The therapeutic relationship or the therapeutic alliance as it is often referred to as is central to therapy. It is the vehicle that can heal and bring about change for you as a client.
This relationship is a unique alliance that is formed between yourself and the therapist. It’s a space where you are able to express yourself freely without feeling the need to filter out what you think or feel. We often do this in our everyday relationships because we fear being judged by others or that we might upset them or hurt their feelings.
The relationship with your therapist is impartial as they do not have associations with your past or external relationships.
When you first speak to or meet your therapist for the first time there should be a sense that the therapist cares, has warmth and compassion and that they are genuine and empathic. It’s important that you feel heard and not judged. All of these core characteristics will help to foster a trust in the therapist, the therapeutic relationship and the process of therapy. The therapist should be open to answering any questions or concerns you might have.
The most important aspect for you as a client is finding a therapist that you are able to relate to. Having the opportunity to talk and work through the difficulties and concerns you are experiencing can often help to understand and make sense of the current situation and provide potential opportunities for change and to move forward in life.
As Irving Yalom is quoted as saying:
“It’s the relationship that heals”