping patients maintain an adequate level of self-esteem, neither too low nor too inflated, is essential for them to “connect” emotionally with the therapeutic process, so that they feel able to achieve the goal of therapy and know how to recognize their progress as such. And it is this meaning, the cognitive restructuring aimed at challenge the most dysfunctional beliefs about oneself it is essential that they do not become discouraged and rely on their latent skills and talents.

3. Establish a program of sub-objectives adjusted to the level of difficulty

Psychotherapy should always set goals that go beyond the end goal and provide benchmarks on how much progress the patient can make. This will allow you to have a detailed picture of your achievements, which will show you that your efforts and dedication have rewards that are noticed quite quickly.

But for this segmentation of goals and sub-goals to work, they should match the difficulty curve that matches the patient’s skill and pace of learning. If you don’t bring significant challenges, you will feel stagnant and disinterested in therapy, and if it costs you too much, it can even make your condition worse assuming there is nothing you can do to improve your situation.

4. Maintain frequent dialogue with family members

If possible, it is very important to maintain a flow of communication with loved ones, do their best because they adapt to the lifestyle promoted in psychotherapy and because they are interested in their progress, so that they are part of everything that motivates the person to keep improving (creating expectations around them and at the same time feeling good every time others recognize and appreciate their progress). All this clearly indicating to the patient that the confidentiality of sensitive information treated during the sessions is fully preserved.

Do you want to train in effective psychotherapeutic strategies?

If you are interested in specializing in psychotherapy practices in patient care, the Postgraduate in Intervention Formats and Therapeutic Techniques offered by the Mensalus Institute is for you.

It is a training program for graduates in psychology who wish to become professionals in the clinical field, lasting 6 months, and which gives the possibility of being done online. From an integrative theoretical positioning that combines several currents of psychology and psychotherapy techniques, this Master is taught by psychologists who devote most of their professional dedication to patient care, and having as epicenter the psychology clinic of Mensalus, gives the opportunity to know the details of daily life in this type of work.

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