The Client/Therapist Relationship

The Client/Therapist Relationship
    The art or nature of counseling is a process that is inclusive of many core tasks that include focus and
steps.   The first component of the counseling process is building a relationship or rapport with the client
that includes trust.   The client should feel they are forming a supportive partnership with their therapist
in a non-threatening environment.   In forming trust with the client a therapist must establish the
structure and form the relationship will take.   A therapist will challenge the client’s views and thought
processes and should make them work towards solving problems that are causing their client’s the most
pain and/or grief.   The client should feel their therapist understands them and should feel empathetic
versus sympathy.  
    The nature of the therapist/client should have certain characteristics and boundaries besides trust
and rapport.   Client’s must get the feeling from their therapist that positive change is worth having and
as well as a sense of confidence versus arrogance.   An effective counselor should be honest, authentic
and sincere and must project this to their clients.   A therapist must be an objective observer.   A client
must not feel a sense of judgment from the counselor.   If the client feels judged then they may end up
saying what they think the counselor wants to hear instead of being honest or they may end treatment
and lose respect for the counselor and/or the counseling field.   A counselor is not a patient’s friend and
must maintain personal and ethical boundaries.   Counselors and clients should not have personal
contact outside the therapy setting which includes intimate/personal relationships, phone
conversations, texts, e-mail or connections on social networking sites.   Healthy boundaries with clients
allow the counselor to separate work from their personal life and keeps the relationship with their client
from losing the respect it needs to...