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Psychotherapy has been described as including four major factors:

  • A relationship in which the client has confidence that the therapist is competent and cares about his or her welfare
  • The expectancy or hope shared by the therapist and the client that benefits will result from the process
  • An underlying conceptual framework that provides a rationale for understanding and a set of procedures designed to alleviate the client's distress and functional impairment that require the active participation of both client and therapist
  • A practice setting that is socially defined and accepted as a place of healing

Additional factors that influence the process and outcome include aspects of the client (e.g., nature of the problem, ability to understand and engage in the process, motivation for change, and resources ...

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