How to follow the phases of therapy - Milan Krajnc
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The article is primarily aimed at all therapists or those who work on themselves.

In personal counseling it is very difficult to measure the effects, because we are constantly talking about feelings. Clients expect a miracle from us after the first meeting. They are convinced that we have a “magic wand”. However, this is not the case. Therefore, clients are usually disappointed after the first therapy because their expectations are too high. The most important thing is to communicate with the client at the beginning, how the work is going and what they can expect. We have to tell him very clearly that we are not doing anything for him, that he does everything himself, that we are just guiding him and helping him to see the “invisible”.

The therapist does most of the work in his work when he builds trust with the client. Then the therapist can lead unconditionally to the set goal. Otherwise the client resists, looks for excuses or. Therapies only remain on the level of conversations (which is also the therapist’s greatest fear).

That is why we at the ToBe Institute have developed a method that would make the therapist’s work easier. The method was developed on the basis of good knowledge in project management, as we have been working on projects for over 20 years, and on the basis of measuring the effect of consultation and implementation rates, which have been taking place in the company for almost ten years.

ToBe Institute - Milan Krajnc

On the basis of internal random samples, we found that the way to solve personal problems was always the same. Since the same people were working on crisis management and projects, we quickly realized that this was the same approach or working method.

Since we already had a developed method in our project work, we slowly began to transfer the working method or measured effectiveness to the level of personal counseling, later on to therapy. The model was first developed internally on 100 samples (clients) and then confirmed on the next 150. The result was always the same.

The working system was divided into 5 steps:

Step 1: INTRODUCTORY PART – define the problem, set a goal – understand the same problem

Phases of therapy - Milan Krajnc

1. Step 1: INTRODUCTORY PART – define the problem, set a goal – understand the same problem

The client often comes with very high expectations, he is convinced that he can solve the problem with just one conversation, but he is usually disappointed in the end.That is why it is important to communicate with him from the beginning how our work is going and what the results might be. It is mainly up to him to decide on the success of the therapy. Therefore, we must first conclude a cooperation agreement and inform him about the price of our service. The agreement must contain the following articles:

  • No matter how bad it is for me, I will not do anything that could endanger my life, nor will I allow anyone to endanger my life.
  • No matter how bad it is for me, I will not use any form of violence against other people.
  • No matter how bad it is, I will remain present and sober and will not endanger my mental health through my actions.
  • In case of violation of agreements, the counseling will be terminated or a new agreement will be made.

These articles are usually intimidated by clients and they start asking for them. But only then do they begin to realize the existence and seriousness of the psychotherapist’s work. The latter article is especially important because if the client interrupts the process and wants to continue it, it is necessary
to start from the beginning.

As soon as the client signs the declaration, the work can only begin.

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The first step is to determine the purpose for which the client has come forward and what the client thinks is his problem, what he wants to solve.

During the introductory talk, the therapist must pay particular attention to the client’s overall communication (language, way of speaking, posture, response possibilities, observation… in all forms of communication). In particular, he notes down the basic starting points for carrying out the therapy, which he can use as a guide for further work and later for measuring the effect:

  • What does the client think is his problem? – Record this on the basis of his statement.
  • What does the therapist see as his problem? - Record this on the basis of your expectations
  • What are the client's expectations? - Record this on the basis of his clear message.
  • What is the client's basic position (role)? - Record this when he realizes what role he plays or what his basic position is from which he derives. If you have no games, roles or positions in your modality, try to imagine what the client reminds you of from your life. If you wallow in yourself, you will get a very clear answer.
  • Mental disorder? - Estimate what kind of mental disorder the client has (Paranoia,....), which makes it easier for us to define his problem and beliefs.
Phases of therapy - Milan Krajnc

During the conversation we actually explore the client’s past. Here we mainly use techniques of psychoanalysis.

The next phase is to determine the criteria or the degree of difficulty of the problem.

Here the client and the therapist must find a common point of measured difficulty, sea waves, earthquakes, car speed… in order to establish a scale (1-10) according to which the criteria are used in which phase of the problem solution or how severe the problem still is. The method from the psychology of “Peaceful Sea” proved to be the best one. The client tries to imagine the waves of the sea. How high the waves cause his problem and when the waves are highest is level 10.

If the problem occurs in different environments and with different degrees, the client can start to compare them. Is it perhaps half the size? However, he is trying to create a state in his mind where he feels great and would call it level 1. If stage 1, it means that the surface of his sea is completely calm.

So the client and the therapist have an apparent scale that they check with each therapy. The introductory part usually takes two or three sessions. Therefore, it is important that the therapist and the client first agree on a minimum of 8 sessions, with a time delay of at least 1 week and a maximum of 2 weeks between them. Only in this way can the whole process be carried out completely.


When we receive information from a client, we are qualified to work, which does not mean that we already have a guaranteed success. By researching his past with the client, we look for causes, we build a relationship. The relationship is the first condition for building trust. Because only if the client trusts the therapist unconditionally does this mean that he can follow without hesitation, interrupt the process and offer resistance. Here it is very important to adhere to the psychotherapist’s code of ethics (this applies from the very first meeting), and above all to talk a lot and work on sharpening the sense of responsibility. We can take Choice Theory as a starting point.

This is actually the most difficult part of psychotherapeutic work. We must be aware that the client who comes to us first trusts us unconditionally, because our sign is already a psychotherapist, someone who can confess and trust him. But already after leaving, doubts begin to arise in him, countless questions. The degree of trust decreases, and so we begin to build trust again at the next visit.

Phases of therapy - Milan Krajnc

Steps 1 and 2 are “based”.

This means that you prepare for the actual solution of problems. In these phases the client does not feel any major changes, at best the relief of “pain”, often he falls back into the state he came to the first visit with. This does not mean that we are already doing therapy, but if we ourselves panic that there are no changes, we have made the biggest mistake.

The most important thing is that we believe in our own work and that we follow the cycle we have outlined. Above all, we must be tolerant. This is a purely natural cycle, the way nature works. Everything has its time. The work with us has shown that the introductory part or. 1/3 of the time of the whole therapy passes until confidence is built, which could be called the introductory or preparatory part. Also in the project work we have to prepare ourselves well for the project so that the implementation goes smoothly. If I may say a bit roughly, when you build a house, you had to prepare well, from the projects to the building permit to all the detailed plans… if not, then something was always missing, nothing was ever done… as in therapy, if we do not prepare well, we usually get to a point with the client at some point, but the question is whether we solve the problem. At the end of therapy we should, as they say in physics, make a “quantum leap” so that the client never returns to the original state or. he has the same problem or even worse.


The implementation is carried out according to the method of the modality we know or. as we would say, we use tools that we have learned in the process of studying psychotherapy. Here we will have a feeling of “victory” after each therapy, because the results will be visible after each session. Of course,
the feeling of victory must not overwhelm us and be left to the client, we still have to guide the process.

We must not stop the process at this stage! We must not forget the benchmark (phase 1)!


When the client himself tells us that he feels reborn, it means that we are actually at the end of our process and that the results of our work are seen. So in the following sessions we mainly check and measure his reactions to certain situations, his views before and today, his views on certain people and
situations. The therapy in this phase moves into the phase of completion, which means that we no longer have to expect drastic changes in behavior and well-being, but above all a consolidation of conditions. Above all, we find fear in them.

We must not stop the process at this stage! We must not forget the scale!


The last step could be called exhalation or, as athletes say at the end of training, exhalation

The intensity of the conversation is very low, it is mostly conversations about everyday things.

Steps 4 and 5 should be the same length as the input, i.e. 1/3 of the whole process. You see, the whole process must end as slowly as we started it. By this we mean that the solution has crawled under the client’s skin. We will feel that we are now less productive, that we can do one less meeting or that it can be free. But no; because we put a lot of energy into the first meetings, it simply balances out in the end, and most importantly, we are focused and sober until the last moment.

If you compare the intensity of your therapies, you will see that they probably take place in such a cycle, but because we all work more or less by feeling, this way of working requires a lot of energy and above all organizational time.

In the company SIRIUS.SI we have created a diagram that shows all five phases. The attached diagram is the starting point or a kind of map, on which the client and the therapist draw on which phase they are in. On the vertical line there are time intervals, each bookmark on the vertical line shows one session. On the horizontal, the level or. a scale that is set by the client and therapist at the beginning (level 10 is below 1, above).

We need to divide the sessions into equal intervals by dividing them equally by thirds. After each session, we draw what stage they are at in solving the problem or. how much is still missing by the end. And so in each session, until the end.


Of course, it is not theirs to do exactly as the chart says, but it is important that we at least keep track of what stage we are at and how far we are from the average.

All phases are repeated at the one-handed meeting. Each meeting must have the same phases, only then can the conversation/counseling/therapy be completed.

If you would like us to divide your work into phases so that you can work more efficiently and your clients are satisfied, please write to us at

Avtor - Milan Krajnc
Author of the article: Milan Krajnc pedagogue, entrepreneur & crisis manager I teach you to look “at yourself” as a third person. For more information or an introductory meeting, write to me at
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