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Yet all of these approaches and techniques have at least one thing in common — their potential effectiveness is likely to be squelched unless the counselor is successful in building a strong therapeutic alliance with the client.

The crucial nature of the therapeutic alliance is not a new idea.

“This could involve everything from taking a social history to implementing a progressive muscle relaxation procedure.” “Emotional bonding between counselor and client is different for every unique counselor and client,” Sommers-Flanagan says.

“It might involve compassionate or empathic listening or humor, or just sitting together while the client experiences strong emotions, or giving positive and supportive feedback to clients.” The power of relationship Although it may be next to impossible to find a counselor who doesn’t agree that bonding with clients is important, becoming overly reliant on technique and method still poses a common temptation for many professionals.

For example, thoughts of a disaster occuring can create feelings of anxiety, even if that disaster is extremely unlikely.

“I can recall few instances, either from research studies or my own practice, in which clients reported that it was some singular technique or intervention that was most helpful to them,” says Kottler, a prolific author, researcher and professor of counseling at California State University, Fullerton.Modern counseling models and techniques are as varied and diverse as the counselors and clients who use them.Most counselors have a particular theory, method or school of thought that they embrace, whether it is cognitive behavior therapy, solution-focused therapy, strength-based, holistic health, person-centered, Adlerian or other.“That was the main barrier to his entering into treatment.” Guterman referred the client to a program that took a secular approach to treatment rather than asking those in recovery to focus on a higher power.The man felt validated and listened to by Guterman and willingly accepted the referral into treatment.

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