Cure is a word that most healthcare professionals don’t like to use. Most prefer to opt for something like ‘significant clinical change’. Even if the person is completely free of their symptoms at the end of therapy , it is usual for there to be little resurgences at a later point, especially if they are under a lot of stress. If they apply the effective principles they learnt during therapy then the symptoms usually subside, but a ‘forever cure’ can’t be promised.
In my experience and research it is usual for people to improve, often early in therapy, and I am surprised if there is no change. What I am aiming at is substantial improvement and that is frequently achieved. I suppose the areas I have greatest success with are those where I have most experience, which are generally anxiety disorders such as Panic Attacks, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobias. I do see something close to a total cure moderately often.
However, improvement cannot be guaranteed. Sometimes there is a only a small improvement in a person’s clinical condition. It is quite hard to predict this. But the other problem with ‘cure’ is that it is not just dependent on the type of therapy provided. The relationship between the patient and therapist is really important too. I like to spend time in the first session explaining the person’s condition to them and the nature of treatment. An important building block in a person’s therapy is that they trust you and think the therapy makes sense. Sometimes a patient may not like the treatment plan, or not get on with the therapist and so decides not to start the therapy proper – this is quite acceptable- but normally we can mutually agree on the course of therapy and see therapy as a journey we are travelling together.