The reluctant therapist : An examination of the therapeutic relationship and the role of the therapist in supporting clients on medication

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Breen, Rachel
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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A common misconception of many talking therapies, psychotherapy included, is that the therapist is the expert in the therapeutic. However, this is recognised to be incorrect by the various psychotherapy disciplines who are in agreement that clients are the most knowledgeable experts of their lives and furthermore possess the desire and resources for self-actualisation. The role of the therapist is considered as a facilitator to assist this exploration of resources within the client to bring about change in their lives. The relationship between client and therapist is considered paramount in providing a foundation for successful outcomes in therapy. However many factors are considered to hinder this relationship. Some consider medication to inhibit emotional contact and consequently the efficacy of therapy. This paper examines the underlying aspects contributing to the perception that medication negatively impacts therapeutic outcomes. This is achieved by exploring the role of therapy as a treatment for mental health issues, the importance of the therapeutic relationship, the position of the therapist within this, and the uncertainty and resistances which contribute to reluctance in some therapists. Author keywords: Therapeutic relationship