A common pitfall I used to make in my first year out of grad school was to agonise over clients who didn’t seem to be making any progress.
In one extreme case, I worked with a teenage girl and her family for 12 months and at the end of time together, I was left seriously questioning whether I’d made any difference.
The girl suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and, in hindsight, it was quite a severe case. Her OCD got in the way of a lot of things in her life, including her ability to make progress in treatment.
She could chat about what treatment for OCD would look like and listen to the research and success stories, but when it came to actively engaging in strategies, it just never happened.
After our fourth session I asked her if she wanted to try another psychologist and reassured her that I wouldn’t be offended if she felt we weren’t clicking.