The therapeutic relationship is the common place of all medical specialties in therapeutic practice. It is a professional relationship and consists of two components: the work component and the interpersonal component. The focus of the studies aims to show the contribution of the dynamics of the therapist - patient interpersonal relationship as a therapeutic factor in achieving the therapeutic outcome. The issue of doctor-patient relationship has been studied since antiquity, in particular by Socrates and beyond. Hippocrates promotes and systematizes medical philosophy, bioethics and medical ethics, as seen in the well-known "Hippocratic Oath". In the new era, S. Freud continued the work of inductive dialectics of Socrates, while formulating the concept of transference and countertransference. The development of psychotherapies has provided enough evidence for the parameters that interact into a therapeutic relationship, as their techniques were merely dialectical. M. Balint supports the value of counter-transference and transference to the therapeutic relationship. G. Bibring & R. Kahana suggest that psychoanalytic techniques and personality types contribute to the understanding of the physical patient. C. Rogers suggested that the attitudes and the empathic understanding of the therapist, not the techniques, contribute primarily to therapeutic success. G. Engel (1970) promotes the patient's biopsychosocial approach. Since 1980, systematic studies have begun to support the value of the therapeutic relationship, believing that it is itself an autonomous therapeutic factor, confirming the views of M. Balint and C. Rogers. They conclude that the therapeutic effect is a function of the quality of the therapeutic relationship, regardless of any therapeutic technique, and that the therapeutic alliance has a significant effect on the clinical outcome for psychotherapies as well as for pharmacotherapy. Empathy, non-possessive warmth, positive respect and authenticity have a significant effect on the treatment results. The common factor model supports the dynamics of the interpersonal relationship contributing 85% to the therapeutic effect whereas the therapeutic techniques contribute 15%. It therefore seems that the dynamics of the interpersonal relationship, the therapist-patient, is an important therapeutic factor. Studies continue and more questions arise as to whether education is available, the dynamics of interpersonal relationships in the context of therapeutic relationships at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Also, the development of dialectical techniques, as a response to the empathic therapeutic relationship, which contributes at the clinical level to the patient's approach and information within the general health area and not only to mental health.

Key words: Interpersonal relationship, therapeutic relationship, therapeutic factor, empathy, countertransference.

G. Kallergis (page 165)


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