What does it mean to connect to others in an in-depth way?  What are the effects of relating deeply to clients in therapy, and how can such a such an encounter be facilitated? This workshop will give participants an opportunity to explore their experiences of relational depth, and how it feels to meet others at this level of intensity and intimacy: in both their therapeutic practice and everyday life. Through small group exercises, pairs-work, discussion and theory input, the workshop will help participants develop a deeper understanding of such encounters, and also how they come to deepen their levels of relating in their therapeutic work.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the nature of relational depth

  • Articulate their own experiences of in-depth relating

  • Understand the latest research findings on the nature, impact and prevalence of relational depth in therapy

  • Recognise means of deeepening levels of relating with clients

  • Recognise their own chronic strategies of disconnection and other barriers to relational depth



  • Session 1: Experiencing relational depth, in and out of therapy

  • Session 2: The importance of relatedness to psychological wellbeing

  • Session 3: Deepening our levels of relating with clients

  • Session 4: Chronic strategies of disconnection



This workshop is typically delivered as a one day event. However, a more extended version of this course can be delivered over two days.

The workshop combines self-development exercises, theoretical input, practical exercises, and small and large group discussion.

The workshop is appropriate for training and practising counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists and other mental health professionals.

Latest research findings on relational depth can also be presented as a one/two hour keynote lecture.





Research publications

Di Malta, G. S., Evans, C., & Cooper, M. (2019). Development and Validation of the Relational Depth Frequency Scale. Psychotherapy Research. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2019.1585590

Cooper, M., & Knox, R. (2017). Therapists’ self-reported chronic strategies of disconnection in everyday life and in counselling and psychotherapy: an exploratory study. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 1-16. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1343457

Cooper, M. (2012). Clients' and therapists' perceptions of intrasessional connection: An analogue study of change over time, predictor variables, and level of consensus. Psychotherapy Research, 22(3), 274-287.

Cooper, M., Chak, A., Cornish, F., & Gillespie, A. (2012). Dialogue: Bridging personal, community and social transformation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

Cooper, M., & Ikemi, A. (2012). Dialogue: A dialogue between focusing and relational perspectives. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 11(2), 124-136.

Knox, R., & Cooper, M. (2011). A state of readiness: An exploration of the client’s role in meeting at relational depth. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51(1), 61-81.

Knox, R. and Cooper, M. (2010). Relationship qualities that are associated with moments of relational depth: The client’s perspective. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies 9(3): 236-256.

Cooper, M. (2009). Interpersonal perceptions and metaperceptions: Psychotherapeutic practice in the inter-experiential realm. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 49(1), 85-99.

Cooper, M. (2005). Therapists' experiences of relational depth: A qualitative interview study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 5(2), 87-95.



Mick interviewed in 2011 on relational depth by John Wilson