Therapy Honeymoon – the reason you suddenly feel better

Embarking on a therapeutic journey can be a truly transformative experience, and guess what? It often comes with an exciting bonus—a surge of well-being right from the start! Known as the “therapy honeymoon” or “therapeutic uplift,” this phenomenon has been studied by researchers and holds promising implications for mental health treatment. In this lighthearted blog post, we’ll dive into the concept of the therapy honeymoon, explore the evidence behind it, and celebrate its significance in the therapy process. 


What’s the Therapy Honeymoon All About? 

Imagine this: You decide to give therapy a try, and boom! You experience an instant boost in your well-being. That’s the therapy honeymoon—a period of initial positive changes that many people encounter when they start therapy. While not everyone may experience it, research suggests it’s quite common and worth celebrating. 


Evidence That Backs It Up 

Party Time for Meta-Analyses

   – In a meta-analysis by Horvath and Symonds (1991), researchers discovered that individuals often show significant improvements in well-being during the early stages of therapy. 

   – Lambert and Ogles (2004) went all out and conducted a meta-analysis involving 475 studies, revealing substantial positive changes right from the therapy kickoff. 


Real-Life Success Stories

   – Swift and Greenberg (2012) set out to capture the magic of therapy in real-world settings. Their study found that clients frequently experience significant relief from symptoms like depression and anxiety early on in therapy. 

   – Hansen, Lambert, and Forman (2002) hosted a massive therapy party, inviting over 14,000 clients. The result? Significant improvements were spotted within the first eight sessions. 


Happy Clients and Therapists

   – When clients were asked about their therapy experience, they reported feelings of relief, validation, and hope. It’s like a refreshing breeze on a summer day, lifting their mood and self-awareness. 

   – Therapists were also in on the celebration, observing their clients’ emotional shifts, increased motivation, and active participation in therapy. 


Unveiling the Secret Ingredients

The Therapeutic Alliance Dance

   – Picture a perfect dance between the therapist and the client—the therapeutic alliance. When this relationship is strong, characterized by trust, empathy, and collaboration, it can amplify the positive effects of therapy and contribute to the therapy honeymoon. 


Hope and High Expectations

   – Stepping into therapy ignites a spark of hope and optimism. Positive expectations about the therapy process and its potential outcomes fuel the initial surge in well-being, setting the stage for further growth. 


Riding the Wave of the Therapy Honeymoon 

While the therapy honeymoon is an exciting kickstart, it’s important to remember that sustained progress often requires ongoing therapy and continued effort. So, let’s hop on this wave of well-being, enjoy the journey, and leverage this positive momentum to create lasting changes in our mental health and overall well-being. 

The therapy honeymoon, with its delightful surge of well-being at the beginning of therapy, is real and backed by scientific research. It’s a cause for celebration—a reminder that positive changes can happen right from the start. By embracing and riding this wave of well-being, clients and therapists can work together to make therapy a transformative experience, fostering lasting mental health and well-being. 

Now that you know about the therapy honeymoon and its potential for positive change, here are a few tips to harness its power to your advantage.

Embrace the positive momentum and build upon it by actively engaging in therapy.

Share openly with your therapist, be honest about your experiences, and set clear goals for what you hope to achieve.

Take note of the strategies, insights, and coping mechanisms you learn during this initial phase. These can serve as valuable tools that you can continue to apply beyond the therapy room.

Lastly, use the therapy honeymoon as a reminder of your own resilience and capacity for growth. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small, and maintain a sense of hope and optimism as you navigate the therapeutic journey.

The therapy honeymoon is just the beginning of a transformative process, and with an open mind and active participation, you can make the most of it for long-lasting well-being.



  • Horvath, A. O., & Symonds, B. D. (1991). Relation between working alliance and outcome in psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38(2), 139-149. 
  • Lambert, M. J., & Ogles, B. M. (2004). The efficacy and effectiveness of psychotherapy. In M. J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (5th ed., pp 


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