Is Therapeutic Alliance the Foundation of Counselling?
To establish and develop the Therapeutic Alliance the Counsellor must be able to help a client relax and feel comfortable. This is a new situation for the client. Therapy allows clients the chance to explore their relational For a therapeutic relationship to develop, grow and flourish, it is crucial a client. Understanding the counseling session from the client's perspective is a very important aspect in the development of a therapeutic relationship. A clinician must.
Insight and experience The insight and experience of a therapist allows them to understand at more depth, things that may have been said to draw attention to language used, or a certain way that a client may be presenting within any given session. It is also important to note that experience and insight of a client is also hugely important.
A therapist and client may be two very different people from different walks of life, but in this relationship evolves the ability to understand sharing experiences and to find new knowledge emerging.
This joint learning and creative experience can make therapy so rewarding for both client and therapist. It is this mutual meeting and exchanging of experiences that increases the power of talking therapies. How our external relationships enter the therapeutic space I have written about the nature of the therapeutic relationship and how the interaction between the client and the therapist matters hugely, however, our external relationships also have a huge impact upon the therapeutic space.
How we interact with others will inevitably enter the therapeutic space. Part of the role of the therapist or counsellor is to understand these relationships, to work with them when they appear.
An example of this could be the way in which a client views their therapist, whether that is as a stern father figure, or a mother who withholds attention. These dynamics and interactions matter and how they play out within the therapeutic bond can allow a client to gain a deeper understanding of their relationships. Again, we see here how important the role of therapist is in giving a client an opportunity to explore their external world within the therapeutic space.
Why does the therapeutic relationship matter? As stated above, without the therapeutic relationship there can be no therapy. Therefore, we know that this is a crucial part of therapy. In some ways you could say that the relationship is the therapy. How the client and therapist engage matters in defining the successes of therapy and counselling. This relationship is essential to establishing and promoting willingness for the client to share and engage within the therapeutic space.
The relationship will hopefully allow the client to move toward more open behaviours and an increased level of self-awareness.
Essentials of The Therapeutic Relationship - Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
I have provided brief insight into the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship and of course, each therapeutic relationship will differ with its own set of feelings and ideas. What is clear however, is that the therapeutic relationship - how therapist and client interact is what matters most, and what makes the most difference to the effectiveness of therapy is realising that human interaction and relationships truly matter.
Putting it simply it is the trust between a client and therapist. This empowers the client to have the confidence to freely express their feelings. It enables the client and the therapist to work together for the benefit of the client. It is that bond that helps a client have total faith in their counsellor. The course of treatment may be difficult but the client still believes that the counsellor has their well-being at heart. This is not an instant feeling. It can take many months to develop, but it can be established at the first meeting and developed as time goes by.
Research has endorsed the three identifiers suggested by Rogers.
Why the therapeutic relationship matters
To establish and develop the Therapeutic Alliance the Counsellor must be able to help a client relax and feel comfortable. This is a new situation for the client plus a strange environment. Possibly the client is feeling even more stress than normal because they are meeting their counsellor for the first time. Which is why the counsellor must show a quiet but confident persona. Encouraging the client talk about themselves, using open-ended questions. The counsellor must be careful to not challenge the client.
Showing empathy and support for the client and their situation. It is the role of the counsellor to be consistent. They must promote a sense of collaboration so the client feels supported. Even if the counsellor has experienced many similar situations the client feels their feelings are unique. The counsellor must actively listen to develop empathy. Therapeutic Alliance and outcome is the bedrock of the client and counsellor relationship.
We form a pact between therapist and client. The sick ego promises us the most complete candour promises. That is, to put at our disposal all the material which its self-perception yields. We assure the patient of the strictest privacy and discretion. Placing at his service our experience in interpreting material that is influenced by the unconscious. Our knowledge is to make up for his ignorance and to give his ego back its mastery over lost provinces of his mental life.
Freud began writing this work in Vienna in composed of three sections. Providing the Counsellor in the professions treatments and interventions a route to follow.
Information on the impact and outcome of Therapeutic Alliance can be found in books, articles and scientific papers. Empathy shown during the course, is an essential part of the healing process. Empathy is not only communicated orally but with an increase in eye contact; posture; tone of voice and listening skills.
They enable the counsellor to press home the elements of the programme that are beneficial to each unique client. It is important for the counsellor to realise to not only think of the therapeutic alliance but also in the ways they show empathy as an influence on treatment results. There is a danger that if the counsellor launches into their favourite method, without first discussing with the client their concerns and hopes, they will be met with resistance. This resistance can create an outstanding chance that any hope of a successful conclusion being reached is diminished by their own self-importance and lack of understanding.
The failure of many people in a given conversation is to be thinking of what they are going to say next and not actively listening to the other person in the conversation usually the client. This leads to another building block being removed from the desired structure. A counsellor should always actively listen to a client.
- Counselling Connect
Live by the rule that you have two ears and one mouth and they should be used in the same ratio! In doing so the counsellor will allow the client to take the session where they want to go. This may be difficult to achieve and it may well demand some creative thinking during the course on behalf of the Counsellor.