The make-up of give and take in relationships is truly ‘made to order’. Even within relationships-marriage, work, friendships-each interaction may warrant its own formula. A normally fifty-fifty friendship may find the balance tipped should one said friend be experiencing a hardship in life. Marriage? Some say ‘equal, equal, equal!’. Personally, I agree with the view that marriage is always a hundred percent and is forever shifting the roles of supporter and supported as various needs arise.
But what about the client-therapist relationship? Common (professional) sense tells us it should be one hundred percent flowing from therapist to client. After all, we are not in session in order to meet our own needs. Yet, it has been confirmed time and time again that the client-patient alliance is of paramount importance to the success of the treatment, regardless of the skill of the professional or the therapy mode being utilized. In such, can we not treat the alliance as an entity of its own that requires attention? Perhaps, an equation that should be considered is as follows: 80% in support of the client and 20% in support of the therapeutic alliance; that ever necessary relationship that propels the success of treatment. This is particularly true when dealing with trauma. It has been established that the comfort level of the client with the therapist and the warmth and empathy demonstrated is one of the most important deciding factors when examining the success of treatment. Treat the patient-therapist relationship its own entity to be nurtured as it will only facilitate your client’s healing and happiness.