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The importance of a therapeutic relationship in eliminating self-defeating behaviours


Therapeutic relationship

The development of a sound therapeutic relationship in the elimination of self-defeating behaviours is critical, as it aids in the identification of how they adversely impact the client’s life. This increases the motivation of the therapist to develop strategies that can lead to the adaptation of patterns that contribute to behavioural change. The therapist is also able to determine the unmet needs of the client in order to collaborate on a process to address their needs. Additionally, a sound therapeutic relationship aids in understanding the source of the client’s self defeating behaviours to identify the underlying needs in relation to their emotions, thought, and beliefs.


Client Empowerment

The development of client empowerment by the therapist can also aid in emphasising the need for clients to address their own barriers towards defeating self defeating behaviours. This entails giving them the responsibility to determine their self-worth, self-esteem, and dignity, to increase their ability to maximise their functionality within the constraints of the self-defeating behaviours for their effective elimination. Additionally, offering continuous support to the client throughout the self-defeating behaviours aids in their ability to properly adhere to the stipulated techniques for recovery.


Supporting clients

Support will also encourage the client in the replacement of negative habits that cause self-defeating behaviours, as they rebuild a healthy life.


Effect on caregivers or partners.

In situations where a client’s self-defeating behaviours become risky then they pose a difficult and at times irritating situation for their caregivers or partners. For instance, if the self-defeating behaviours lead to a situation where the client inflicts self-harm, then they become difficult to deal with. Additionally, because certain habits are the source of the self-defeating behaviours, it means that they have a chance of becoming an addiction. Once the habits become addictive, then the caregiver’s partners find it difficult to manage the condition towards a point of recovery. For instance, drug and substance use may become addictive and prolong the client’s recovery process, while at the same time posing a stressful situation for the caregivers / partners. Engaging in risky sexual behaviour is another way that a client may make the situation irritating for their caregivers / partners. Risky sexual behaviours have the potential of exposing clients to unwarranted consequences such as being infected with sexually transmitted diseases and the risk of unwanted pregnancies. This situation may require the caregivers / partners to begin treating other diseases in addition to the management of the client’s self-defeating behaviours or be forced to take care of an infant whose parent is not in a stable mental condition





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