In this book, Dave Mearns & Mick Cooper expand on the therapeutic principles at the core of the person-centred approach founded by Carl Rogers. Their work is concerned with what is happening at a depth between the therapist and the client. As in all therapeutic approach, it is safe to claim that the feelings of the therapist cannot but be part of the process unfolding itself in therapy. In this work the ‘constituents’ of what the authors call ‘relational depth’ are examined at great length and intending to offering the reader with some insights into what they claim help increase the therapeutic connectedness with the client.
I found this text very helpful in understanding or at least learning how to be on the look-out for those various emotional signs that would help me find my way in the therapeutic process. I could not but be inspired by this particular case of post-traumatic shock due to the damages of war. Some of the descriptions made by D. Mearns of his work with a soldier who would not want/could not speak any more was most relevant to my research project on the difficulties of talking for the client in therapy (see Research).
Still, it is important always to try to ‘problematize’ what is on offer. And so Mearns & Cooper invited me to wonder what influence had the part of imagination from the therapist in therapy? Where do ideas and thoughts come from in the therapist, and what do they represent? Who can ever claim that whatever is being ‘imagined’ by the therapist is at all safe and promoting the therapeutic alliance? Where do we put the limit? Say a therapist imagines something of what it is for the client; is this an absolute guarantee that, because of his status as ‘the one who is supposed to know’, whatever he or she thinks, senses or ‘feels’ is what is going on? It is easy to see here that in this context some potentially competitive stance between a therapist and a client – two human beings – can emerge.
- See Carl Roger’s Reader
- Click here to watch an interview with the Mick Cooper
- Working at Relational Depth has contributed to some understanding towards my qualitative research using a phenomenological research method, found here
- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd; First edition (1 Sept. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761944583
- ISBN-13: 978-0761944584