Despite the therapist’s, and the client’s, best intentions when beginning (or during) a therapeutic relationship, sometimes it simply will not work for the following reasons:

1. Personality clashes

This usually results when both people have very different world views, for example, an atheist and a Christian. The disagreements that would result from such an encounter would interfere with the healing process so that it would not be beneficial for either (except possibly the therapist who will be paid regardless).

2. The therapist is experiencing a personal crisis

In this situation, the healer will not be able to focus on the client’s issues effectively. This often involves the therapist turning up late or not at all; projecting his/her issues onto the client; being moody and so on.

3. The therapist lacks experience

In spite of the number of qualifications a healer possesses s/he is not always proficient at helping people due to a lack of challenging experiences, or, not having dealt with her/his own painful life events. This profession requires compassion and wisdom that only comes from healing profound loss and/or trauma.

4. The client needs a different modality

This is really something that only the client can determine by paying attention to whether or not s/he feels better after a session or several sessions, as the case may be. The therapist may insist that the issue is with the client in order to save face (i.e. s/he is not ‘letting go’, listening to instructions, taking responsibility, etc.).

5. The client needs to take responsibility for healing

The expectation is usually that healing occurs only in sessions and that no other action is required in day-to-day life. The client is often afraid to face his/her feelings when alone but this is how the healing process works – it cannot be forced especially in relation to the expression of emotions which may surface at any moment. If s/he doesn’t make time for, and find the space to, rest, cry, get angry and so on, any good work accomplished in therapy will go down the drain. And besides…the therapist cannot feel the client’s feelings for them…

It is important to remember that “All Healing is Self-healing” – that is, the client decides whether or not a modality or therapist is effective based on his/her experience and intuition; the therapist can only guide or facilitate healing.

(Modified excerpt from DIY Therapy: Simple Self-help Skills)

Happy Healing!