The relationship between a psychotherapy counselor and patient is a commitment to work together in finding the root of an issue. In counseling, the agreement governs the therapeutic sessions. There are several different contracts, which govern psychotherapy sessions. Contract management software helps to identify key issues to address in reaching an agreement. Here are four types of psychotherapy contracts or methods that counselors use and may incorporate during treatment. For practical reasons, a practitioner may use contract management software to enter into a written agreement with the therapist, avoiding misunderstandings or breaches of the arrangement.
Some therapists hesitate to use the word contract in defining an agreement with a patient or subject. Basically, a contract in therapy is a commitment by both parties to participate in a particular course of action. The client interacts with a practitioner on both a social and institutional level, focusing on resistance, repression, unconscious, and sexual psychoanalysis to fully understand the client’s mindset. These cornerstones of therapy are significant in observing the life of the client. According to Feud, the person-centered therapy is a broad approach, which shares root assumptions.
Process contracts include a moment-by-moment approach, remaining focused on the present. A therapist may track his client’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. This type of therapy is effective in both group and personal sessions. In agreeing to follow the process, the client must fully open up to the therapist, allowing himself to be vulnerable. By revealing personal information, the client helps the therapist to understand and guide him through personal experiences, which may include painful memories or reliving long-discarded experiences from the past.
No-harm contracts focus on ensuring that therapy will not cause harm to the client. As such, the contract helps to avoid self-harm, suicide, or other harmful circumstances. It’s the practitioner’s responsibility to first understand if he may interact with the client safely, ensuring that there is no danger or threat to either the client or therapist. Building trust is essential before delving into subtle conversations meant to find out the client’s deeper most thoughts without causing additional harm.