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01 February 2021
Therapeutic Failures in Counselling/Psychotherapy
In spite of our best intentions and efforts to help our clients and their strong desire to solve personal problems, heal from emotional injuries, and grow, counselling/psychotherapy sometimes does not work. Meta-analyses consistently show that a substantial proportion of clients do not make significant improvement and that 5 to 10% of clients deteriorate as a result of therapy. Therapeutic failures hold keys to improving the effectiveness of psychotherapy, as well as understanding the essential conditions that need to be in place for the change mechanisms of psychotherapy to take effect. Counselling Psychology Quarterly thus invites empirical research articles, research-based systematic reviews, and research-informed conceptual papers relevant to an anticipated special issue on therapeutic failures in counselling and psychotherapy. Therapeutic failure could include a range of negative therapy outcomes, such as harm, deterioration, client non-response, or dropout, as well as process factors, such as negative therapy experiences, impasses, or therapeutic ruptures. Empirical papers, both quantitative and qualitative, that advance our knowledge in this area are welcomed, as well as clinical materials illustrating how therapeutic failures occur and how they can be prevented.
Areas of further interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
- How therapeutic failures occur in a particular model of psychotherapy and counselling, as well as across different models
- Process-outcome research identifying contributing factors to therapeutic failures
- Process research identifying problematic interactional patterns between client and therapist that may contribute to therapeutic failures
- Qualitative studies of client and/or therapist perspectives on therapeutic failures
- Systematic case studies of therapeutic failures
- Innovative practice and training methods to reduce therapeutic failures
- Training and supervision issues associated with addressing therapeutic failures
- Ethical Issues surrounding therapeutic failures
- Socio-cultural factors associated with therapeutic failures
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