THIS POST INCLUDES:
1. What is a therapeutic alliance
2. Obstacles to developing a therapeutic alliance
3. Building a therapeutic alliance
4. Free Download: Client Session Notes Template
WHAT IS A THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
A therapeutic alliance is an important part of a client’s journey through Reiki. A healthy therapeutic alliance between practitioner and client is one of the strongest predictors of positive treatment outcomes.
A therapeutic alliance with your Reiki client may often feel like an intangible connection, however, it is developed by engaging in practical steps that you can implement as a Reiki practitioner to help build trust with your client.
Building a therapeutic alliance with your Reiki client can take time over many sessions. It is beneficial to begin the process of building your therapeutic alliance with your client in the first session so that your client can see you exhibit empathy, openness, and acceptance towards your client.
By building a strong therapeutic alliance in the first session, you will build a strong foundation between yourself and your client so that they will want to return for more Reiki treatment in the future.
Your commitment to building a strong therapeutic alliance with your client is important as your client will see you hold a genuine interest in their wellbeing. In addition to building your relationship with your client, it’s important to maintain boundaries between professional and personal interactions with your client.
The most important parts of developing a therapeutic alliance include:
- you take an interest in your client and show a desire to help them
- you are accepting of the emotional and physical experience of your client while receiving treatment
- you understand what your client perceives as important problems they may want to address with Reiki
- you accept the client without judgment and criticism
For more reading on working with clients in your Reiki practice, check out our previous blog post: How to Break Down Client Barriers To Reiki
OBSTACLES TO DEVELOPING A THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
Clients engage in wellness treatment for a variety of reasons. This could include attempting to resolve personal problems or simply maintaining a healthy perspective in their lives through Reiki. Your client has chosen Reiki treatments as their first step to asking for help which is a natural progression to help build a therapeutic alliance with a client when they attend with an initial positive mindset. Over time this mindset may be affected by emotions and physical experiences that arise as part of the therapeutic process.
Barriers to developing a therapeutic alliance can also be more pragmatic reasons such as the time to attend Reiki sessions. If the client only has limited sessions, this could impede the ability to develop a trusting and open rapport with your client.
One other barrier to building a therapeutic alliance with your client is their past experience related to trauma and the impact this has on how they interact with other interpersonal relationships. Many of us perceive other people through the lens of our experiences with people closest to us and this can influence the way in which we perceive how a person is treating us in terms of safety, trust, and acceptance. If these important parts to a relationship have been damaged from your client’s personal relationships then they may initiate barriers to building a healthy relationship with you as a Reiki therapist.
If your client is experienced at interacting with other people based on traits such as mistrust and judgment, then your client’s experience may influence the connection with you as you attempt to develop a therapeutic alliance with them.
Barriers with your client can be broken down over time using patience, understanding, and acceptance of your client’s coping mechanisms.
BUILDING A THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
The most important part of building a therapeutic alliance is to ensure your Reiki client understands that you are focused on their healing and wellness.
Below are a few guidelines that will help you to build a beneficial therapeutic alliance with your Reiki client:
- Do not criticize or judge your client for any lifestyle choices
- help your client develop insight into improving their general health and wellness
- provide a supportive environment that accepts your client’s emotions and physical experience.
- encourage your client to ask questions about Reiki and your Reiki practice
- educate your client about Reiki and any traditions
- show empathy towards your client and their current experiences
- provide realistic expectations about your Reiki treatment process
- collaborate with your Reiki client on their treatment goals
- understand the cultural differences of your Reiki clients
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