I often hear that counseling only works because of the placebo effect. Well it actually works because you have changed to more positive thinking patterns.
We know that thinking positive improves outcomes precisely because of the placebo effect.
In fact, that is what the placebo effect is: feeling better as the result of nothing else but thinking that you might feel better.
Positive thinking reduces resistance to change and allows it to happen through it's natural course. It primes or prepares a person for change, and then natural processes that are in effect all the time can make a noticeable impact due to decreased resistance.