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Whatever theory or theories the counsellor uses when practising, the therapeutic relationship is at the heart of the therapy process.  It is important that the counsellor and client can work together engaging with each other in a relationship of mutual respect and trust.  Not much work will be achieved if this does not exist.  At times, a client may never have had a relationship of this nature and it will take time for this to develop.

As in life, sometimes the counsellor and client will be unable to work together.  On the one hand this needs to be acknowledged by either or both of them and perhaps refer the client onto another counsellor.  However, on the other hand, this may be an opportunity that opens up a whole new field of possibilities to work with as the client learns how to handle a difficult relationship, drawing on past experiences and giving them confidence in how to cope in the future.

Regular reviews and checking in all assist in the development of the therapeutic relationship and ensure the client’s goals are met.  There may be clues as to how this process is going if the client is often late, for example.  By bringing it into the room, there is hopefully time to discuss and explore what is going on which all is part of building up the alliance between counsellor and client.

 

The views here are the author’s and are intended for general guidance only