Therapeutic communication is a manner of interacting that focuses on the emotional and physical health and needs of a patient. This intentional mode of verbal interaction is a way to resolve emotional conflicts that affect patients with mental health disturbances. Health professionals use this process to emphasize explicit, nonjudgmental interactions that permit individuals to feel a sense of security as they share their emotions. Compassionate communication can be beneficial in the healing process.
Encourages Positive Interaction
Encouraging a patient to express himself allows you a more succinct idea of the client's emotional tendencies and helps determine the most beneficial treatment approach. By exemplifying empathy, respect and a nonjudgmental attitude, you promote the favorable side of self-expression and inspire a mutually trusting relationship. Ugo Uche, a professional counselor who specializes in the treatment of troubled adolescents, discusses the power of empathy in therapy in "Psychology Today." He says that showing compassion toward clients encourages genuine concern and interest in the well-being of others and teaches clients how to interact with their peers in a constructive manner.
Supports Personal Accountability
By teaching and providing the patient with the tools he needs to acknowledge the challenges he’s facing and improve life situations, you empower a client to become more cognizant of his own behavior and self-correct it. Psychotherapist Richard A. Singer Jr., affirms in an article at Self Growth that in the therapeutic process, you need to encourage growth in the areas the client would like to improve rather than compel him in any specific direction. If you adhere to your own agenda and refuse to collaborate with the patient, you can instigate resistance in the client and hinder the therapeutic process. Conversely, when you use the personal approach of therapeutic communication, you increase the likelihood that a client will respond competently in learning to cope with his disorder, regulate his mood, develop his self-confidence and improve relationships.
When the lines of communication are open, patients are more likely ask for help and more prone to be open about persisting symptoms or difficulties they may be experiencing. A client's honest summation of how the therapy is helping or impairing her allows you an opportunity to address problematic issues immediately and reevaluate treatment options. In his collaboration with a study of the benefits of therapy for suicidal patients, psychologist John S. Westfield agrees that empathy in therapy encourages a client to develop and reinforce beneficial therapeutic tools—honesty, open communication and self-confidence. The use of therapeutic interaction allows a patient to learn how to arrive at his own decisions and conclusions while reaffirming his confidence in his ability to make significant determinations.
- "Psychology Today": Empathy Promotes Emotional Resiliency
- Self Growth: The Therapeutic Relationship Is the Most Important Ingredient in Successful Therapy
- "Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Bulletin"; Therapeutic Communication; May 1996
- Government Health Services: Working with a Client Who is Suicidal: A Tool for Adult Mental Health and Addiction Services