The Therapeutic Connection
In a series of studies on therapy, the therapeutic connection between client and therapist has emerged as a key factor to treatment success. In fact, this nonspecific common factor accounts for as much of a treatment effect as the type of therapy used.
Several factors contribute to the therapy connection, including genuineness and realism. Genuineness refers to a therapist’s empathy and understanding of the client. Realism is the client’s experience of these qualities.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental illness and work as part of a larger treatment team. They go through the traditional steps to becoming a physician such as undergraduate and graduate studies, then attend medical school. In addition to their medical education, they receive extensive training in evaluating and treating psychiatric illnesses.
Psychiatric assessments begin with a thorough history of the person. Then a physical examination is done to ensure that no other medical conditions are contributing to the psychiatric symptoms.
Psychiatrists often work with psychologists, social workers, counselors and occupational therapists as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team to help individuals struggling with a psychiatric condition. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves meeting on a regular basis to discuss thoughts, behaviors, relationships and other internal and external influences. Various types of psychotherapy are utilized including Cognitive/Behavioral, Mindfulness Based and Insight Oriented models. Psychiatrists may also prescribe medications to treat certain conditions such as anxiety, depression and ADHD.
Counseling is a type of talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to your problems and helping you find ways to deal with them. It can be helpful for people who are experiencing emotional distress and want to improve their relationships, cope with a life transition, or overcome an addiction.
The first meeting with a counselor often includes a vital process called problem assessment. During this time, the therapist listens carefully to identify the reasons the client has sought out their services. They may ask open-ended questions to assess the client’s emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
They also observe the client’s nonverbal responses to determine their level of comfort and trust in the counselor. Throughout this process, the therapist exhibits Unconditional Positive Regard, which is an essential element of the counseling relationship. This includes accepting the client’s beliefs and feelings, as well as avoiding judgmental behavior. Ultimately, the client decides what they want to accomplish from their sessions.
Psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy, is usually part of the treatment plan for people suffering from a mental health condition. It helps patients learn coping skills, understand their condition and lead happier, healthier lives.
Psychologists may use a number of different techniques to help clients overcome problems like anxiety, depression or addiction. They will often combine psychotherapy with medications to provide the best results.
It is important for a client to find a therapist that they click with and feel comfortable talking about personal issues. If a client is not able to open up, they will likely not progress in treatment.
It is also crucial for a therapist to show that they care about their patients. Research has shown that a warm therapeutic relationship is a critical factor in successful treatment outcomes. This includes responding to the patient’s needs, preferences and characteristics, such as cultural background, family dynamics, attachment style and religious or spiritual beliefs.
Medications are sometimes necessary to address certain mental health issues like depression, ADD/ADHD and anxiety. Typically, these are short-term medications and can be prescribed by your psychiatrist or psychologist.
Therapy Connection offers physical and occupational therapy for a wide range of conditions including neck and back pain, arthritis, knee, shoulder and hip pain, foot and ankle problems, hand and wrist injuries, cancer related needs, balance and gait training as well as fabrication of custom orthotics and upper extremity splints.