Research has shown that there are four factors in determining success in therapy. A key element for a successful therapy is the client’s capacity for growth and self healing; this factor represents about forty percent of the client success in therapy. Each person has his/her own strengths and resources which may include beliefs, feelings, skills, knowledge, abilities, relational capacity, and so on. An effective therapy helps clients discover and use their resources and strengths. Dr. Durana focuses on what is right with the client rather than what is wrong; he draws out strengths, abilities, and resources. This approach assumes that change is easier when we are in a position of strength rather than weakness or failure. By looking at what is right with a person or what has worked in the past, and identifying assests a person’s capacity for change and healing can be encouraged.
Some forms of therapy focus on what is wrong with the person (pathologizing) and what can be done to fix it. Although this approach can be helpful sometime Dr. Durana has found that this approach has many disadvantages. For example, when a person is called phobic about relationships, this label can act as a barrier that may prevent understanding the person, and raise defenses and threaten the success of therapy. Dr. Durana believes that a person is much more than a label, and it is easier to say that a person has forgotten or has not learned how to relate with others because of past disappointments or hurts. Thinking this way about oneself can then facilitate self-acceptance and self-love. Dr. Durana believes that how we think about the source of our problem or of another person’s problem is of utmost importance.
It is extremely useful to find out what has not worked, but it is more important to find out what has worked so that it can be enhanced and used; for example, in what periods of our lives were we most ourselves, when and how did we make the best decisions, and so on. Dr. Durana’s approach facilitates self-discovery, personal responsibility and/or control, and problem solving. It is based on the assumption that people possess the ability to uncover resources and directions for growth in life, and it is based upon an interest in everyone’s personal worth, capability and lovability.
Dr. Durana believes that it is the job of the therapist to help the client discover his/her resources and potential for growth, and to provide the environment under which successful counseling or therapy can take place, but ultimately it is the client that makes counseling work, not the therapist or the technique.
The Client-Counselor Relationship
The working partnership developed by the counselor and the client is the second most important factor for a successful therapy. This relationship is a resource that you, the client, can use to mobilize for growth and healing. An effective counselor should display essential qualities like caring, genuineness, empathy, warmth, and respect for you as a person, and show interest in your ideas and feelings. The therapist should also encourage you in trying out new solutions. The relationship can provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where you, the client, can obtain information, tools and skills, experience and think through your problems, create new perspectives, evaluate and experiment with potential solutions, receive feedback, and gain mastery over your problems.