What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process:
 

I encourage all of my clients to maintain open communication with me. It is completely normal and understandable to have questions about therapy and even the therapist. You are sharing very personal details or your life and experiences, of course you are going to have concerns about what to expect or how the process will transform over time. 

As the clinician, it is my responsibility to address any and all concerns you may have either by providing necessary information or by simply discussing concerns in greater detail. Asking questions or having concerns are a natural part of any relationship. My job is to support you in feeling comfortable expressing yourself and really hearing what your needs are. The more you educate me about your perspectives the more I can understand your experiences and provide more tailored approaches that will be helpful to you.

 

Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance:
 

The research continuously shows the most important part of successful therapy is the relationship you have with your therapist. Trust and understanding are the building blocks of a healthy therapeutic alliance that allows for open communication, security, willingness to share, as well as willingness to allow change. Therapists begin making the relationship a priority from the first meeting by placing great importance on listening, consistent attention, eye contact, and efforts to understand the exact nature of what you may be going through. Beginning therapy can be life changing. Thus, it is important to take note of how comfortable you feel with your therapist and whether or not you feel you are being heard.

Ackerman, S. and Hilsenroth, M (2003) A review of therapist characteristics and techniques positively impacting the therapeutic alliance. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 1-33.

Safran, J.D., Muran, J.C., and Proskurov, B. (2009) Alliance, negotiation, and rupture resolution, in Handbook of Evidence Based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (eds R. Levy and S.J. Ablon), Humana Press, New York, pp. 201-5.

Horvath, A.O. and Symonds, B.D. (1991) Relation between working alliance and outcome in psychotherapy: a meta-anaysis, Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38 (2), 139-149.

Martin, D., Garske, J., and Davis, M. (2000) Relation of the therapeutic alliance with other outcome and other variables: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 43