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The Helping Relationship

Healing and Change in Community Context

Augustine Meier Martin Rovers

Publication Year: 2011

The increased use of and emphasis on managed care, manualized treatment protocols, evidence-based treatments and quick treatments have marginalized the role of the helping relationship in the helping professions. This shift has sparked a debate within the helping professions over whether the helping relationship or technique is primarily responsible for healing and change. The Helping Relationship weighs in on this debate, arguing that healing and change always take place within the context of relationships and that the relationship is more important than the technique. While recognizing the value of techniques, the authors valorize the helping relationship, considering it in unconventional contexts, such as formal education, supervision, and faith communities to show its flexibility and efficacy. This alternative approach adds a new perspective on the helping relationship debate, shedding new light on the roles of relationship and technique in the healing process.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Table of Contents

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Introduction: Helping Others in Religious, Cultural, and Psychological Contexts

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pp. vii-xxviii

There are many stories of how people have come together to help others who have endured unexpected disasters and tragedies or suffer from some of life’s pains, losses, and traumas. During the flood in Manitoba, volunteers from all across Canada came to the aid of inundated Manitobans. Hurricane Katrina (2005) marshalled help from all over the world. When...

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I. The Therapeutic Relationship and Techniques: How Clients Bring about Desired Changes

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pp. 1-31

The twenty-first century is indeed an exciting time in which to live because of the many technological advances that pervade all segments of our society. Information technology allows us in seconds to connect to and communicate with people regardless of where they live. Technology has opened...

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II. The Fate of the Helping Relationship in the Age of Manualized Treatments: Evidence-Based Practice and Time-Limited Psychotherapies

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pp. 32-46

Despite the gloomy tone of the title of this chapter, the aims of this discussion are ultimately benevolent: to highlight the crucial importance of the helping relationship, a proven medium of client change; to outline the current trends in psychotherapy research and training as they relate to the recognition, or lack thereof, of the role of this crucial...

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III: Transference and Countertransference Revisited

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pp. 47-78

During the past decade, there has been increased interest in the theoretical construct of countertransference. Attempts have been made to broaden its meaning to include all of the therapist’s feelings toward the client, in therapy and beyond therapy, and not to limit its meaning to the expression of the therapist’s unconscious and conflicted feelings...

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IV. Working with Transference and Countertransference in Psychotherapy

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pp. 79-100

The concept of “alliance” is rooted in psychoanalysis and Freud, who viewed the alliance as the connection between client and therapist (Horvath, 2001). Although there is no precise definition of alliance, the concept has been a topic of theoretical and empirical interest for the past quarter-century, particularly in counselling and supervision...

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V. Working through the Transference of an Unresolved Separation/Individuation Pattern: A Case Study Using Theme-Analysis

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pp. 101-129

A primary developmental task for a child is to become emotionally bonded with a signifi cant caregiver (e.g., mother) and then, in due course, to separate from her and to individuate and become his or her own person (Mahler, Pine, & Bergman, 1975). A failure to achieve this developmental task may mark the person’s relational pattern in that he...

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VI. The Medical Model of Psychotherapy: In Historical Perspective

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pp. 130-137

One usually goes to a doctor when one is sick. That has been true for time immemorial. Hua T’o was, according to the annals of the later Han Dynasty, an excellent Chinese surgeon who practised around 220 AD. He possibly used opium dissolved in wine as his anaesthetic. Western medicine was introduced to China in the early 17th century, while Emperors Fu Hsi, Shen Nung, and Huang Ti were...

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VII. The Helping Relationship: A Context for Learning

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pp. 138-152

These common presenting issues elicit a variety of therapeutic responses, such as solution focused, cognitive behavioural, or psychoanalytic theory, to address unresolved issues from childhood or family of origin patterns that are influencing the client’s current relationships. More recently, therapists have looked at client issues from a systemic perspective...

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VIII. Mentoring: Educating for Mental Growth

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pp. 153-176

Mentoring is generally understood as a relationship between two people aimed at enabling a wide range of learning, experimentation, and development. Although mentoring is becoming increasingly recognized as a significant aspect of both personal and professional development today, the mentoring-type relationship has existed in all of human history. This is well exemplified in the characters of Mentor and his mentee, Telemachus...

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IX. The Helping Relationship in CPE Supervision

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pp. 177-219

The word ezer (“helper”) in its various forms is widely used in the Hebrew Bible—120 times, to be exact. If we examine the passages where ezer is used, we fi nd that a helper keeps one from being alone and can be a partner (Genesis 2:18), the powerless have particular need of a helper (Job 29:12), God is appealed to as a helper ...

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X. The Pastorate as Helping Relationship

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pp. 220-234

Spiritual care is rapidly replacing pastoral care in institutional settings. While the assumptions of spiritual counselling may be a better fit for hospitals, nursing homes, and counselling centres, the pastoral paradigm remains the better fit for congregational care. This chapter argues that the...


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pp. 235-239


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pp. 240-256

E-ISBN-13: 9780776619354
E-ISBN-10: 0776619357
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776607306
Print-ISBN-10: 0776607308

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011