Strengthening the Therapeutic Alliance

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Markan, Premila
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The purpose of this paper is to create a practical tool for counsellors (as part of a larger, existing toolkit) to strengthen the therapeutic alliance between client and counsellor. This primary tool will consist of a checklist that includes common factors, identifies elements that build a strong therapeutic relationship, highlights qualities important to being an effective therapist, and incorporates lessons learned and best practices in psychotherapy. This checklist should not be considered a mandatory requirement and its specific details should not be used without allowing for flexibility, refinement, customization and alteration at the discretion of the counsellor. Each client is different and therefore a general prescriptive approach is not adequate. Instead, this checklist should be seen as a general guide and helpful assistance that can and should be altered in order to suit the needs and requirements of each individual client and therapist. It is well-known that most counsellors have heavy workloads and therefore a succinct one-page and flexible checklist as presented could be helpful in strengthening the therapeutic alliance.
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