'Relational depth': Moments of movement in therapy
Mick Cooper – United Kingdom

Relational depth' is a concept developed by Dave Mearns, and refers to moments of profound contact and encounter in the therapeutic relationship.  These are the moments where we feel profoundly 'touched' by clients: a heart-to-heart meeting in which something deeply important seems to happen in the therapeutic work. This talk will give a state-of-the-art review of what we know of relational depth in therapy, based on research conducted over the last two decades.  It will explore therapists' and clients' experiences of relational depth, factors that facilitate these moments of deep connection, their impact on clients, and what therapists can do to facilitate their emergence.

Mick Cooper is an internationally recognised authority in the field of counselling and psychotherapy and a chartered psychologist. Mick is author of a range of texts on humanistic, existential and relational approaches to therapy, and co-developed the pluralistic approach with Professor John McLeod. Mick is Director of the Centre for Social and psychological Transformation (CREST) at the University of Roehampton.
His principal areas of research have been in shared decision-making/personalising therapy, and counselling for young people in schools.  In 2014, Mick received the Carmi Harari Mid-Career Award from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Academy of Social Sciences.

The change process in person-centered and experiential therapies - Therapeutic change seen through a pluralistic lens: classical, interpersonal, existential, Focusing-oriented and Emotion-Focused
Gerhard Stumm – Austria

The approach that Carl Rogers has developed is nearly 80 years old. No wonder that it has been refined and revised even by people who regard themselves as deeply rooted in and connected with the basics of Rogers’ ideas.

In my presentation I want to explore specific features that characterize facilitative conditions or necessary therapeutic steps for change processes to happen according to the sub-orientations mentioned in the title:

  • a body of therapist attitudes based on the conviction that these set free innate potentials of the client
  • understanding the therapeutic challenge as a dialogical collaboration
  • a focus on the client’s relating - therapeutic space as an arena of interpersonal dynamics
  • paying attention to what really counts for the client in life, incl. ontological givens
  • checking whatever comes up via the bodily felt sense
  • transforming maladaptive emotions into adaptive through different means.

Gerhard Stumm, Ph.D., is a person-centred therapist in Vienna, a clinical and health psychologist, and trainer of the Forum, a training institute for person-centred therapy in Austria; Author of numerous publications: e.g. co-editor of Die vielen Gesichter der Personzentrierten Psychotherapie (The many faces of Person-centred psychotherapy) (2002), Grundbegriffe der Personzentrierten und Focusing-orientierten Psychotherapie (Basic concepts of Person-centred and Focusing-oriented psychotherapy) (2003), Praxis der Personzentrierten Psychotherapie (Practice of Person-centred psychotherapy) (2014).