This is the second in a series of ongoing presentations on the therapeutic relationship.
This workshop is for clinical social workers in all levels of practice, a review for some, new ideas for beginners, and essential skills for all.
How do you build a foundation for the therapy in the first sessions?
What is a therapist doing, thinking, and aware of in the first contact?
How do you describe psychotherapy to a new client/patient?
How do you know when to intervene and when to honor silence?
Do you ever feel anxious?
Dr. Jewell will discuss beginnings of the therapeutic relationship for the purpose of building a workable rapport. As we know, the relationship is our main tool in therapy. The initial sessions with a person create the base wherein healing can occur. The characteristics of that initial rapport set the stage for what occurs throughout therapy. Creating the rapport includes clinical skills of engagement, assessment, and planning. The therapist needs to be aware of and work with anxiety, defenses, cultural issues, and transference and countertransference. Mainly, there needs to be awareness of self—our own issues, possible anxiety, hidden biases.
Engagement is the process of starting the relationship. How do we engage with another? Thru listening, warmth, acceptance, and what Carl Rogers called ‘unconditional positive regard.’ We explore with the client whatever is causing them difficulties. We use a variety of theories to help us engage the client and understand their situation, including Attachment theory and Critical Race theory.
Using the ‘person in the situation’ perspective, Dr Jewell will describe how to go from meeting for the first time to that workable therapeutic rapport.
Questions for discussion:
Identify the essential elements of building a therapeutic relationship.
Learn and/or review the initial tasks of engagement with a client.
Define the stages of the relationship: beginning, middle, and end.