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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the biggest obstacle for people in therapy?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    This is a very hard question which I doubt has a “right” answer.

    For me, writing as somebody who is in remission from depression, the most important thing has been to find mental health professionals (psychiatrists and clinical psychologists) with whom I can develop rapport/empathy (or mutual respect) with.

    For example, my first psychiatrist, though doubtless a fine clinician, had zero empathy with me.

    That was a big “obstacle” for me so I sacked her.

    Apart from that (and I am not seeking to invalidate you here) another “obstacle” can be an expectation that mental health professionals have “magic bullets” which their clients can passively consume.

    It does not work that way - recovery from any mental illness is an active process which requires (sometimes hard) work from a client as well as rapport between him/her and his/her care team.

  • 2


    Marian Spencer Counselling is a private practice located in Cornubia, South East QLD, and offers services Specifically for Women. I am a graduate member of … View Profile

    The biggest obstacle (generally) for people in therapy I have found, is that of trust. 

    Many clients initially are scared to be open and honest about sharing their problems with somebody they have just met.  At this point in time, they do not know if they can trust the counsellor to keep their issues or concerns private and confidential.

    Sometimes clients view seeking therapy or reaching out for help as a weakness and do not know if they can trust the counsellor not to take advantage of their situation.  I strongly believe that reaching out for help is not a weakness, it's an amazing strength and something to be commended.

    Once clients have taken that first step into counselling it is then up to the counsellor to start building a rapport with the client.  This usually starts with the offer of a safe, caring, supportive, non judgemental and empathic environment to help the client feel comfortable.  Should the counsellor be successful in achieving this, then trust in the counsellor usually follows.

  • 1


    Dr Paul McQueen

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    A common obstacle in therapy is that many times the things that are causing us the biggest problems are directly related to the things that provide us relief from our problems. For example, for a person suffering depression staying in bed all day may feel like the only way to get some slight relief from their persistent sadness. Yet, at the same time, staying in bed is keeping them isolated from social supports that could play an important part in their recovery. Since therapy usually involves changing these unhelpful patterns in one way or another, therapy can be at times very uncomfortable. Because of this I often caution clients that “it gets worse before it gets better.” It is important to stick through the discomfort to reap the rewards.

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