4 Commentsby   |  09.06.09  |  Uncategorized

In the therapist/client relationship, a certain degree of trust needs to be fortified before true therapy can begin. Trux & Carkhuff (1967) state that to be an effective therapist one must have certain qualities. One of the qualities they stress is that of genuineness. Their definition of genuineness refers to a “meeting on a person-to-person basis without defensiveness or a retreat into facades or roles” (p. 32). The therapist needs to be open and honest with his or her clients. They should be sympathetic and interested in the client’s story. A therapist possessing the trait of genuineness will not only listen to the client by ear but will also truly be involved in the things his or her client is saying. He will take an active role in the therapy process (p. 32).

Trux & Carkhuff (1967) go on to say that therapists should be aware of the risk of countertransference. This stems from a therapist who lacks genuineness. He allows his own emotions to cloud his judgment when dealing with a client. Countertransference can be seen as anger, impatience, or resentment towards the client, which may disturb the therapist/client relationship. Trux & Carkhuff (1967) warn that the therapist must always be on guard against projecting his or her own personal problems onto the client (pp. 33-34).

Genuineness is not always easy, but it is crucial to the relationship between the therapist and client. A client cannot be expected to open up to a therapist who is only there to get a paycheck. The client must feel a sense of security and openness with the therapist. They must know that what they say is being heard and that they are being treated with the utmost respect. After all, how can the therapist expect the client to listen to his or her advice, when they themselves have not been listening to the client?

Genuine Listening

(2009, July 21). Steps to genuine listening. Thekayandyelluhshow. Podcast retrieved from


Truax, C. B. & Carkhuff, R. R. (1967). Central therapeutic ingredients theoretic convergence. Toward effective

           counseling and psychotherapy: Training and practice. Chicago: Aldine. (23-79).

Critical Thinking:

  1. As a future therapist, what steps can you take to ensure you give your clients the genuineness they need?
  2. According to Trux & Carkhuff (1967), a therapist is supposed to be “real” with his patients and genuinely accept them as they are, but how does a therapist help someone whose beliefs and values are completely opposite of his or her own? How do they reconcile their own beliefs with their role as an unbiased therapist?
  3. Could there ever be a time when a therapist is being too genuine? Trux & Carkhuff (1967) warn about not showing enough genuineness, but is there such a thing as too much?


  1. Jaime Goff
    9:36 pm, 09.07.09

    Hmmm…too much genuineness? Although I don’t think it could be classified as genuineness, perhaps some people would think of too much self-disclosure as being overly genuine. Like we talked about in class last week, therapists should always be careful about their motives when choosing to self-disclose. Genuineness doesn’t mean being a completely open book; this might actually be unhelpful at best and harmful at worst for clients. It does, however, mean being yourself, being in the moment, and being comfortable with whatever feelings come up in the session, whether they are positive or negative.

  2. Sabrina Johnson
    11:46 am, 09.22.09

    As a future therapist, what steps can you take to ensure you give your clients the genuineness they need?

    This is one of many questions I have not yet thought out completely quite yet. Here’s what I have so far…
    I chose to venture into the therapy world from all other places for a couple of reasons: 1. Jesus spent much of his ministry with people in conflict. 2. In Biblical days and the present, people in conflict seem to best understand the need for hope. They recognize something is missing from their life and this implies they understand there should be something more.

    Now, with that being said, it is not my direct goal to convert all those that come to me. My goal is to develop the eyes of Christ in order to meet them where they are and to see them not as a number or statistic but as a valued part of God’s creation because they are.

  3. Kelsey Waskow
    7:12 pm, 12.03.09

    I think the answer to the second question is one of those that I have tossed around quite a bit in my head, and have yet to find a complete answer to. I think it is important to remember that as a therapist, we are not in a session with a client to place any sort of judgment on them. The point of their coming to therapy is not so that we can serve as their justice system. Having said that, I think it is vital to realize that I can be genuine to a person without agreeing with their choices. I believe it is a choice within myself to find a place of understanding where I can accept the client and the place where they are coming from. By acknowledging the lenses that the clients are speaking from, I will be more capable of understanding them, thus more capable of showing genuineness towards them.

  4. Ashley Roan
    11:56 am, 12.07.09

    I have a tendancy to want the client to view me as a professional. Because of this i try to assert my professionalism my seeming all knowing. this interferes with my genuiness. I have been aware and working ont his aspect of my personality in session. I need to be constantly aware and in check of this tendancy to be able to effectivly help clients.
    I hope i can be open withmy clients and allow them to handle situations differently than i would and be able to accept them despite my own values. I am not sure how to be myself in session and also be accepting of others being them selves in session without our clashing. I need to take on a humble attitude that allows me to be accepting of others because my way is not always right and i cant assume that they are wrong for ebing different.
    I could not be totally genuine in session because my personality is relazed and sarcastic and teasing. these are not things that would be ebnificial in session so i do think there is such a thing as being too genuine.

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