Counselling Theory and Practice

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The therapist does not attempt to change, control, or influence the client in any way (Tursi & Cochran, 2006).

A positive therapist-client relationship has been positively correlated to achievement of treatment outcomes (Cramer, 1990). A client who perceives their therapist as exhibiting unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathy is more likely to regard the experience as positive and to be motivated to make change (Cramer, 1990). The fact that the therapist does not attempt to influence the client allows the client to learn to change their thought patterns and behaviors in a manner that is conducive to their needs and current situation (Tursi & Cochram, 2006). Clients are in charge of the therapeutic intervention and determine the direction that they want therapy to take. The core conditions make this possible by assisting clients in recognizing what issues they would like to focus on and making them feel comfortable enough to be successful in doing so (Tursi & Cochran, 2006).

In this approach the therapist does not take the stance that they know better than the client rather the client is viewed as the expert in the therapeutic process. This is particularly helpful to the client in that it allows them to evaluate their own beliefs and thought patterns and empowers them to take responsibility for the direction and rate of the therapeutic process (Tursi & Cochran, 2006). This allows for a change process that is natural and is more likely to sustain long-term due to the active and uninfluenced role of the client. The open nature of the therapeutic relationship aids the therapist in developing a better understanding of the beliefs and wishes of the client and can utilize this information to make effective suggestions about the change process (Tursi & Cochran, 2006).


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