Attunement in the Therapeutic Alliance: Nature, Impact and Implications
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The study uses academic and clinical sources to investigate the impact of attunement on the client and the therapeutic alliance, and assesses the implications for clinicians. Three practicing therapists in British Columbia were interviewed in depth. The academic and clinical sources broadly agree that attunement can create and deepen the therapeutic alliance, and can facilitate the therapeutic process. The study suggests: that attunement occurs at the level of body, mind and spirit, and can be documented by shifts in neurology and physiology; that the counsellor’s compassionate presence can impact attunement; and that the experience of attunement is inherently healing for the client. The findings encourage therapists to develop their attunement ability, for example, through appropriate training and self-development. The findings also encourage further research into physiological and energetic responses to attunement and suggest the need for direct feedback from clients on the therapeutic benefits experienced.