The term “Quick fix belief” is used when clients have a need for immediate results in therapy. The “Quick Fix Belief” can be a massive roadblock to progress in therapy. It is responsible for a high percentage of premature therapy drop outs.
For instance, clients may say after two or three sessions “I feel you don’t help me”, or “Nothing has changed- therapy does not work”. As therapist, I am literally stunned for a moment or two.
More difficult to deal with, when clients do not say anything, but do not reschedule or cancel a follow up appointment. When then asked in a follow up phone call, the hesitantly admit that they believe therapy does not help. The question is: When? After two sessions? Or after twenty?
The problem with the Quick Fix belief are unrealistic expectations. “Quick fix believers” form an idea how therapy should be, only to find out, that reality is very different. The unrealistic expectations create enormous pressure that is detrimental to productive work.
That necessarily leads to disappointment and frustration, however, is really a self-defeating mindset. The problem is that clients with Quick Fix belief do not check in with external reality and use external information to adjust the belief. Instead of correcting the belief, every effort is made to confirm the quick fix belief, by looking for reasons that fit would fit the belief, like assuming the therapist has not worked hard enough or is not experienced enough or the chosen therapy is not for good enough or (fill in the blank). The exclusive focus on their own standard is the trap.
As a result clients do not get the therapy they need because they stop before effective progress can take place. They may also not seek help somewhere else or if they do, they enter therapy with the same expectations that will necessarily be disappointed.
What expectations in terms of progress are reasonable? Say you want to get fit, ask yourself, how often do you need to go to the Gym? It will vary, depending how much time you are willing to spend, which fitness level you want to reach and for how long have you been unfit.
Progress comes in incremental steps. Like a music tutor the therapist can show you a new perspective, explore and identify what went wrong, he can encourage you to explore new ways and to practice, he can explain how things work, in other words he can catalyse your progress, but your doing and practicing is what creates your skills.
Give yourself some time to do so, as it will lead to robust results. Remember the time when you learned something new, it takes some effort and consistency to develop new skills. At times, starting something new, can feel a bit awkward at first. Most people, however, say it is worth the while, because once you developed the skills you own them. They pride themselves because they now know they achieved it.
What to expect from your therapist? You can expect your well-trained therapist to gather relevant information and to discuss a plan including your goals, and it is a good idea to be part of that plan. I encourage you to agree on a number of sessions and to give your therapist feedback. Feel encouraged to raise concerns as soon as they arise.
Therapy should focus not only on reducing symptoms but more so on addressing associated problems and relapse prevention. Therapy encourages to go differently about problem-solving and helps you find what works for you. It assists in finding the direction that motivates you to push through, to take action and to develop skills as you go. The main driver is that you want to be in a better place. I have seen it so many times.