Working Therapeutic Relationship

1. How well did the counsellor establish a working therapeutic\relationship and develop the client’s narrative of experience? Substantiate your answer with specific examples from the session and reference to the literature. (750 words, 15 marks)
For any counselling to be effective a therapeutic relationship which nurtures a feeling in the client of safety, confidentiality and reliability as well as providing a consistent appropriate and clear boundaries is important (Horvath, 2000). In fact it is suggested that a positive therapeutic relationship is more influential on counselling outcome than specific methods of treatment (Gelso & Carter, 1985; Gelso & Carter, 1994; Horvath & Luborsky, 1993; Krupnick et al., 1996; Shapiro, 1995). In the video there was a very obvious progression in this therapeutic relationship with the relationship strengthening as the session continues. In the beginning of the session the client’s negative disposition towards therapy and dissatisfaction in being somewhat forced into therapy is initially apparent. However, through a combination of strategically selected therapeutic techniques and client willingness for involvement, a distinct positive progression in both the client’s attitude and the therapeutic relationship can be observed.
In the beginning of the counselling session the therapist created a foundation of trust, safety and non-judgment by establishing that nothing that was spoken about within the session would be repeated outside of the session. This allowed the patient to relax somewhat and be at ease with the knowledge that her thoughts and opinions would not be used to perpetuate her current negative work situation. Once the therapist had clearly outlined the boundaries in which both he and the patient would be working, the therapist could then proceed to describe the general frame work of the session. The therapist’s choice in process tools throughout the session definitely had a positive effect in establishing...