As the gladiolas begin to bloom in front of our Center, I am thinking about aspects of CBT that are often treated as “dormant” elements and yet which, like underground bulbs, play a big role in our visible therapy outcomes. One of these elements is therapy structure. CBT includes a number of structured elements: weekly monitoring of client symptoms, feedback from clients each session, agenda setting, linking homework to treatment goals, etc. Structure has been linked to positive therapy outcome but doesn’t often get the attention that is paid to specific therapy methods and protocols.
Just as we need to provide water, fertilizer and sunshine to the soil where our gladiolas grow even in the winter when they are not yet visible, as therapists we need to provide structure to our therapy sessions even when it is not yet evident what will bloom from our efforts. Take some time this week to think about how you can add more structure to boost the benefit of the therapy you offer.