Counseling underlies the process of the set-aside time between a client and counselor in the quests of exploring the difficulties that may revolve from the client's emotional and feelings. The act is aimed at helping the client see things vividly from a different perspective by the counselor (Okun &Kantrowitz, 2014). It is during the counseling process that a therapeutic relationship is developed between the counselor and the client.That allows a chance for the client to explore their bonds, attached relationships, coupled with their experiences which informs the vitality of their relationship. Contrary to acquaintances, family, and friends, there exists a formal relationship between a counselor and a client. The former helps the latter in reducing confusion through comprehension exploration of the situation at hand as a forerunner that informs the client's next action plans that would subsequently impact on positive changes (Martin, 2018). The counselor and the client, therefore, should develop a professional helping relationship geared at giving and receiving help to receive positive outcomes.
Counceling besides exploring the primary issues and gaining of various perspectives on psychological difficulties, it underscores the client building a rapport with the councilor coupled with trust that informs the comfortability of the client to open up and voice their worries (Martin, 2018). The therapeutic relationship tells the counselor's work with the clients. It refers to the rapport, association, and client-counselor connection. The establishment of a therapeutic relationship begins in the process of joining when both the client and the counselor get to know each other and underlying the primary reason(s) for counseling. It includes things like the client's unconditional regards, the engagement of the client in a manner that instills collaboration and positivism through placing his/her needs first coupled with his/her understanding in the contexts that underscore the pertaining problem presented. The presented problem is after that agreed upon as the goals of treatments, intervention, and client empowering commences.
Importance of Client-Counselor Relationship in Therapy
The client's success outcomes and recovery process require a therapeutic relationship. The relationship informs substantiveness and consistency with the result of the psychotherapy irrespective of the treatment type. The therapeutic relationship similarly underscores the failure or success or the improvement or failure of the development of the client. (Firestone, 2016). The ties confer agreement measures on the therapeutic goals in consensus with the tasks of treatment and a bond of relationship. It is a representation of an alliance of genuineness and empathy that underlies an integral part of the client-counselor relationship, which plays a vital role in the client's recovery process. A good counselor will develop a deep interest in his clients and develop sensitive tailored relationships according to their specific needs. The stable relationship would then be built on trust and understanding as the therapist is attuned to the client and his state of mind and remaining authentic with genuine feelings.
The client should similarly trust the counselor to be having the knowledge and skills coupled with the ability to provide proper care. The client should also trust the counselor's confidentiality and his/her safety from harm and exploitation from the therapist. It is after the formation of the therapeutic relationship that the client is inclined to emotionally open up by giving her/his specific concerns that subsequently aid the counselor in the comprehension of the client's point of view, motives and feelings. After getting a concussive overview of the client's situation, the counselor can provide the best treatment through the employment of the best strategies in the quest of addressing the issue and helping in the client's recovery process.
The Uniqueness of the Client-Councilor Therapeutic Relationship
Therapeutic relationship uniqueness underscores the fact that it may inform most of the client's intimate connections with other people for the first time. It is different from other relationships in the sense that it provides the client with a forum where his/her thoughts, feelings and ideas can be heard, understood and valued (Miles, 2015). The relationship is unlike other relationships formed and maintained in the real world but rather free from judgments, impartial, never based on the past, and neither carries the dynamics nor feelings associated with our external relationships. The uniqueness of the therapeutic relationship similarly underlies the interaction between the client and counselor which matters the most, which differs from our own set of feelings and ideas and because human interactions coupled with the relationships truly matters.
Characteristics of the Therapeutic Relationship a Councilor and a Client
There exist vast and varied attributes of therapeutic relationships between each relationship, albeit some common themes conclusively inform the primary characteristics (Miles, 2015). Trust and a nonjudgmental attitude tell one of the traits whereby the client needs to feel that their counselor is trustworthy for them to open up and explore their feelings without worrying about the safety and confidentiality of their information nor perception judged by their therapists. It is also characterized by empathy, whereby the counselor can recognize and understand their client's situation, ideas, feelings, and motivations. Insight forms the core foundation of a therapeutic relationship owing to its establishment of a personal connection between the counselor and the client, enabling the client to see the therapist who values, listens and understands their needs. Genuineness is also a core character in the sense that the counselor should be freely and deeply be themselves and not just an expert but relate to the client genuinely like a real person.
Similarly, the therapeutic relationship is also characterized by the councilor's insight and experience which gears their understanding at depth particularly on the client's expressions and presentations that draw attention which would inform their overall assessment of the client towards the recovery process. (Miles, 2015). Lastly, the relationship should have aspects of warmth and care in the quest to eliminate the client's fear, nervousness, and trepidation. The councilor should, therefore, provide a warm environment that is caring and safe to provide a conducive atmosphere for the client to feel free to share their ideas, feelings, and thoughts without fear.
Boundaries in the Relationship between the Counselor and the Client
Like any other professional relationships, setting boundaries is of the essence in therapeutic relationships (Martin, 2018). The client-counselor link should be limited to the realms of the therapy sessions with strict avoidance of social contacts. Similarly, a counselor should neither have a friend nor a family member as a client .they should also never engage in sexual relationships with their clients, neither current nor former. The boundaries are part of the agreements in the contract between the client and counselor and must be strictly adhered to,
The therapeutic relationship between the counselor and the client is an essential element in the client's recovery processes. It ensures the client's comfort and his willingness to share his problems with the counselor freely. It also builds trust, safety, and confidentiality of the client towards his counselor. The relationship is characterized by empathy, none judgmental attitude, and genuineness from the counselor coupled with his insights and experience and with strict adherence to the boundaries between the two.
Firestone, S. (2016, December).The Importance of the Relationship in Therapy. PsychologyToday. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com
Martin, A. (2018, August).The Relationship between the Counselor and the Client. TheCounselor's Guide. Retrieved from https://www.thecounselors'guode.co.uk
Miles, J. (2015, July).Why Therapeutic Relationship Matters. Counselling Directory.Retrieved from https://www.counseling-directory.org
Okun, B., & Kantrowitz, R. (2014).Effective helping: Interviewing and CounselingTechniques.Congege Learning, Inc. Retrieved from doi.10.1285161599
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