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The Therapeutic Relationship in Counselling and Psychotherapy

The Therapeutic Relationship in Counselling and Psychotherapy

March 2015 | 168 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

What is a therapeutic alliance? How do I create a bond? What might lead to the alliance breaking down? What do I do when the relationship feels stuck?


These are just some of the questions addressed in this important new book for trainee and qualified therapists wanting to understand, engage in and make the most of the therapeutic relationship.


Taking you through each stage of the therapeutic process, from initial boundary setting to effective endings, the book considers a number of different settings and client groups such as working in an online environment and with children and young people. Structured around ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, an accessible and engaging narrative guides you though the skills and considerations for an effective therapeutic relationship, as well as the potential challenges it might face. 


Bringing to the forefront the mutuality of the relationship and the client as a proactive agent, this book will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to develop trusting and productive relationships with your clients.

Boundaries and the therapeutic frame
Empathic understanding and listening
Care and warmth
Being real
Relating at depth
Therapeutic relationships with children and young people
Telephone and online counselling relationships

This book is essential reading for Public Services students as it provides an excellent overview of therapeutic relationships. Often our students struggle to grasp the finer points of an appropriate therapeutic relationship and this book provides a good basis for them to advance their knowledge.

Miss Beccy Smith
H&SC, New College Swindon
June 20, 2022

A succinct and useful tool. I have recommended this to students

Valeria Fletcher
School of Health & Wellbeing, Leeds Beckett University
December 19, 2019

Within counseling psychology, the therapeutic relationship is key. This comprehensive book includes a range of key aspects such as the therapeutic frame, engaging in a therapeutic relationship and what happens at a deeper level. Students' feedback has been good and they particularly enjoy the size of the book, the style of writing and depth of topics.

Dr Helen Nicholas
Psychology Department, Worcester University
September 30, 2015

Essential reading for those new in the field of counselling. Comprehensive. Well laid out with clear chapter structure and flow. Engenders confidence in new practitioners.

Ms Joanne Wright
Health, Social Care & Early Education, City College Norwich
June 24, 2015

This simple and practical book looks at questions which a trainee counsellor might ask about the therapeutic relationship. It will be very accessible for Level 3 students.

Mrs Hilary McNair
Kent Adult Education, Kent Adult Education
April 27, 2015

This is an easy read and provides lots of very useful information pertaining to the processes necessary to form a healthy therapeutic relationship regardless of orientation.

If you are starting out in you career and what to appreciate the dynamics of the relationship this book is useful as it discusses the various stages of relationship development from the early stages through to mindful boundary building. I particularly liked the self reflection parts at the end of each section. this is such a vital part of personal development for therapist and it is great to have it incorporated in your reading

Miss joy conlon
School of Nursing, Dublin City University (DCU)
December 14, 2015

This is a practical book, which answers questions students at this level may have

Mrs Hilary McNair
Kent Adult Education, Kent Adult Education
September 9, 2015

This book provides a clear and concise introduction to key issues concerning the therapeutic relationship. It is written in a style that is accessible, engaging and encouraging of reflection and is likely to be of benefit for both new and seasoned practitioners.

Mr Damian White
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Surrey University
March 16, 2015

Excellent text for all students on a counselling course

Mrs Diane Forrester
Community Studies, Truro College
March 11, 2015

Good complimentary text for our relational course.

Ms Lesley Spencer
School of Sport, Health & Applied Social Sciences, University of South Wales (Newport)
March 10, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: The Therapeutic Frame