Treatment phases and treatment compliance

Psychotherapy bases its success and usefulness on the fact that it can be adapted to the person’s goals. throughout the therapeutic process.

It is a work in harmony between the psychologist and the person in which different stages can be identified.

The stages of psychotherapy

Here are some of the main steps in the therapeutic process:

1. Commitment and evaluation

This first step consists of the agreement between the psychologist and the consultant to invest time, energy and ability to establish a therapeutic relationship aimed at achieving the therapeutic objectives. Also at this stage the request of the person attending the session must be assessed; taking into account, as far as possible, both objective measures and offering the various empirically validated evidence as subjective measures. Subjective measures are those that are collected both within sessions and between sessions in different self-registers or tasks.

At this stage, the professional may encounter obstacles that do not allow him to continue and must refer the person. Similarly, the person can engage from the first moment or do it a little later, after a period of exploration and framing.

There are some variables that influence when the person decides to start the therapeutic process: a) his expectations and his perception of the psychologist, if he perceives him to be competent, empathetic and experienced, b) his motivation, if he needs therapy solely to relieve, for personal reasons growth, to face a duel… and c) personal characteristics (education, culture, history of learning) falling within the methodology proposed by the professional.

2. Process

This is the most complex and central stage of any psychotherapy. This step can be divided, in turn, into other sub-steps. The most common are look for patterns in the person, gather information and consolidate.

Similar to the assessment phase, as it is necessary to continue to gather information about the person’s progress. Each period depends on the characteristics of the person and the reason for consultation. It is essential that at this stage the person realizes and is aware of what is happening to them and so changes and progress can take place.

3. End of treatment

The person he learned to know his own functioning and his way of being in the world. The person knows their weaknesses and strengths and takes responsibility when making vital decisions.

4. Tracking

Good time tracking is important for ensure that the positive changes achieved are sustained. This monitoring can be bimonthly, quarterly or even annually.

The importance of not interrupting treatment

Although one can identify different stages of psychotherapy that progress more or less linearly, these are not rigid and are not strictly delineated. You can start intervening from the first moment and you can go through each period throughout the therapy.

In this direction, it is important that the therapeutic process continues. In other words, it is recommended to have weekly sessions until you can space out more as the goals are achieved. It is necessary to take into account the circumstances of each person, such as the lack of financial resources, the lack of time or the fact of not being prepared at this moment in their life to begin a therapeutic process.

Here comes into play the flexibility and empathy of the professional when it comes to adapting to the needs of each person who comes to the consultation, although it is necessary to frame the therapy well. It is essential to emphasize the importance of not abandoning the therapeutic process if the final stage has not been reached.

The fact of stop a therapy halfway this can lead the person to be unhappy with the process, not to achieve the goals they set for themselves and to consider that psychology is “useless”. It may be that more than one therapeutic working process has found a space of relief, which may work in the first sessions, but in the long run it ceases to work for the person.

When the process is interrupted before reaching the end of the therapy, we speak of therapeutic abandonment. It is common in clinical practice and has implications for both the person attending therapy and the psychologist. Therapeutic abandonment occurs when the treatment is terminated unilaterally by the person. Consider the various psychosocial, clinical and institutional variables associated with consultant dropout and see dropout in the context of the person.

How is therapeutic adherence improved?

On the other hand, there is the concept of therapeutic adherence. Unlike abandonment, in this case the therapeutic process ends with a mutual agreement between the psychologist and the person.

Some techniques that can help reduce dropouts are:

  • Create a good therapeutic alliance between the person and the professional, based on empathy, honesty and kindness.
  • Convey security and experience, have a resolute attitude and don’t get caught up in the issues the person brings to the consultation.
  • Validate the person’s emotions and don’t judge them. It is necessary for the person to see and feel that this is a safe space to work with the therapist.
  • Provide psychoeducation when deemed appropriate to motivate and educate the person as they engage in therapy.
  • Have frequent contact with the person and their family, whenever necessary, in the form of calls or emails.

The psychologists of PsicoAlmeria they have the experience and training necessary to ensure that psychological therapy produces the necessary benefits for the people who come to the center. They take into account the characteristics of each person, thus carrying out a personalized therapy and at the same time based on proven techniques. They serve both in person and online.

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