During the course of therapy a therapist will have to gloss over a multitide of evident signs that their theory is not valid and their ‘treatment’ is not helping the patient. They will make mistakes, forget important details (such as meetings), make huge ‘counter-transferernces’ which they will have to wave away (while focussing in minute detail on the ‘transferences’ of the patient). The patient will go for years without ‘improving’. If they do improve there will be no evidence that proves that the ‘improvement’ had anything to do with the therapy. (Indeed it is likely that all the evidence will be that it would have happened anyway).
In the end the solution adopted by therapy is to say that therapy is a ‘way of life’. This is a claim that ‘being in therapy’ has a value in itself. It is simply a ‘virtuous’ thing to do. One ‘should’ (normative claim) be ‘in therapy’. Once the claim is elavated to this level it no longer matters if anyone ‘improves’ or not. By making this claim they absolve themselves from any need to see or verifiy improvements.
This claim makes therapy a cult. It cannot be the ‘science’ that organisations such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy claim it to be.