In effective counselling the counsellor and client form a bond through which they together carry out the common task of the therapy - that is to help the client heal and grow. This is known as the 'working alliance'.
This working alliance plays a vital role in the therapy. The ongoing communication between the client and counsellor gives momentum and power to the therapy. Wright and Davis (1994:27) described the working alliance like this ‘…in simple terms it refers to the personal qualities of the patient, personal qualities of the therapist, and the interactions between them’.
In his classic children’s book ‘Charlotte’s Web’, E.B.White (1963) tells the story of a friendship between a spider (Charlotte) and a pig (Wilbur), and how their relationship enabled them to save Wilbur’s life and protect Charlotte’s ‘children’. However, the story also provides a useful metaphor to how a strong working alliance can help the therapy.
Perhaps the most important aspect of both Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Psychodynamic Counselling, is that they both strive to better understand the patient, and it is this deeper understanding, and the therapist and patient process of uncovering it, that paves the way to healing.