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Relationship qualities that are associated with moments of relational depth: the client's perspective

Knox, R. and Cooper, Mick (2010) Relationship qualities that are associated with moments of relational depth: the client's perspective. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 9 (3). pp. 236-256. ISSN 1477-9757

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Abstract

This study explores the qualities of the therapeutic relationship that are associated with profound moments of interpersonal connectedness. Using a phenomenological approach, qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 participants all of whom had been clients of predominately person-centered counseling. Therapists with whom participants did experience moments of relational depth were experienced as being trustworthy, real, genuinely caring and earnest in their desire to understand. In relationships where they felt there was no moments of relational depth, participants described their therapist as distant, powerful, interpreting, misunderstanding or saying the right words but not really meaning it. Findings are discussed in relation to theory and previous studies, and suggestions for further research given.