Therapeutic Relationship Analysis

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Therapeutic relationship is the relationship between a therapist and a client, where they engage and interact with each other, hoping for beneficial change in the client. This relationship mainly focuses on the client’s needs and goals towards the change. Therapeutic relationship began from psychoanalytic theories, which theorised the relationship into three components – transference, working alliance and the real relationship (Greenson, 1967). Transference is the transfer of positive and friendly feelings to the client. Working alliance is the agreement between the therapist and the client, in terms of tasks, goals and bond (Bordin, 1979). Tasks are what the client and the therapist agree to be done to reach the goals. Goals are what the client…show more content…
Therapeutic relationship is found to be positively associated with the outcome of intervention (Ardito & Rabellino, 2011; Garcia & Weisz, 2002; Karver et al., 2006; Orlinsky, Ronnestad, & Willutzki, 2004). An ideal therapeutic relationship is when the therapist is able to fully participate in client’s communication and understand client’s feelings (Fiedler, 1950). In order to establish a good therapeutic relationship, the therapist should be genuine, trustworthy, warmth, caring, experienced and have empathy (Ackerman & Hilsenroth, 2003; Morris & Suckerman, 1974). An issue surrounding therapeutic relationship is the problematic boundaries between the therapist and the client. Boundaries are the ethical foundation within a therapeutic relationship, to keep the therapist professional and the client safe. However, the boundaries in therapeutic relationships can be complicated and are difficult to define (Pilette, Berck, & Achber, 1995). Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to address the issue regarding the problematic boundaries in therapeutic relationship and evaluate how this issue can affect the assessment and…show more content…
Research has found that sexual relationship can increase depression, decrease motivation, increase alcohol use and increase suicidal behaviour in clients (Bouhoutsos, Holroyd, Lerman, Forer, & Greenberg, 1983; Durre, 1980). Further, sexual dual relationships can also affect clients’ trust, anger management and their self-esteem (Kagle & Giebelhausen, 1994). Pope (1990) termed the effects of sexual dual relationship as the ‘therapist-patient sex syndrome’ and he believed that it is a form of sex abuse. If the therapist is unaware of these effects, it can result in inaccurate assessment, threatening the intervention (Bouhoutsos et al., 1983; Davidson, 2005). For instance, Bouhoutsos et al. (1983) found in their study that patients, who had sexual relationship with their therapists, had difficulties resuming their treatment and/or finding a new therapist. Even though there are ethical codes on refraining having sexual relationship with clients, several therapists still engage in sexual behaviour with their clients (Borys & Pope, 1989; Bouhoutsos et al., 1983). More importantly, the severity of this problem depends on how the therapist and/or client handle the relationship. The best scenario is when the therapist and client end both relationship immediately while the worst scenario is when the therapist and client continued the dual relationship. Bouhoustsos et al. (1983) found that
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