Therapist Relationships

Posted on 27th May 2015 | Category: CBT

People often argue that life is a game of personalities. It is said in the business world that clients don’t buy from sellers, they purchase from individuals that they like. How far does this warmth of human contact idea go? Can it be stretched out toward therapist relationships?

According to a recent study by Manchester University the personal relationship that exists between client and patient is one that is focal to the success of the treatment. It is definitely true from my experience if people can work with someone they trust in a supportive and confidential situation. However, the article only measures symptom reduction.

Clients come to psychotherapists because they want something to be different. They need to be credited with understanding that there is a bigger picture and a dynamic within themselves that they wish to change. This behaviour often first surfaces as a kind of unhappiness or discontentment in the individual, and this needs to be respected by the therapist in a professional manner without trying to create a friendship in the first instance.

CBT would actually refine this further, placing an emphasis on a collaborative relationship that is based around the practitioner helping the client to formulate how they initially develop a response to their problems. This looks at how the clients issue is realised in a day to day basis and gives practical and pragmatic steps to disengage from harmful, addictive and obsessive behaviours, challenging old habits in a gentle and effective manner.

As the client moves through therapy, gaining psychological education and the formulation of goals they achieve changes in behaviour and thinking. This helps the client to develop a better perspective and a more robust and appropriate mind-set. Although therapist relationships play a part in this change, offering a guiding hand throughout the process, ultimately the onus of development comes through the client.

This is in no small part due to the fact that much of the therapy with cognitive behavioural work actually takes place outside of the treatment room and away from the comfy chair. Clients need to involve themselves in a range of real world experiences and bring the results back to the therapist who will help them interpret them. Naturally this does mean that the rapport between the two parties is important, but other factors are essential.

By slowly finding different courses of action and behaviour through day to day exposure to difficult and troublesome situations, a real difference can be made to the client. If you would like to find out how CBT could help you with a long standing psychological problem, such as social anxiety, stress or an obsessive compulsion, then please get in contact and we can go through a free consultation process, allowing us to discuss the best course of action for you.