Thursday, June 1, 2017

The 4 Factors of Healing

Some things work and some don't. 

If it works do more of it
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it
Each factor is important but some are more influential than others. Good therapists want to know how to be more effective so here are the facts from forty years of research. The special knowledge, techniques, advice, medicine and brilliance of the therapist is worth about 15% of a successful outcome. 

When a doctor gives a depressed patient medicine, suggests that he exercise, offers insights about the family system or reinforces good self esteem it counts for something but not much. My professional colleagues are disappointed to learn that the thousands of dollars spent on graduate school and all the materials they have mastered over the years make such a small difference to the client.  The Peer Counselors are ecstatic. 

If it doesn’t work stop it

The faith and hope of the client 15%. is worth about the same as the professional’s insights and knowledge.

Many of us can tell stories about how a patient refused to give up and was healed or changed. As Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole.” There is no technique or treatment plan more effective than the client’s faith. Belief will have a more consistent payoff than any single treatment intervention.

Hope for change is as effective as cognitive restructuring, positive reinforcement, family interventions, medication, etc. Eclectic therapists use a combination of treatment techniques because no one technique is always helpful. However, the client’s faith is always helpful.

The third factor is worth about twice of the other two. The client who sees his therapist, nurse or doctor as caring will have a 30% boost in getting better. Research has even discovered that one of the “magical keys to caring in the helper’s Genuine concern, Respect, the Empathic understanding for the client’s situation and her Warm relationship to the seeker. 

We call them the GREW skills.

Finally, we come to the factor that makes the most difference. It is also the one over which helpers have the least influence. The client brings it to each session. It is her level of motivation and the support she gets from family, friends and coworkers to make the healthy changes in life. 

These account for 40% of positive outcomes. It is very important to seek ways a client can increase her motivation. All clients are motivated but not to do what we want them to do.  

Second, it is critical for clients to get a lot of support for change from family and friends.  The personal faith of the client and the support of her faith community add greatly to her motivation.

This is why church and Sunday school attendance are important in motivating positive teen behavior.  Money, family dysfunctions, discipline styles or IQ pale in comparison to parents, Sunday school teachers and Christian friends to prevent sex, drugs and violence among youth.

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