Therapeutic Alliance: Does It Help the Weight-Loss Process?
Posted Oct 19 2011 5:00am
In therapy, one thing that both therapist and patient count on having is a good alliance. Therapeutic alliance is essentially how well the two people get along and cooperate with one another as they go about their therapeutic work together.
The idea of therapeutic alliance can certainly be lifted and used when you are working out something with yourself as well. In other words, how well do you get along with yourself when you are trying to lose weight and keep it off?
Can you work well with yourself despite the ups and downs of the weight loss process? How, for instance, do you handle the goals and tasks involved in losing a lot of weight? Are you impatient with yourself? Are you able to show yourself respect and empathy when you are trying to make a big change in your life? Do you select approaches to the process of weight loss that are in keeping with who you are and where you are right now?
In a therapeutic alliance, even with yourself, the working relationship is one in which you, the person seeking to change, can feel safe and supported. There will, of course, be rough times—ruptures in the alliance. These ruptures will need to be addressed and repaired. A temporary misalliance doesn’t have to mean that all is lost. In fact, it is often the case that you feel at your best when you are able to repair a ruptured relationship.
It might sound odd to you, this idea of you having a strong, working therapeutic relationship with yourself. But, if you think of it, you have often been your own caretaker, your own motivator, your own pathfinder. In these ways, you have been like a therapist to yourself. And when you attempt big changes like losing unwanted weight and then permanent weight loss, you need this kind of therapeutic alliance most.