This post will provide a simple explanation of the three steps we use to help clients heal.
Step 1: Clients are often curious if we need to discuss the past. The answer to this will largely depend on the way the therapist works. The model at our clinic is, yes we do need to discuss the past. Now I'll tell you why. In order to understand where the treatment needs to go we need to have a mutual understanding, with the client, about what has led up to the client feeling, thinking, and/or acting the way they are. In other words, the discussion of the past is useful and will inform us what we need to do next.
Step 2: So we have an understanding of what has led to this point of your life, now what? This is when we figure out what is keeping it alive. In other words what is maintaining your feeling, thinking, and/or acting this way. It may seem that since what we discussed is in past those feelings, thoughts, and actions would have gone away. However, many of us find this lingering. Together, we will discover what is keeping this active in your life.
Step 3: Where do we go from here? Now that we know how your history has led to this point and we have an idea how it is being maintained we need to change some things. This may require challenging you to engage differently in relationships, change the way you think of yourself or others, find ways to catch yourself when you slip back into old ways of thinking and acting. This can be tough work but your therapist will work with you to accomplish this.
Clearly, these three steps are each a significant task. Hopefully, this will provide a basic understanding of the road map that your therapist uses to guide your treatment.