The increased use of and emphasis on managed care, manualized treatment protocols, evidence-based treatments and quick treatments have marginalized the role of the helping relationship in the helping professions. This shift has sparked a debate within the helping professions over whether the helping relationship or technique is primarily responsible for healing and change. The Helping Relationship weighs in on this debate, arguing that healing and change always take place within the context of relationships and that the relationship is more important than the technique. While recognizing the value of techniques, the authors valorize the helping relationship, considering it in unconventional contexts, such as formal education, supervision, and faith communities to show its flexibility and efficacy. This alternative approach adds a new perspective on the helping relationship debate, shedding new light on the roles of relationship and technique in the healing process.
Augustine Meier is a professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa and a certified clinical psychologist in private practice. He is the editor of The Challenge of Forgiveness (Novalis, 2001), Through Conflict to Reconciliation (Novalis, 2006) and In Search of Healing (Society for Pastoral Counselling Research, 2000).
Martin Rovers is a professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences, Saint Paul University, Ottawa and an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists Approved Supervisor. He is the author of several books, including Healing the Wounds in Couple Relationships (Novalis, 2005).