Counseling and psychotherapy: qualities of the therapeutic relationship

Psychotherapy and counseling are highly dependent on the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client. The key quality is authenticity. The client must experience the therapist as genuine, both in wisdom and in affection. The authenticity of the meeting in therapy sessions is critical to achieving a successful healing outcome.

The therapeutic encounter requires several other elements. First, mutual respect. Both client and therapist are engaged in a highly complex and sensitive endeavor, which can only be accomplished through self-esteem, mutual consideration, and mutual respect. No matter what comes up in therapy, this should be the underlying foundation of the relationship.

Second, openness. The ability to be open and share supports and enables the client’s inner exploration and need for release and freedom from repressed and / or painful memories, pain, shame, and guilt. In a society where experiencing and expressing core emotions can still be considered reprehensible, the ability to give and receive emotional expression openly and without judgment, on the part of the client and the therapist, respectively, are precious and important elements of the healing process.

Third, empathy. A good therapist feels with your customer. Rather than withdrawing or distancing himself, the therapist engages in the client’s experience and satisfies the client’s deep need to be received.

The next crucial therapy and counseling technique is the practice of awareness. Since the client can communicate on many different levels simultaneously and intensely, the therapist must remain open and receptive. Allowing the client to lead, practicing non-interruption, and simply listening are key elements associated with practicing awareness in the therapeutic process.

The therapist must be prepared to be alive and receptive and, above all, present, without distractions and able to fully engage with the client’s experience. Intuition is a valuable tool for the therapist. In addition to practicing non-criticism and acceptance of the client and not interpretation.

The therapeutic relationship is a deep alliance. The key element here is trust. The client must feel the integrity of the therapist, the faith in him and the concern and ability to carry him through his work. where you want or need to go, or be.

Finally, shared intention. It is essential that in the first meeting or in the next ones, the therapist clarifies the intention of the client clearly and completely. Taking into account that this intention is almost certain to change, both the client and the therapist must monitor it and comment on it, intuit it, modify it and turn it into an acute object of conscience.

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