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A state of readiness: an exploration of the client's role in meeting at relational depth

Knox, R. and Cooper, Mick (2010) A state of readiness: an exploration of the client's role in meeting at relational depth. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50 (3). ISSN 0022-1678

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It is widely acknowledged that the therapeutic relationship is important to therapeutic outcome. In recent years, there has been additional evidence to suggest that specific, identifiable moments of relational depth between client and therapist can also have a major positive impact on the progress and outcome of therapy; however, the question of how such moments occur remains largely unexplored. Are they solely initiated by the therapist, or does the client have a role too? This article explores clients' perceptions of the factors facilitating an experience of relational depth. Findings suggest that immediately prior to such an experience the clients themselves have reached a state of readiness, and as making a positive decision to bring their vulnerability to the fore in the therapeutic relationship, thereby facilitating a potential moment of change. Findings are discussed in relation to contemporary theory with implications for practice given.