The Therapeutic Relationship and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Case Study of an Adolescent Girl With Depression

Cheryl Joy Easterbrook, Trudy Meehan

Abstract


The therapeutic relationship in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been argued to play an essential role in positive outcomes in therapy. However, it is described as necessary and yet, secondary to technique, often receiving little attention in the training of CBT therapists. This case study explores a trainee psychologist’s experience of finding difficulty in feeling authentic and the application of CBT techniques with her client. This difficulty informed the research question; what is the value of the therapeutic relationship in CBT? A hermeneutic approach with a strong emphasis on phenomenology, is used to explore the therapeutic process and the therapeutic relationship that developed between therapist and client. Qualitative descriptions of 11 sessions are divided into themes, these are discussed in relation to what happened in therapy, and are then discussed further regarding discovery and process into the therapeutic relationship. Conclusions from this case study could possibly reveal the value of the therapeutic relationship when working from a CBT approach, and how it seemed to enable the client to achieve her goal in therapy.

Keywords


depression (Major Depressive Disorder); Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); therapeutic relationship