I'm not too sure what you mean by 'vent'. If you mean letting the client rant and rave and the therapeutic alliance appears more collusional as you are the lovely person who listens (but doesn't critique) the 'vent' then it serves little therapeutic funtion. However, it is also important for the client to be able to relate their story to you. The danger in allowing venting is that the session may be overtaken by this and results in little constructive outcome. There are of course clients who do not have anyone with whom they can share the frustrations or emotions that are needed and with these it can be helpful to set aside the first 10-15 minutes of the session to allow the venting, as long as at the end of the process there is a sense of therapeutic value gained, e.g., identifying the issue that is central to the vent and working with that. Have I 'raved' enough?
In Jacqueline Persons book on cognitive therapy in practice she notes the positive benefits gained from a relationship developed from understanding and that the clients behaivour in session can be indicative of how they engage in the world, so that if the client outside of therapy 'vents' a lot to others without resolution then this may be contributing to their difficulties, by modelling resolution from the vent you are upskilling them.
Have I 'raved' enough?
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