What is counseling?
The Therapy Process
The first step in the process of therapy is building a healthy relationship with your therapist.
The therapeutic alliance is a partnership where both therapist and patient agree on shared goals and work together on tasks which conceivably will produce a positive result. This alliance is built on acceptance, empathy and trust, with the perception that the relationship is a factor in successful therapy. The connection or therapeutic alliance between therapist and client has been a focus and examined many times throughout the historical development of psychotherapy. Copper & Lesser, 2011 explain the idea of the client being an active partner in the treatment process. Many therapists agree with viewing the relationship that is established and collaboration between therapist and client as one of the solutions if not the key, to the change process.
Past investigations have focused on client characteristics that have had an impact on the therapeutic alliance, such as motivation level and the ability to form relationships have shown that these traits and characteristics have an impact on both the relationship and the therapy outcome (Black et al., 2005). The research further explains that the clients capacity to form a relationship provides the foundation for the alliance, but it also appears that the therapists capacity to form relationships is just as important. The literature does lead us to believe that a good connection between therapist and client can happen quite
quickly, even within the first 10 minutes, but on average it takes 2-3 sessions (Littauer et al., 2005).
Empathy is an essential ingredient in the healing process. A therapist’s empathy toward their client plays a role in developing the alliance, and its impact on the relationship is crucial. Moore (2006), suggests empathy is not simply communicated orally, but also with an increase in eye contact, body posture, tone of voice and listening skills. It is significant for therapists to think of not only the therapeutic alliance, but also the ways in which they show empathy as an influence on treatment results.
Since this relationship is key to successful work within the therapy process. At Grove Counseling Services, we work hard to ensure each clinican is doing well, not only for themselves, but also their clients. We meet on a regular basis to ensure that our professional needs are adequately met. This personal care lends to increased quality of work leading to effective therapeutic relationships.