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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychotherapy Research on 29/07/2016 , available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10503307.2016.1208373

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The experience of forming a therapeutic relationship from the client’s perspective: a metasynthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychotherapy Research
Issue number2
Volume28
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)281-296
Publication statusPublished
Early online date29/07/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objective: This review aimed to synthesize qualitative research exploring clients’ perspectives of forming a therapeutic relationship with their therapist or counsellor. Method: Noblit and Hare’s meta-ethnographic approach was used to guide the synthesis of 13 studies meeting inclusion criteria. The quality of each study was rated using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme quality rating checklist. Results: Findings demonstrated that clients create a hierarchy of desired therapist characteristics to assess how well the therapy can meet their needs (theme 1: assessing client-therapist match). The formation of the therapeutic relationship is facilitated by an openness from both the therapist and client (theme 2: facilitating openness) and helps to develop a connection through which the client can be fundamentally understood (theme 3: connecting on a deeper level). Displays of disrespectful or disempowering behaviour generate barriers in the formation of a therapeutic relationship (theme 4: empowerment through respect). Conclusions: The meta-ethnographic approach extended the findings from each individual study to highlight some significant discoveries, including that clients across different settings created a hierarchy of therapist characteristics which were of varying importance to them depending on their perceived needs. Additionally, clients reported that they preferred their therapists to disclose information in order to facilitate the therapeutic relationship.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychotherapy Research on 29/07/2016 , available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10503307.2016.1208373