Women as Counselling and Psychotherapy Clients: Researching the Therapeutic Relationship

Theopoula Kastrani, Vassiliki Deliyanni-Kouimtzis, Christina Athanasiades


The present study explores women clients’ experiences of the therapeutic relationship and their meaning making of the effective therapeutic dyad. The participants of the study were 27 female psychotherapy and counselling clients. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted and the data was analysed with the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings indicated: (a) women clients’ attempt to define their relationship with their counsellor by comparing it to other interpersonal relationships, mostly to friendship or to family relationships; (b) their experience of the qualitative characteristics and the feelings associated with an effective therapeutic relationship; and (c) their experience of the counsellors’ role to the therapeutic outcome. The above results are fully discussed along with implications for practice.


women clients’ experience; therapeutic relationship; interpretative phenomenological analysis; counselling; psychotherapy