Mango (my Nova Scotia Duck Toller) and I meet a lot of various dogs of all shapes and sizes on our daily walks. It is often the tail that gives everything away. Two wagging tails as two dogs meet, check each other out, smell the other for the first time, is a very positive first visual. Safety! And I must admit there is always a bit of initial apprehension when another dog appears between both owners, especially for me if the other dog is a Mastiff, Great Dane, or a Dogue de Bordeaux. At this point rapport of some type is essential. Or, be to ready to run, and quickly.
Rapport is “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.” A great synonym for rapport is compatibility. This is the key ingredient for a successful client/ therapist relationship. Without it trust is undermined at the outset. There is generally just no way a client who is enduring a mental health issue, no matter how bad it is, is going to spend more than one or two sessions with a trained therapist if there is no rapport, and vice versa.
Rapport between two people in any context is never certain. However, when it comes to the healing process it is crucial. In part it is personal chemistry, in part the ability of the therapist to overlook everything and enter into the emotional world of the client. Not everyone can develop rapport with another and it should not be viewed as a failure if this is the case.
The compatibility between therapist and client allows for a free flowing, fluid conversation and professional relationship to develop and grow. The rapport is a trust characteristic. It emotionally emboldens the client to share at a deep, personal, open, transparent, vulnerable, safe level. Emotional health is advantaged. It does not wane between sessions. You just begin where you left off.
Rapport is a non-negotiable phenomenon. It is also a beautiful relational and emotional art form.
Need Therapy? www.bryanhagerman.ca I do Skype. 902 471 7919.