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Therapy Effectiveness Tips: Addressing Treatment Interfering Behaviors (TIBs)

By Yvonne Baker, Psychology Intern

In the course of therapy, individuals may sometimes question the effectiveness of their treatment or seek strategies to optimize its impact. These behaviors, often referred to as Treatment Interfering Behaviors (TIBs), can be categorized into three main groups: timely behaviors, communication behaviors, and influence behaviors. Let's explore how you can contribute to improving the effectiveness of therapy through mindful actions.
Starting with timely behaviors, it is crucial to attend therapy sessions regularly and punctually. Missing sessions or arriving late reduces the time available for therapeutic engagement and may impede progress. Additionally, prioritizing discussion topics related to your treatment goals can maximize the effectiveness of your session. Consider creating a list of key topics to guide your conversations and ensure that the most pertinent issues are addressed during your time with the therapist.
Moving on to communication behaviors, fostering open and clear communication with your therapist is paramount. Asking pertinent questions and providing detailed, truthful information aids in mutual understanding and facilitates smoother treatment progression. Understanding your treatment plan and ensuring that your therapist comprehends your needs and concerns are fundamental aspects of effective therapy. Furthermore, adopting accepting behaviors and language fosters a positive therapeutic relationship, avoiding interruptions or arguments that can disrupt progress and diminish the session's effectiveness.
Lastly, influence behaviors encompass attitudes and actions that support not only your treatment but also that of others involved in the therapeutic process. Maintaining a positive and receptive attitude towards treatment experiences is essential. Avoid invalidating your own or others' emotions, as this can undermine progress and discourage openness. It's crucial to maintain realistic expectations regarding the therapeutic process—therapy is a gradual journey that requires commitment and effort to yield results. For instance, during exposure tasks, refrain from enabling or interrupting the process, as this can significantly impede progress.
In summary, enhancing treatment effectiveness requires a proactive approach that emphasizes effort, effective communication, and mutual respect between yourself and your therapist. By committing to these principles, you can positively influence the trajectory of your therapy journey and maximize its benefits.



Davis, M.L., Fletcher, T. McIngvale, E., Cepeda, S. L., Schneider, S. C., La Buissonniere Ariza, V., Egberts, J., Goodman, W., & Storch, E. A. (2020). Clinicians' perspectives of interfering behaviors in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders in adults and children. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 49(1), 81-96,
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