cairn rocks beach sea calm sand sun

The Therapeutic Relationship

Ensuring a good relationship

The relationship between the counsellor and client is often referred to as the therapeutic relationship. It is at the heart of our work together. Research identifies it to be one of the key factors in the success of therapy. So the relationship that we would build will be central to your experience of counselling or any other therapy.

It is therefore really important you feel you have found the ‘right fit’ of therapist, one you feel safe and comfortable to work with.

As unique as each counselling relationship is, there are some important qualities that make it different to other types of relationships: it is a formal, professional relationship with clear boundaries

  • It is in principle a confidential relationship, with some specific limitations to confidentiality
  • It is a relationship based on trust, respect, care and autonomy

The Cairn

Panoramic view of beach and sea

I was drawn to the metaphor of a cairn for counselling for a number of reasons – not just because it’s my name! Cairns have been used since time immemorial as navigation aids and as landmarks. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in any location. Sometimes we can be looking out for one, other times we just happen across them. They are also a symbol of a shared endeavor, with stones being added to the growing shape by fellow travellers. This resonates for me with the shared therapeutic journey.

“The relationship I built with Loraine was unlike any other I’ve experienced; it felt safe to open up and look at stuff I’d always ignored or pushed away….to do that felt really liberating.”

R, age 26, Ilfracombe

“To be honest, I was sceptical about counselling, but Loraine did not judge me for that, and I realize now that our relationship of trust and acceptance was key to me addressing my difficulties with others.”

T, age 48, Barnstaple

* Cooper,M., 2008. Essential Research Findings in Counselling & Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly. London: Sage.