Select Counsellors Matching Process
Research underpinning the Select Counsellors matching process
Research has shown that the relationship between you and your therapist is the most important element for a successful outcome. This statement underpins the Select Counsellors philosophy, our assessment process and the integrity of our business model. So what do we base this statement on?
This is not just our opinion.This has been substantiated time and time again by countless research formulated studies. As Constaquay, Goldfried, Wiser, Raue, and Hayes (1996) stated “decades of research consistently demonstrates that relationship factors correlate more highly with client outcome than do specialized treatment techniques.” Lambert & Barley (2001) summarized over 100 studies concerning the therapeutic alliance and therapeutic outcomes and concluded “Improvement in psychotherapy may best be accomplished by learning to improve ones ability to relate to clients and tailoring that relationship to individual clients.”
Here are some of the various theories as to why the relationship between you and your therapist impacts so greatly on outcomes:-
- For the work of therapy to even begin the client needs to feel safe and accepted in the therapeutic space. A good therapeutic relationship is an absolute prerequisite to safety being experienced by the client.
- It is often the case that a client’s current issues stem from very early complications in the attachment between them and their primary carer. These complications or ruptures to attachement are generally not able to be recalled - the client was too young for this to be laid down in the explicit memory centres. Rather they were laid down as implicit memory. A positive relationship between client and therapist, Shore (1996) states “will help transform negative implicit memories of relationships by creating a new encoding of a positive experience of attachment.”
- The therapist is more likely to be attuned to a client if a good therapeutic relationship has been established. This attunement is essential to the mirror neuron effect being activiated. The mirror neuron system was first described by Giacomo Rizzolate and his colleagues at the Parma Italy Neuroscience Lab. In the context of therapy it is a group of neurons that when activated in the therapist can perceive the emotional intentions of their client. Some suggest this is a scientific basis for intuition. Often a client may be cut off from their emotions. A highly attuned therapist will utilise their mirror neuron system to perceive and reflect back to the client the emotions that they have cut off from.
- If a good therapeutic relationship is established it is more likely that the client will play out their interpersonal patterns with the therapist that they play out in their relationships in the real world (transference). This enables the therapist to assist the client to consciously look at their patterns and experiment with changes in the way they relate to important others.
- A client’s motivation and commitment to therapy and uptake of tools and strategies is going to be much higher if there is a good therapeutic relationship in place.
- The path of change and recovery is rarely an upwared trajectory. Rather it is more often a journey of two steps forward one step back.The one step back experience can potentially lead the client to relapse and giving up therapy. A strong therapeutic alliance ensures the client and therapist will be more likely to work through these steps back and keep the client engaged in the process.
Our client therapist matching assessment tool has been developed to ensure you have the best possible chance of establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with your therapist. We take into account your current situation and issues, your past psychological and family history, your personality type, how far you are in your journey and your likes and dislikes. We then look at our extensive pool of mental health practitioners and consider who will be best qualified to meet your particular needs as well as who will be well suited to forming a strong therapeutic relationship with you.
At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Constaquay, L. G., Goldfried, M. R., Wiser, S., Raue, P.J., Hayes, A.M. (1996). Predicting the effect of Cognitive therapy for depression: A study of unique and common factors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 497-504.
Lambert, M., J. & Barley, D., E. (2001). Research Summary on the therapeutic relationship and psychotherapy outcome. Psychotherapy, 38, 4, 357-361.
Schore, A. (1996). The experience dependent maturation of a regulatory system in the orbital prefrontal cortex and the origin of developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 59-87.