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  • Fe Robinson

The importance of reviews in psychotherapy

Today I want to write about the importance of regular reviews when psychotherapy becomes long term. Many clients come into therapy with clear outcomes, and they are able to use therapy as a short term tool to enable them to bridge the gap between how they are experiencing life now, and how they want to experience life. When this happens, progress is reviewed, and the therapy ends. Great stuff.

However, not all psychotherapy is short term, nor is it always so simple. Sometimes the first outcome is to help someone contain their feelings and thoughts about week to week life, enabling them to stabilise and to begin to be more introspective about what it is they would like to have happen. It may take some time for clarity to emerge, and to build a sense of possibility of difference. Initial goals may be formed, and they may develop and change as the therapy progresses.

Where this is the case, it is essential that attention is paid to regularly review how therapy is being experienced, and what it is enabling. As an outcome-oriented practitioner, I always want my clients to feel they have influence and a sense of agency in what is occurring, and that they know why we are doing whatever it is that we are doing. Choice is important, and so is a sense of exploration and discovery in whatever direction is useful.

Psychotherapy is not a talking shop. It’s not an aimless amble around. At it’s best, it is a powerful enabler and builder of possibilities. If you don’t know where you are going, then any path will do. To me that is not enough. Sometimes we absolutely dwell in not knowing, we go slow, and we take all the space needed to allow what needs to emerge to emerge. The thing is, we do this mindfully, we talk about the process and what is unfolding, and we hold in mind the intention of creating trust, space, clarity…whatever it is that is needed.

If you’re in therapy and you’ve not had a conversation about the process, progress and possibilities for a while, then please do. It’s an important part of what is unfolding in your healing space.


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