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Building Therapeutic Alliances: a journey towards collaborative partnerships

PCVRS Building Therapeutic Alliances

May 8, 2024

Embarking in therapy can be overwhelming. You may be wondering if your provider will be 'the right fit' or perhaps you may be apprehensive about sharing your story with someone new. But whatever the reason may be, it is important to understand these worries are experienced by many.

At Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services (PCVRS), we understand the journey towards healing is not linear and that every Veteran participating in the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program (RSVP) has unique needs. As such, our goal is to help Veterans feel safe and empowered to make informed decisions about their care. This blog post highlights the importance of collaboration by exploring therapeutic alliance - a partnership that starts with you.

Understanding Therapeutic Alliance:

Therapeutic alliance is the bond formed over time between the Provider and the Participant through open and honest experiences. This high-trust partnership can only be formed when both parties are fully invested and open to collaborating as a team. The Provider guides and supports the Participant through their rehabilitation journey, but the Participant is truly the agent of change. Rehabilitation takes time, effort and a genuine desire to see improvements over the course of the partnership. As such, both members have equal roles to play, so let's take a deeper dive to better understand these roles:

What to Expect from your Provider:

Rehabilitation Service Professionals (RSPs) are rehabilitation focused health professionals, such as occupational therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists, and more.

To provide you with the best advice and guidance possible, RSPs have the responsibility to foster a safe environment that allows for open discussions - you should feel comfortable sharing your goals and challenges. To make this possible, RSPs must bring their authentic selves when engaging with you. Together, you and your RSP will establish objectives and discuss where, when and how often you will be meeting. Additionally, you may discuss past experiences with similar providers. This will allow your RSP to understand what has and has not worked for you before.

As with any medical practitioner, your RSP should be having regular check-ins with you to discuss what is and is not working regarding your Rehabilitation Plan. You will be included in the creation of your Rehabilitation Plan and will have an opportunity to provide input.

Your Active Role as the Participant:

Rehabilitation gives you the opportunity to positively impact your well-being by being open with your Provider. The Provider offers recommendations, and rehabilitation options based on the information you provide, their clinical judgment, and assessments of your unique situation.

It is important to know that a therapeutic alliance takes time to build. Your RSP will have your best interest in mind and welcome feedback at all times. Treatment outcomes have greater success with active participation and engagement. This can only happen if you are actively participating in the rehabilitation plan.

PCVRS RSP’s are here to work with you to achieve your rehabilitation goals.

Next steps

Wherever you may be in your rehabilitation journey, it is important for you to know that your RSP has your ultimate goals in mind. You are encouraged to ask questions about your Rehabilitation Plan to better understand how and why it will benefit you. By engaging in your Rehabilitation Plan you will become a collaborative partner in your own care, which will bring you one step closer to accomplishing your rehabilitation goals.

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Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program
5th Floor 915 Fort Street
Victoria, BC V8V 3K3

Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program

In cooperation with Veteran Affairs Canada.