The Relationship Between Therapist and Client


The relationship between the therapist and the client is a working relationship that depends on how the client wants to direct conversations. In this relationship, there are varying degrees of transference and countertransference. The relationship evolves over time, and in a healthy, working relationship, the client will disclose some of the most intimate aspects of themselves to their therapists. It is the therapist’s job to provide a space of comfort so the client can heal.

Transference and Countertransference

Transference is when a client projects their feelings towards a caregiver or other significant relation of theirs onto their therapist. Countertransference is when a therapist projects their feelings from a prior experience onto the client.

Being aware of transference and countertransference is necessary to a healthy therapist and client relationship. Avoiding the pitfalls of these transference and countertransference tendencies prevents the relationship from becoming entangled. Entanglement means when boundaries are broken between the therapist and the client. Entanglement can prevent the healing process from occurring naturally.

The Value of Open Communication

If you detect transference or countertransference in the therapeutic relationship, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Open communication between the therapist and client makes for a more positive relationship. You can address any issues head-on. Don’t worry about offending your therapist. You need to ensure that you and your therapist are a good fit for one another.

Remember Therapy is Your Space and Time

When you recognize that you are paying for your experience with therapy, you can prioritize the time around your needs. Using the skill of open communication, you can continue to vocalize your needs.

The relationship between the therapist and the client is fundamental for a successful outcome. At Valiant Living, we prioritize this relationship. Our staff is trained in psychodynamic principles and knows how to avoid the pitfalls of transference and countertransference. As long as you remember that therapy is your space and time, you will be able to form deep bonds with our clinicians. They value open communication just as much as you do. Our men’s only facility in Denver, Colorado, helps clients with detoxification, outpatient services, residential living, and intimacy issues. We treat addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. All the while, we emphasize a safe and healthy relationship between therapist and client. To learn more about our services, you can reach out to us today at (303) 952-5035.