Therapy Rapport Building Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Therapy Rapport Building Worksheet?

Any therapeutic process requires rapport building in the initial session to ensure the client is comfortable with the therapist or counsellor and ready to comply with the requirements of the course of their treatment. The goal is to build a relationship that is based on mutual trust, respect and understanding so that the treatment process moves smoothly towards achieving the desired treatment outcomes without resistance from the client. 

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will provide some useful tips to novice therapists and counsellors regarding how to build rapport with their clients before beginning treatment interventions. It is a much needed skill and requirement for forming a healthy therapist-client relationship because the client must feel comfortable before opening up about their deepest fear and vulnerabilities. 

How to use the worksheet?

This infosheet can be used by therapists and counsellors as a reminder to focus on and polish their rapport building skills if they want to ensure successful achievement of treatment outcomes for clients of all ages. 

Therapy Rapport Building Worksheet

Ensuring your client is comfortable with sharing their vulnerabilities with you is integral for achieving treatment outcomes. It is important to build a healthy and respectful relationship with your client where they trust you completely and are not hesitant to share what they want. 

Following are some tips that can help you tone your rapport building skills:

  1. Always maintain a calm persona with the client even if you are provoked by them in one way or the other. 
  2. Show utmost patience and respect the pace the client wants to take in their own therapy process instead of pushing them unnecessarily
  3. Make the client feel like they are the ones guiding their own self towards recovery. 
  4. Never pinpoint flaws or mistakes directly. Help the client to  reach that conclusion themselves so that they are better able to accept and rectify their mistakes. 
  5. Show genuine concern with both verbal and non verbal language for the client’s issues no matter trivial or big. 
  6. Be observant of subtle cues that may indicate the client is not fully trusting you or hesitant with sharing important information. Make an effort to first bring them at ease before probing further. 
  7. Your body language and tone of voice must always convey genuine warmth and understanding.
  8. Have a list of age appropriate icebreakers handy to break a tough session when needed or to use in the beginning of sessions to put the clients at ease. 
  9. Ensure that your clinical setting appears clean, friendly and peaceful.
  10. Tone your listening and paraphrasing skills to ensure the client really feels heard. 
  11. Make sure to use positive words and affirmations to keep up the clients morale and motivation to achieve their treatment outcomes. 
  12. Minimise or eliminate any distractions during the sessions that can make the client feel like your attention is somewhere else. 


Leach M. J. (2005). Rapport: a key to treatment success. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 11(4), 262–265.

You can download this worksheet here.

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