What you will study
The course is focused on advancing knowledge and practical skills of working with a variety of aspects related to the therapeutic relationship. The course is organised in five units:
Unit 1: Introduction sets up the course and invites you to consider your current confidence in meeting competencies for working with the therapeutic relationship.
Unit 2: The Beginning will explore important aspects of the therapeutic relationship that need considering during the first session(s) of a therapy. In referencing current research, you will be guided through a brief introduction of the nature and role of the therapeutic relationship and then learn more about the specific facilitative and hindering factors of developing a good therapeutic alliance, and more specifically how explicit communication can be conducive to building the relationship. Finally you will be introduced to issues of diversity and power and how to detect and work with these as they arise in the therapeutic relationship.
Unit 3: The Middle will focus on selected aspects relevant to working with the therapeutic relationship during the core of the therapeutic process. You will explore important aspects related to maintaining and breaking boundaries, learn about the concept of ruptures and their repair of the alliance, explore the concepts of transference and countertransference and dive into the topic of relational depths. You will both learn more about the theoretical concepts, what research has contributed to enhance our knowledge and the relevance for clinical practice through engaging with clinical material and reflect on your own skills.
Unit 4: The End will consider the different kinds of endings in psychotherapy with respect to the therapeutic relationship. You will be invited to explore selected examples of planned and unplanned endings and their impact on both the client and psychotherapist in some depth, including what happens when the therapist dies unexpectedly, when a client does not turn up for their ending session(s), and overall how to make planned endings therapeutic.
Unit 5: Conclusion invites you to reflect on what you have learned on this course and identify further training needs for working with therapeutic relationships.
The course aligns with SCoPEd (The Scope of Practice and Education) framework level B competencies that are relevant for working with the therapeutic relationship. Course completion will boost knowledge and confidence and support counsellors and psychotherapists to offer counselling relational perspective.
You will learn
By studying this course you will gain:
- an understanding of key concepts, dilemmas and debates related to working with the therapeutic relationship
- knowledge of the importance to analysing and addressing difficulties in the immediacy of the therapeutic encounter and find ways to overcome such difficulties
- an understanding of difficulties related to equality, diversity, power and authority between client and therapist
- an understanding of how to work therapeutically with ruptures and unconscious processes as opportunities for expanding the understanding of the client’s subjective experience of their difficulties
- awareness of complex issues arising around the ending of therapy.
This course will support counsellors and psychotherapists to develop an advanced understanding of how to work effectively with the therapeutic relationship. The course has been developed to align to the shared SCoPEd competencies framework column B for Theme 3: Therapeutic Relationships.
This short course offers online learning and contains self-study materials to be studied at your own pace. There is no learner support from learning advisers available on this course.