Over the course of the term we have looked at basic aspects of counselling and interpersonal skills, how we understand and relate to them as well as how we have experienced them within our counselling triads. Within the Humanistic schools of theory, we have looked at Person-Centred Counselling, Transactional Analysis and Gestalt, under the heading ‘Integrative learning’. This has allowed me to identify my own preferences and strengths in relation to each theory and apply them in learning triads. I shall also be focussing on interpersonal skills of a more generic nature, and how they can be applied to ease, encourage and explain interactions. Repeatedly this term I have found myself fascinated with the importance of the ‘Therapeutic Relationship’ and how it is formed and used successfully in order to allow for ‘growth’, ‘change’ or ‘awareness’ within the client. It seems to me a highly unusual type of relationship, intensely intimate but at the same time completely detached from everyday life. With my intrigued stirred this essay will be an exploration of the Therapeutic Relationship within Person-centred and Transactional Analysis primarily but touching on Gestalt, as well as its relation to me and my experiences of use within triads, in order to facilitate an effective and respectful relationship, which is comfortably bound by the BACP Code of Ethics.
“An image of a gossamer thread came into my mind; delicate, shimmering, evanescent and sometimes seeming to disappear completely, but always in the background” (J.Marzillier 2010 p.xvi)
Considering that the focus of this essay my starting point will be point with the BACP and Metanoia Code of Ethics. As expected the code has detailed complaints procedures, a framework for tutors, students, supervisors within the industry and confidentiality clauses among many others that, must be adhered to unless otherwise agreed and ‘contracted’ by both parties before the first session. Other major points in relation to the dynamic of the relationship include (Metanoia Code of Ethics,p2/3); “2. a) Ethical standards comprise such values as integrity, impartiality and respect.
b) Practitioners acknowledge the value and dignity of all humanity, regardless of such differences as gender, race, age, culture, class, sexuality, religion and disability.
6. b) Practitioners shall be aware of their power within the therapeutic relationship, and must not use or exploit their clients..”
Within the Transactional Analysis and Gestalt theories, there is a focus on ‘contracting’ and being responsible for ones own self, if this is adhered to, it should install boundaries of its own. Interestingly within the BACP Code of Ethics there is a focus on ‘Care of self as a Practitioner’ (BACP p.10). I have found that I have needed to be aware of myself within triads, in particular when I have had a client who has detached from the emotion of their story; I have found that, as I am receptive to feeling, it has come at me with full force and as yet I have been unable to let that energy pass through me. This is something I have taken to my therapist to process, and to find methods with which to take care of myself when this occurs.
To summarise, the Codes of Ethics aim is to protect the potentially vulnerable client from being exploited by their practitioner, in addition to highlighting the impact of this work on the counsellor and how continued supervision and personal therapy will help aid the nature of this work. I have understood that when the points above are not adhered to there are major consequences; exploitation will result in the inability to practice and that this would be formally published within a number of publications. In terms of care of the practitioner, when these guidelines are not followed, it seems that often those therapists end up with mental unrest of their own and in some cases suicide. The Code is in place to protect both parties and in addition to personal qualities...
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