The therapeutic relationship in cognitive—behavioral therapy: Essential features and common challenges.

This article discusses the foundational aspects of the therapeutic relationship in cognitive—behavioral therapy (CBT) and ways of utilizing relational tools to overcome common challenges encountered by CBT therapists. Despite an emphasis on techniques and quantifying change mechanisms, the therapeutic relationship is the context within which interventions occur and is itself a critical aspect of treatment. From that basic understanding, the unique nature of the client—therapist relationship within CBT is explicated, including the concepts of collaboration, empiricism, and Socratic dialogue. Each of these concepts is defined and discussed as a facilitator of treatment processes, including how to use these relational concepts across the various stages of a “typical” course of therapy. We illustrate with examples of client—therapist interactions and emphasize facilitative responses from the clinician. The article concludes with a call for ongoing theory development and research into the therapeutic relationship in CBT. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)