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Crossing bridges

Bridges seem to have a particular significance for me at the moment and a pattern is emerging.

In my professional work, I am conscious of the need to build bridges between client and therapist to create rapport and form a good working alliance.


Recently, when supervising a therapeutic coach, we discussed an intervention to create an affect bridge between the anger a client was currently experiencing and previous episodes. Anger is often linked to earlier events. By encouraging the client to close their eyes and reconnect with other angry feelings, patterns can emerge, links made and resolution established.


The human brain of course has its own bridge. The corpus callosum links the emotional side to the rational side so that two-way communication can occur.

Good bilateral communication between the hemispheres is at the heart of emotional intelligence. Recent research now indicates this extraordinary mechanism is not fully formed until age 30. That is why our teenagers and young people often need additional support from an older, wiser person. Many clients with Asperger's syndrome for instance are unable to ever complete this bilateral integration and the help of a therapist is sought to process feelings, link them to thoughts and rationalise experience.


The human brain is a social organ and functions best when linked empathically to other human brains. When rapport is established in a good therapeutic alliance, the client is able to establish affect or emotional regulation in a safe space, much as a child uses the attuned parent to manage its emotions until it is able to do so for itself.


My own recent professional epiphany occurred when I finally realised that the STOP:GO™ system which forms part of the Fusion Therapeutic Coaching model has now effectively bridged the worlds of counselling and coaching in a format which is easy to understand and implement, and sits comfortably as an additional tool for therapists of many kinds.


Based on Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs (known as the human givens) it is also the ultimate multi cultural model. If you can get your emotional needs met in balance, it is impossible to feel depressed. As a human being from any culture and in any part of the world, your basic emotional needs will be the same. There is certainly a need for cross cultural counselling and, you might say, this is the real bridge which connects human beings and links us all.


Frances Masters MBACP accred GHGI FRTC





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