Therapists often talk about the importance of the therapeutic relationship, but why is this important? And why should I care about what’s going on in the therapy room?
One of the biggest benefits of therapy for a lot of people is the self-awareness that they gain. Through learning more about themselves, they are able to see why they are the way they are and why they behave the way they behave. A big part of this is building understanding on how they relate and react to others. The relationship that you have with your therapist is real and what’s more is it’s happening in real time. Understanding how you relate to your therapist can be really useful when growing your self-awareness because it means that with your therapist you are able to unpick everything and understand everything that is going on. You can then use this information to see if any connections can be made with relationships outside of the room in your life and relationships in the past.
It takes time for the bond to develop between your therapist and yourself. Regardless of this, from the very first session you should feel that you can trust your therapist and that you would feel comfortable talking to them about personal thoughts and feelings. Sometimes in life we meet someone and for whatever reason we just don’t click. This can happen in therapy too and it’s important that you feel comfortable with your choice of therapist.
Along the journey of therapy you may notice certain feelings toward your therapist crop up, such as anger, frustration, love, longing, and idealisation. This is all completely normal. The useful thing is being able to talk to your therapist about these feelings so that you can use the opportunity to learn more about these feelings and where they come from. This can be quite a daunting prospect at first but therapists are trained in talking about feelings and would welcome the opportunity to discuss and develop the therapeutic relationship that you have between you.