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What is the Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in Bringing About Change?
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Abstract. Findings of therapy process and outcome research suggest that the therapeutic relationship strongly influences treatment results. This essay looks first at the therapeutic relationship from a variety of perspectives and the evidence for its role in bringing about change, before focusing specifically on the role of the therapeutic relationship in Cognitive Therapy CT. Whilst Beck, Rush, Shaw and Emery 1979, proposed that the therapeutic relationship is necessary but not sufficient to bring about change, I will go further and argue that the therapeutic relationship is central to the process of change and that the application of CT techniques in...
The therapeutic relationship involves an interaction between both therapist and client characteristics and agreement on the goals and tasks of the therapy. Since therapy occurs in the context of an interpersonal relationship, the relationship is central to the process of change and involves a continuous, dynamic process based on trust, rapport and collaboration. There is a need for research into process issues such as variations in the therapeutic relationship over time, the contribution of patient characteristics such as motivation and acceptance of the therapeutic model and the qualitative differences in the use of the therapeutic relationship in different therapy models.
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