Understanding the components of building an effective helping relationship is fundamental. The therapeutic alliance evolves from an effective helping relationship. In family therapy the alliance, exist among the individuals, subgroups, and whole family. It is imperative for the family and clinician to have a positive relationship in order progress towards resolution of the presenting problem. In the alliance, the clinician and family work as a team. The alliance can have an impact on the outcome of therapy. Positive alliances increase the likelihood of resolution and positive outcome in therapy. A negative alliance will yield a less than expectable outcome. The therapeutic alliance hinges on ...view middle of the document...
A positive therapeutic alliance is beneficial in that it can progress those involved towards goals and solutions. A negative therapeutic alliance may not even progress into a relationship at all, can stop any-and-all progress or even cause the client/family to drop out of therapy all together. The therapeutic alliance offers the family active involvement in the creations of tasks and goals.
Critical Components to Work Towards a Therapeutic Alliance
A positive therapeutic alliance expounds on the foundation of an effective helping relationship. The therapeutic alliance blossoms out of the respect the therapist shows the family as individuals and as a whole. The therapist must also express honesty and genuineness with the family and its members. Just as critical is the expression of warmth, creating a friendly inviting atmosphere for the family can help them feel more at ease. Each component actually builds on the other in a staircase like manner with empathy holding the stairs in place.
The bottom stair on the rung would be warmth. The therapist welcoming the family and addressing each person as an individual can express warmth. By providing ample seating, tissues (conveying its okay to cry here), even water as a means of creating an inviting warm atmosphere. It would be rather annoying to arrive for family counseling to find therapist scrambling to get all members a seat. This can and will take away from the valuable time for the session. One would also not relish a session seated uncomfortably.
Once warmth as created the comfortable inviting atmosphere the next stair up is being and treating the family with and in a respectful manner. The family has come to the therapist in the mist of turmoil seeking help and resolve. Respect goes beyond politeness. Respect creates a feeling of value and importance. The therapist must be respectful of all aspects of the family’s culture, race, gender, and spiritualty.
Going further up the staircase, the therapist’s genuineness and honesty continue to draw the client towards the therapeutic alliance. Being honest...