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30/30/30/10: The Concept

Over the next few weeks, I am going to introduce my 30/30/30/10 rule of therapy and explain its components. First, let’s begin with what the concept is.

If you think about why therapy is helpful, the answer is not immediately obvious. In fact, the deeper you dive into the question, sometimes the murkier the answers appear to be. The 30/30/30/10 rule is my way of helping people understand why therapy is effective:

30% is due to the activity of talking about yourself and your life.

30% is due to the space.

30% is due to the relationship that unfolds between you and your therapist.

10% is random, unknowable, miscellaneous, extra.

Now, on the one hand, the idea of splitting the effectiveness of therapy into percentages is pretty meaningless because 1) it's not like the therapeutic process is a pie that can be divided and 2) even if it were, such an interpersonal and unique process is bound to have significant individual differences.

However, I stand by the 30/30/30/10 rule because it helps people understand that therapy consists of three main components—the activity, the space, and the relationship—and always contains a percentage of unknowability.

See the following posts for more information on why each particular component is helpful.

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