Working in the Here-and-Now of the Therapeutic Relationship

Working in the Here-and-Now of the Therapeutic Relationship

by Nancy Gunzberg

Working in the here-and-now of the therapeutic relationship requires therapists to be fully engaged, and take risks in revealing themselves. But utilizing the transference and counter-transference makes for rewarding and powerful therapy.

When clients arrive at our office, they’re hoping we can help them feel better. Often they assume it’s their outer conditions they need to change: “if only my husband would…” or,  “once I find a new job...” or, “I don’t know why I’m feeling bad because I have a great life, but…” It’s not that we don’t listen to their concerns, but these are all situations that exist outside our consulting room.
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Nancy GunzbergNancy Gunzberg, LCSW is a private practice psychotherapist in Santa Barbara, California. Previously she has worked as a psychotherapist in medical settings at Cottage Hospital, The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Sansum Psychiatric Department, and Hospice of Santa Barbara. Her areas of specialty include depression and anxiety, grief and loss, eating disorders, addictions, identity, trauma, attachments, aging, illness, and end of life issues. She can be reached at Her website is
Wow! Even if I'm not a therapist, it is one of the most heartfelt article I ever read by a therapist. In a sense, I can relate to Nick's struggles in the area of rejection. The concept, "rejecting others so I won't be rejected" really got me reflecting.
Chris Educator
A lovely and honest reflection about transference and countertransference and the critical moments in psychotherapy treatment. The therapist's critical attention to her own feelings and how that broadened her understanding of the patient's conflict was clearly illustrated. I would like to know more about her self reflections at the final session. What she would have done differently or the same.
Christine Schmidt, LCSW
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CE credits: 1
Learning objectives:

  • Learn how to help your clients grow and change by focusing on the here-and-now of the therapeutic relationship.
  • Identify the two factors that lead to premature client termination and how to avoid making these common therapeutic errors.
  • Develop skills for working through disruptions in the therapeutic relationship to help clients identify old relational patterns and make healthier choices.
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