Recently my reading has reminded me how central the relationship is between us and the client. As a wise person once said to me, “The healing is in the relationship”. How does this relational focus shape what you do in the counselling room? You need to know yourself: buttons that can activate easily, strengths, “parts” or aspects of you. You need to know the patterns of relating you tend to have in your own life: Are you an avoider? A sort it out now person? An “I can’t face that issue” kinda person? Aggressive? Whoever you are in day to day life, whether you like it or not, that person comes with you into the therapy room. Maybe a politer or more subdued you, but it’s still you! It is helpful to know to what degree you are willing to be emotionally and “energetically” present to your clients. One way of checking this out is to notice how honest and open you are in supervision, or even with close friends. In your experience, what is hard about being “seen” ? Notice how you responded to the ideas above. Do you feel inadequacy, shame, excitement, curiosity? Any of these responses are fine, and it is good then to be gently curious about yourself and your responses…Then you will be more equipped to be gently curious with your clients. There isn’t a “wrong” way to be you. You are you, and working relationally brings your strengths, your vulnerabilities, your expectations and your history. It’s all good. All useful. It’s about relationship.
Interested in reading more about working relationally/using the relationship? Please feel free to comment or disagree…..