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Working along sudden gains: Responsiveness on small and subtle early changes and exceptions

Psychologists Interested in the Advancement of Psychotherapy
Publication Date
  • Institute Of Psychology
  • 150 Psychology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


When mental health is monitored over the course of treatment, many clients report strong and stable changes, particularly early in psychotherapy. Such changes can occur both in singular events, such as sudden gains in particular symptoms, and more comprehensive ways across the World Health Organization definition of health (WHO, 1948), which includes well-being and psychosocial functioning. The present practical guideline illustrates a systematized sequence of tasks that explore rapid changes and sudden gains at a very early stage of therapy, as well as how such changes can be used in future therapeutic work. These tasks include (1) exploration of the change situation, (2) reinforcement of generalized self-efficacy and hope bonding, and (3) benefit for therapy.

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