Nature, functions and problems of the therapeutic relationship in councelling - with special reference to pastoral councelling
One of my chief motives in undertaking this study for my M. Th. Degree was in order to become more acquainted with an area of research and practice which has a direct and immediate bearing on my work as a minister. This practical concern underlies the form and presentation of the final dissertation. Chapter One After recognizing the increasing emphasis laid on the centrality of the therapeutic relationship in modern psychotherapy and counselling, I then proceed to define the term 'relationship' and to examine how the therapeutic relationship is regarded in several related areas of psychotherapy end counselling: classical psycho-analysis, psychiatry, counselling (non-medical) and behaviour therapy. I then seek to determine the several reasons that account for the present increased emphasis on the value of the therapeutic relationship in psychotherapy and counselling. Finally, the extent to which the pastor's role in a religious community influences his counselling functions is examined. Chapter Two This chapter is essentially devoted to examining the main characteristics of the therapeutic relationship, what particular functions the,; serve, and how their use in pastoral counselling is informed by theological insights. The main substance of the chapter is considered under the three headings: (a) Permissive (b) Acceptance (c) Won-judgmental. Chapter Three This chapter considers the main methods and techniques employed by the pastor in counselling. (a) Rapport (b) Internal Frame of Reference (c) Empathy (d) Listening (e) Reflection (f) Interpretation "What is the technique?" "How is it employed?" "What is its function?" are questions constantly asked and answered. The limitations of time, training and resources of the pastor are recognized as specially important in applying these techniques. Chapter Four The therapeutic relationship is 'a human interaction'. If it is to achieve its purpose in full, then certain factors which would limit its usefulness must be removed or at least controlled. This is done by the process of structuring. The nature and functions of this process are examined. Difficulties in achieving the end of counselling can arise in the process of counselling; in the client or the counsellor. The phenomena of transference end countertransference ere examined, and also ways of restricting; their more negative influence. The closing sub-section of chapter four is devoted to an examination of the pastor's alleged authoritarian and judgmental attitudes.