It has been shown that research and practice which isolate therapeutic methods from the counselling relationship are ineffective. 

This resource provides an overview of recent research, highlighting key elements of effective therapeutic practice with a focus on relational aspects. It aims to build common ground between therapy models, promote collaborative practice and help to develop a unifying, pluralistic perspective within the profession.


  1. Current landscape
  2. Research
  3. The therapeutic relationship
    3.1 Client factors
    3.2 Therapist factors
    3.3 Techniques and approaches
  4. Common ground
  5. Ingredients
    5.1 Relating to therapist factors
    5.2 Relating to client factors 
  6. Relating findings to practice
    6.1 Beginnings
    6.2 Contracting
    6.3 Building the therapeutic relationship
    6.4 Therapeutic engagement
    6.5 Relationship difficulties
    6.6 Endings

Using good practice across the counselling professions resources  

These resources are not contractually binding on members but provide general information on particular fields of work, in the context of BACP’s core ethical principles, values and personal moral qualities.

Individual practice issues are often complex and will vary depending on your clients, models of working, the context of the work and the kind of therapeutic intervention provided. We'd always recommend discussing practice dilemmas with a supervisor, a legal advisor or another suitably qualified and experienced professional.