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  • Writer's pictureMarco Ma

What is the “secret sauce” that makes therapy or counselling work?

The essence of effective therapy or counseling lies in a harmonious blend of three crucial elements: a client's willingness to embark on a journey of change, the cultivation of self-compassion, and a nurturing therapeutic alliance. This trio forms the cornerstone of a transformative therapeutic process, guiding individuals towards profound personal growth and healing.


1) Willingness is characterized by a drive to change and an understanding of one's deviation from personal wellness. Although we might recognize the dysfunctions in our lives, we frequently miss the deeper connection and insight into the significance of making changes.

2) Self-compassion is pivotal. For therapy to foster meaningful change, clients must shift from self-criticism and judgment to nurturing self-compassion and love. Without this transformation, individuals may find themselves perpetually trapped in cycles of trauma, marked by feelings of inadequacy, unlovability, and neglect.

3) The therapeutic relationship stands paramount. It is incumbent upon the therapist to cultivate a foundation of trust, offering unwavering support and precise empathy to their clients. This endeavor demands that clients, in turn, embrace vulnerability and transparency. Such a relationship not only exemplifies a model of healthy interaction, showcasing effective communication strategies like mending breaches in connection but also promotes profound emotional engagement, encouraging the expression and recognition of feelings.

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