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Towards a relationally-orientated approach to therapy: Empirical support and analysis

Cooper, Mick (2004) Towards a relationally-orientated approach to therapy: Empirical support and analysis. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 32 (4). pp. 451-460. ISSN 0306-9885

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Abstract

Drawing on contemporary evidence in the counselling and psychotherapy research field, this paper argues that there is growing support for a relationship-orientated approach to therapeutic practice. The paper reviews findings from a range of meta-analytical and individual studies which provide strong evidence for the centrality of relational factors to the successfulness of therapy, and then goes on to examine the specific variables that appear to be linked to positive therapeutic change. Having considered some of the empirical evidence that challenges this position and highlighted the importance of individual differences, the paper concludes by arguing that we need to develop and expand our understanding of the kind of relational factors and processes that most facilitate therapeutic change.