THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP BEGINNINGS 1
A therapeutic relationship refers to the close and consistentassociation between at least two persons: an individual in therapyand a health care practitioner. The association between these twoindividuals aims at helping the client transform his/her life. It isthrough such relationships that an individual can share his/herintimate thoughts, emotions and beliefs regarding the issue he/she isstruggling with (McCarthy,& Archer, 2013). As such, it is paramount that thetherapist ensures an open, safe, and non-judgmental environment wherethe person seeking help can feel at ease. In creating a conduciveenvironment, the therapist must show genuineness and empathy.However, the counselor must avoid replacing empathy with sympathy.When communicating empathy, the counselor should express his/herunderstanding of the client’s situation, but without making anattempt to fit in his/her shoes. Listening in therapeuticrelationships involves being attentive to what the client is sayingboth verbally and non-verbally. It helps the therapist obtain as muchinformation as possible about his/her client. In validating theclient’s words, the therapist should not attempt to interpret whatthe person they are helping has to say. If this does not happen, theclient feels judged, and this may affect the amount of informationhe/she can confide to the therapist.
Being skilled in social acuity entails detecting a client’sbehavioral manifestation of his/her emotional state(McCarthy,& Archer, 2013). Social acuity enables thetherapist to detect when a client expresses a certain behaviorconsistently in a particular situation. This helps the counselor knowthe right time to pose a certain question or change the course of thediscussion. Additionally, social acuity helps the therapistunderstand when the client is uncomfortable or not ready to talkabout a particular issue.
McCarthy, C.J. & Archer, J., Jr. (2013). Theories of counseling andpsychotherapy. San Diego: Bridge point Education, Inc.