top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureHeather Rai

What is a therapeutic relationship?

"Therapy is two real human beings, in a room together, focusing on one." (Mick Cooper)

I loved this quotation written by a fellow therapist when I heard it. It so simply describes the core of what I aim to do when I work with clients. Counselling is a relationship that aims to be as genuine as possible and with the focus always on the person who's in that room to get their needs met (the client).


When I work, I don't put on my counsellor clothes (what would those be? Cardigans and scarves maybe?!). I don't arm myself with a list of techniques and advice to then apply to the people I work with. Instead I go to a session with an eagerness to listen carefully to what's being said and what's just underneath so that I can understand what the person I'm talking with is experiencing. I'm wondering what thoughts and feelings we might uncover together about what might ease their discomfort. I go in expecting to learn from them far more than I go in expecting to teach them something.


However, if I do this with a blank face and a totally neutral demeanour I wouldn't gain anybody's trust - that would probably even make me a little scary to sit with. I need to be there as another genuine and open person. I try to be as open to learning from and being changed by meeting with my clients as much as they might be changed by our time together. I try to be open to anything and everything that they might share. And I try to be open enough to also share my experience of our time together (without taking over the sessions with my stuff).


So what might this mean for you as a client? Hopefully it means that you can find a place where you can explore thoughts, feelings and experiences that are difficult to share elsewhere where well-meaning friends and relatives might offer advice and tell you about their similar experiences. Hopefully it means you feel a freedom to have your own insights, make connections and find meanings about the things that have been causing you distress. And hopefully we can both feel a deep connection as two human beings briefly sharing some time together to work through those things in this big, big universe we both live in.





Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page