How do we even know if a therapy is effective? Some really smart people have gone through the trouble of identifying 4 Common Factors that are found in most evidence-based approaches.

That’s all just a little bit of clinical jargon. What you need to know is that I’m not sure what the “right” therapist would be for everyone, but I’ll do my best to explain four of these common factors & I’ll throw in one of my own.

Alliance – Chemistry is important in any relationship. The more you vibe with your therapist, the more you’ll trust. You want to feel respected and safe.

Technique – Regardless of who your therapist is, what they say has to make sense to you. It’s important for you to click with the way your therapist creates structure in the session and how your therapist conveys ideas & theories.

Hopefulness – It’s important for everyone to have a clear understanding of the goals & expectations that are set in therapy. On top of that, it’s helpful if everyone believes and commits to those goals & expectations. Therapy is a mental and emotional workout. You got to put in work. Openly believing and committing to therapy will provide purposeful results.

You – In essence, the attributes that you bring into the session. Your personal strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics including beliefs and attitudes get to be on full display. Therapy isn’t about being vulnerable, therapy is about you being able to be you.

Furniture – You’re going to need a good couch after hitting the first 4 factors.