Relational Needs of the Therapist: Countertransference, Clinical Work and Supervision. Benefits and Disruptions in Psychotherapy

Lindsay Stewart

Abstract


Relational needs are the emotional needs which underlie our social connectedness and help sustain and nurture our attachments to others.  In doing psychotherapy, therapists must be attuned not only to the needs of the client, but also to their own relational needs. Through self awareness and knowledge of healthy and appropriate boundaries, therapists can ensure the best interest of the client is kept foremost. In this article, the influence of the therapist’s own relational needs in the psychotherapy process is examined in terms of the possible benefits and disruptions to the client’s emotional growth. This is discussed in the context of the Integrative Psychotherapy model based on the core concepts of inquiry, involvement and attunement. Clinical supervision is seen as an important part of working through counter-transference.

 


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