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The Lifespan of the Therapeutic Relationship: From Session One Onward


April 5, 6, 12, 19


$775, 15% discount for groups of 3 or more & for CityU Alumni

Delivery Mode

Synchronous online

Course Description

How do you carry therapeutic relationships into the future? 

Even the most willing clients need different things at different points in the therapeutic relationship. This course will explore each major phase of the therapeutic relationship to give students the confidence to know what to do in Session 1, Session 5, and Session 25. Students will begin by learning about the construction of a caseload, and from this essential structure, the course will provide you with the diverse skills needed during different phases. Beginning with intakes, students will learn about developing something that has become a bedrock of practice at Nightingale Counselling, namely A Welcoming Practice. From there, students will learn to attach larger therapeutic projects to presenting problems, sustaining and building motivations to change through the arc of the process. Finally, students will learn about transitioning from solution- and change-based therapies into the relational work that defines longer term client engagement.


Shane Trudell

Shane Trudell is a Founding Director of Nightingale Counselling. Shane’s counselling practice is rooted in critical theory and an emancipatory ethic, and his aspirational vision of what private practice can and should be guides this introduction to the business of counselling therapy. Shane’s work and research in his role as Director are about elevating the potential of private practice counselling therapy, for the benefit of clients, other counsellors, and counselling therapy itself. He works as a mentor, consultant, and instructor on how to contribute to the mental health community through ethical, muscular counselling practice.

Hart Caplan fundamental orientation to counselling is existential. At its heart, this approach doesn’t distinguish between cognitions (thinking) and affect (emotions) and the somatic (body). Instead, it (and I) attempt to make contact with the whole of one’s being. After all, we don’t refer to ourselves as “human brains” or “human bodies” but as human beings. This is why talk therapy participates in healing the body, but it also explains why attention to the body can help heal what we generally call mental illness. And in the midst of it all, feelings are the endlessly rich source of information that help connect thinking to the body.

In this way, I don’t think of my practice as curative. Rather, I think of the movement that is achieved in therapy as-being-towards-authenticity: i.e., when one’s interior and exterior and thinking, feeling, and bodily experiences are in concert. The task of therapy, then, is simply to learn to speak in and with one’s own voice.One of the great therapists of the last 50 years, Irvin Yalom, wrote that “the relationship is the therapy.” This is the cornerstone of my own thinking and practice.


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