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Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy : new research findings

Cooper, Mick (2009) Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy : new research findings. In: BACP's 15th Annual Research conference, 2009-05-15 - 2009-05-16. (Unpublished)

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Relational depth can be defined as: 'A state of profound contact and engagement between two people' (Mearns and Cooper, 2005, xii). Following the publication of Mearns and Cooper's Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy, several other researchers have undertaken in-depth empirical investigations of this phenomenon, most of which remains unpublished. The aim of this paper is to summarise this research, focusing on four specific questions: What do we know about the nature of relational depth? Do clients experience relational depth with their therapists and what is this experience like for them? Do clients and therapists experience relational depth at the same time? And, what can we say about the relationship between moments of relational depth and outcomes?