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Characteristics of the client-counsellor relationship 

From Chapter1, Identifying, assessing and treating concurrent disorders: The client-counsellor relationship in Treating Concurrent Disorders: A Guide for Counsellors (©2005 CAMH)

Other research offers information about the interpersonal dynamics between clients and their counsellors (Bachelor & Horvath, 1999):

  • For therapy to be successful, a positive client–counsellor relationship is necessary.
  • The client–counsellor relationship is usually formed early—within the first few contacts.
  • The client’s perceptions of the relationship are more relevant to treatment outcomes than are those of the counsellor.
  • Counsellors contribute to the relationship by using active listening, respect and responsiveness to build a climate of safety, trust and dependability.
  • Clients contribute by becoming active participants, so that a shared view of the work together is developed.
  • It is not whether conflict arises (it will), but how it is handled that makes the difference for the future relationship.

Introduction

Identifying, assessing and treating concurrent disorders: The client–counsellor relationship

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