6 September 2021

The Therapeutic Relationship and the Person of the Therapist

William Doherty, the well-known psychotherapy writer and commentator, recently wrote, “..we now have countless studies that show the biggest influence on outcomes – apart from client factors like prior functioning and motivation – is the relationship that we therapists create with our clients” (2021: 26).

Baier et al. (2020) found that “stronger alliance is consistently associated with positive treatment outcomes across a range of psychotherapies as evidenced by multiple meta-analyses on the subject, with fairly stable correlations between studies”.

Similarly, Lambert (1992, 1995) found that up to 85% of treatment success results from interpersonal factors (including therapeutic alliance) rather than technique (e.g. therapeutic approach, CBT etc.).

Essentially, the data is in. It is the therapeutic relationship that matters most in therapy in terms of the quality of the therapy and the possibilities of successful, positive outcomes.

This workshop series (our fourth), “The Therapeutic Relationship and the Person of the Therapist”, explores that reality in a rigorous depth. Visions and concepts regarding the therapeutic relationship are considered, from the pragmatism of the therapeutic alliance to the intricacies of psychoanalytic intersubjectivity to the exceptional opportunities involved in the Jungian concepts of alchemy. Here is a serious set of opportunities to broaden and deepen your understanding of the therapeutic relationship so that you can feel greater confidence in your capacity to form therapeutic relationships.

Furthermore, this workshop series (comprised of 12 seminars) finishes with a consideration of “the Person of the Therapist “. Having examined the breadth of the styles of relationship that therapy can call forth, we ask, “what is the nature of a therapist who can enter into multiple relationships at various levels of intensity and engagement, and who can form valuable relationships with a broad range of distressed others?”.

The tentative answers should give you pause for considerable reflection.

So, if you are after professional development, beyond the routine, the glib, the facile and the tediously predictable, we invite you to engage in this dialogue.

The seminars include pre and post questions to facilitate reflective practice, and all references are included. In addition, the capacity for Q and A exists in the format. We look forward to engaging with you.

Paul B. Gibney Ph.D.

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