top of page

6 Key Qualities of a Good Therapeutic Relationship

Research over the past fifty years has demonstrated that one factor — more than any other — is associated with successful counselling treatment: the quality of the relationship between the counsellors/psychologists and the client.

Here are the six core conditions necessary for therapeutic change to occur:

1. Mutual trust, respect, and caring.

The active components of a therapeutic relationship, according to Carl Rogers, American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach in psychology, are empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard.

2. General agreement on the goals and tasks of the therapy.

Collaborative relationship between the client and therapist has to be established so the defined issues (depression, self-destructive thoughts, severe anxiety, among many others) can be addressed and eventually be solved together.

3. Shared decision-making.

It is important for the client to recognize that decision has to be made given his preference and that the therapist will provide the best care plan available. This process is important so both can work and make agreed decisions on treatments.

4. Mutual engagement in "the work" of the treatment.

In 1913, Sigmund Freud hypothesized that the relationship between the therapist and patient was a key component of successful treatment. Since that time, research has shown that the quality of this relationship (the "therapeutic alliance," as it is called) is the strongest predictor of whether or not therapy is successful.*

5. The freedom to share any negative emotional responses with each other.

Problems may arise between the therapist and the client like difficulty of the latter to open up, inability to articulate the issue, or some misunderstanding leading to hurt or anger. As in any relationships, this is normal. What’s vital is the willingness of both sides to sort the problem and start anew.

6. The ability to correct any problems or difficulties that may arise in the relationship.

When client and therapist are deeply involved and dedicated to achieve the goals of counselling, problems and difficulties that may come along the way will be easy to overcome.

It is our hope that our clients’ experience exceeds expectations by making sure that we match their needs to our expert therapist. Connections Counselling is with you, every step of the way to reach the desired result.



190 views0 comments


bottom of page