There are two remaining types of therapeutic relationship I’m going to explore. First i’ll explore: ‘person to person’ (or the personal) and finally the ‘transpersonal’ (or spiritual).
Person to Person Relationship
Now if every relationship is between two people, what does this mean? Well often when someone comes into therapy they see their therapist as an all-knowing entity (even though no therapist is). This is also because the client arrives in the session to rightly focus on themselves, not the therapist.
However, there come moments where the therapist shows their thoughts, opinions, or even just that they care about the client. This allows for honest conversation between two equals. It can feel more personal as you begin to relate to the therapist as a human being.
This often happens towards the end of the intervention, or after you’ve met the therapist for a while. It is very much focused with the events that are taking place in the room. More likely, as reflections on the instant reactions that occur in the space.
As you can imagine, it is not the central aspect of the therapeutic relationship. It removes focus from the self-awareness that the client is there to gain. Even more than this, the aim is not for the client to become dependant on the therapist. This means that seeing the therapist as a ‘friend’ or ‘confidant’ in the long term is a problem.
After all, therapy is meant to give you tools while allowing you to remain independent. So, while you may not know lots about your therapist, you can be sure they care enough to want you to excel even after therapy ends…
I briefly touched on this idea when exploring the counter-transference relationship. It ultimately relates to the idea that we are souls communicating at many levels beyond our understanding.
Examples of this can be when you witness a coincidence (or as we call it- synchronicity). In other words, the idea that the universe is giving you what you require right when you need it.
This idea of belief and a lack of overall control is often noticed when we explore bereavements – or crisis of faith or hope. Especially if you were to come into therapy at a point of hopelessness. Perhaps because you kept everything to yourself until then.
I believe in God. Therefore, in my place of worship, it is natural for me to see people delving into the notion of existence, life’s purpose and death. This is why I’m not surprised when clients (including children) bring the same concepts to therapy. Ultimately, when we question who we are, it’s expected that we may question our life’s purpose.
A therapist will never tell you their views or impose them on you – but they will allow you to explore this unknown element of life.
After all, whilst the client might come to therapy looking for help, their revelations will leave a mark on the therapist – changing them both forever and hopefully for good.