A state of readiness: an exploration of the client's role in meeting at relational depth

Rosanne Knox, Mick Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


It is widely acknowledged that the therapeutic relationship is important to therapeutic outcome. In recent years, there has been additional evidence to suggest that specific, identifiable moments of relational depth between client and therapist can also have a major positive impact on the progress and outcome of therapy; however, the question of how such moments occur remains largely unexplored. Are they solely initiated by the therapist, or does the client have a role too? This article explores clients' perceptions of the factors facilitating an experience of relational depth. Findings suggest that immediately prior to such an experience the clients themselves have reached a state of readiness, and as making a positive decision to bring their vulnerability to the fore in the therapeutic relationship, thereby facilitating a potential moment of change. Findings are discussed in relation to contemporary theory with implications for practice given.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-81
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2010
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2010


  • counselling
  • relationships
  • client's readiness
  • person-centered
  • relational depth
  • qualitative research
  • therapeutic relationship


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