The therapeutic relationship is the catalyst of change
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Absolutely loved reading this article in the Guardian yesterday.
Researchers attempted to find what it is that therapists do that helps people change. There wasn’t a short answer! They found that it wasn’t the type of therapy you had but rather the relationship with your therapist that brought about change.
Attachment theory and the relationship between client and counsellor has always been a big part of the way I’ve worked. Using the understanding of a good secure attachment, therapists mirror what a good enough mother does.
A mother takes her distressed child and soothes them, she takes in the distress, makes sense of it and then gives it back to the child in a way they can understand. A good therapist does the same. They sit with the distress, take it in and makes sense of it. By giving it meaning and explanation it is turned into something the client can understand.
As therapy progresses clients internalise the warmth and understanding of their therapist, turning it into an internal resource to draw on for strength and support.