Psychology Assignment: Therapeutic Relationships

Added on - 28 May 2020

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Running head: POWER AND ITS IMPACT ON THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIPSPower and its impact on therapeutic relationships of psychologyName of the student:Name of the university:Author note:
1POWER AND ITS IMPACT ON THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIPSMental health care is critically different from the other health care programs or genres, andthe most profound difference in the two different types of health care services is the extremedependence of the patients or clients on their clinical therapists. A mental patient is not justdepended for his or her health care benefits, but they are also extremely dependent on theirclinical therapist for their basic wellbeing as well. It is common knowledge that in case of healthcare the dependence in most cases is necessary and inevitable, however this extreme dependenceoften paves way for power imbalances in the therapeutic relationships that the patients have withtheir health care provider. Many authors have discussed the implication of power imbalance andits manifestation in the therapeutic relationship that the patients have with their mental healthcare provider. The unwarranted manifestation of this power in between the client and the healthcare provider is often the onset of response issues within the care program. This essay willdiscuss the manifestation of power in the therapeutic relationship and its impact (Kelly et al.,2012).In the history of mental health care, there have been many transitions, each of the transitionshas helped more or less in enhancing the effectiveness, and the safety of the care provided to thepatients. In addition, the most important of the innovations that have occurred in the mentalhealth care is the diagnosis based and patient centred care. The onset of a therapeutic relationshipcan be the one change in the mental health care that positively revolutionized the mental healthdelivery and the quality of the care. On an elaborative note, a therapy can be defined as any carepractice or technique that is employed in order to treat or support a mental patient. The mostimportant difference between a conventional care technique and therapy is the fact that a therapyrequires enhanced active involvement of the patient rather than letting the patient be a passiveparticipant in the process (Kelly et al., 2012). A therapeutic relationship on the other hand is the
2POWER AND ITS IMPACT ON THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIPSamalgamation of growing comfort and compassionate co-operation in between the mental patientand the care provider giving him or her therapy. By definition, a therapeutic relationship ingeneral is the engagement of the therapist with the patient, which helps forge a mutuallyrespectful and collaborative connection between the patient and the therapist.The therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the patient has a number of variablesthat define the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship that the individuals have. One veryimportant aspect within the same is the fact that the mental patients and their family memberbestow a lot of power to the therapist; hence, the onset of an inherent imbalance in term of poweris inevitable in case of therapeutic relationships. On a more elaborative note, the clients, ormental patients that are engaged in the therapy provides the therapist with power which thetherapist in turn uses for the benefit of the patients in care planning and critical decision makingso that the patient can recover fast and can revert back to their regular lifestyle. However, thepower invested on the hands of a psychologist is often accused to be mis- exercised and abusedin case of the mental patients. However, in order to analyse or elaborate the factors that definethe unequal or unjustified manifestation of power in the therapeutic relationships with the mentalpatients, it is crucial for individual pathways of the power manifestation to be critically analysed(Zuroff et al., 2010).According to the most of the research, the differential power gradient in the therapeuticrelationships with the mental patients is critically associated with the assumption in the patientsthat the psychotherapists have more psychological strength, emotional control and stability thanthe mental patient involved in the therapy, hence entire decision-making and judgingresponsibility falls upon the therapists. Although, this understanding is completely flawed.According to the theories of Foucault, knowledge and power are inseparable, and in case of post
3POWER AND ITS IMPACT ON THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIPSmodern narrative therapy. the sensibility and relevance of the therapy is based on the theory ofFoucault, that the human beings utilize power and knowledge in an intricately linked manner,and it is reflected in case of the psychotherapists as well (Gough, McFadden & McDonald,2013). In order to provide the optimal care experience and helping them to recover faster, thetherapists exercise the decisive power completely and in certain cases, it is helpful as well.For instance, in case of a mental patient with severe disconnection with the reality willdepend completely on the therapist. According to theHjelm (2014), in such cases the mentalpatient will have a sense of comfort in giving away the power led by the perception that theirpsychotherapist has a special psychological might or power. However, this frequentmisperception in the patient-client relationship is based on the Freudian dogma orpsychoanalytical therapy; where the concept of transference is the most important and decidingelement of the therapy. In case of transference, the patient is coerced redirect the feelings of trustand dependency, that humans generally feel during childhood, is persuaded to transfer that powerto the therapist. Although a little trust and dependency is required from the mental patient so thatthere is enough co-operation with the therapist in the activities that is going to be performedduring the therapy. Although there is a significant drawback of phenomenon is the fact that theexcessive dependency of the patient on the therapist bestows them with a power that is easilyexploited (Zur, 2014).It has to be mentioned in this context that exceeding dependency is not always present in thetherapeutic relationship, whereas, for the mental patients dealing with severe social rejection andabandonment anxiety, the dependency is often the only means of comfort for these patients. Theonly drawback in this case is the fact that this absolute transference of power makes these patient
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