Which Me Should I be? – The Use of Self and The Therapeutic Relationship

Two day course: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March, 10am to 5pm both days.

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Helen Rowland, PTSTA

Who is it aimed at?

Qualified counsellors and psychotherapists and/or trainee counsellors and psychotherapists in advanced clinical training.

Course Outline

Since the relational turn in psychology and counselling, therapists have begun to pay much more attention to the use of self in the therapeutic relationship.  We see different types of transferences emerging, and so we make choices about how to respond to this or that countertransference; we recognise development deficits in the client and we make this or that choice about how or whether to endeavour to meet the developmental need; we find ourselves in a compelling enactment or process with a client and we make this, that, or even the other, choice about how much we share our own experience of this directly with the client.

How do we make these choices? What theories do we draw on as we make decisions about whether to ‘be real’ in the relationship or whether to use our clinical judgement to make a different kind of therapeutic intervention?  How do we learn to ‘think like a therapist’ whilst remaining in relational contact with the client?

In this workshop we will look at three different forms of therapeutic relating

  • the Developmentally-Needed Relationship
  • the Therapeutically-Needed Relationship
  • the Real Relationship, using theory from Transactional Analysis (TA), Object Relations and Self Psychology.

Using case material brought by the participants, we will think together about the use and purpose of these different kinds or relating in the clinical setting.

Day 2 of the workshop will run as a Relational Supervision group, providing the opportunity for participants to bring case material for an in-depth theory-to-practice learning experience.


To deepen knowledge about the different forms of therapeutic relating and how to relate them to clinical decision making with individual clients.

Learning Outcomes

  1. To understand the difference between the three forms of therapeutic relationship
  2. To begin to reflect on how different client presentations require different kinds of relating
  3. To translate clinical theory into practice, using case material

Course Structure

Day 1: The course will be a mix of a didactic teaching, small group work and group discussion

Day 2: Will run as a relational supervision group where participants will bring live case material for group learning

Facilitator’s Biography

Helen Rowland PTSTA (P) is a psychotherapist, supervisor, and trainer with a practice in Yorkshire and online.  She is also a coeditor of the Transactional Analysis Journal and is interested in exploring the links between psychotherapy theory and clinical practice.

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