Everybody relates to life differently, and we might argue that it is due to our level of exposure or educational attainment. But there exists at least an iota of our life history in determining how we relate to life. It is almost impossible for one who has had perfectly working eyes all his life to understand the challenges of one who has been blind from birth. We can unarguably say that counselors are the only people close enough to eclipsing this.
Why, then, is a counselor unable to connect with the counselee’s pain point?
The therapeutic relationship plays a fundamental role in the success of every therapy. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that a counselee feels comfortable with the counselor while undergoing therapy.
How does the therapeutic relationship influence the success of treatment?
Psychotherapy must be a haven where everything can be felt and discussed without guilt or misunderstanding. Feelings such as love, hate, criticism, and even sexual desires and fantasies must be allowed to be expressed without fear of negative consequences or rejection by the counselor.
Emotions can sometimes become intense in therapeutic sessions, but they must never involve the counselor personally. It is the counselor’s responsibility to maintain the treatment framework and keep his distance.
One of the factors of the therapeutic relationship that has been studied the most is therapeutic alliance. This addresses different aspects, including;
- Establishing a deep emotional bond between the counselor and counselee.
- The agreement on the objectives of the therapy.
- The agreement on the methods for carrying out the objectives.
All of these would facilitate the success of the treatment and build trust between both parties.
It is important that the counselee feels understood. They must feel that the process is about them and their current state. Without the counselee getting actively involved with the treatment, it will hamper the success of the treatment.
The success of the whole therapy session is dependent on the first meeting. The counselor would have to exhibit homely traits in the first meeting to help the counselee anticipate the expected results. Likewise, the counselee has to feel confident enough to open up to the counselor. They have to feel respected and not judged; that way, they can come out in their natural form and not hide anything that will unduly prolong the session.
Another important factor for the success of therapy is the counselor’s attributes. Here are some attributes you should look for in a counselor before setting up any meetings.
- Empathy: This means being able to connect with the client’s concerns.
- Active listening: Having the ability to listen to the client deeply.
- Belief: Having a strong conviction that no one is beyond saving.
- Relatability: Ability to see the world through the client’s eyes.
- Closeness: Distant and cold attitudes can make the process difficult.
A therapeutic relationship between client and counselor is the needed catalyst to fast-track any counseling session. It can bring about quick healing and progress for you as a counselee. So, that should be the first thing you look out for in any counseling center you are looking at enrolling in. So you don’t end up donating your time and money to charity.