Working with Goals in Counselling and Psychotherapy A one-day workshop with Mick Cooper London, 8 February 2020 (Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
What are ‘goals’ and are they important for counselling and psychotherapeutic work? Early psychoanalysts considered behaviour to be driven by unconscious forces and, therefore, direct inquiry into clients’ conscious objectives was considered redundant. Today, however, many therapies – such as brief solution-focused therapy and CBT – use goal-setting to establish a focus for the therapy, engender hope and energise the client towards their goals in therapeutic work. The use of goals in therapy, however, continues to evoke scepticism and debate in many circles, with goal-oriented work seen as focussing only on the surface-level needs of the client. At this workshop, Professor Mick Cooper draws on his internationally published research on the topic and his extensive clinical practice to explore the aspects of goal-oriented practices that can facilitate a more effective therapeutic engagement. The workshop is particularly oriented towards participants from a humanistic or integrative background: who are interested in an understanding of their clients as agentic and purpose-oriented beings, but wary of the more mechanistic or ‘outcome-oriented’ goal-based approaches. The workshop starts by introducing the concept of directionality—that human beings are always oriented towards future possibilities—and looks at how this can be applied to an understanding of self. The workshop then explores what has been learnt from the psychological research about the nature of goals and goal processes (for instance, distinguishing between 'approach' and 'avoidance' goals). It then goes on to a more practical exploration of working with goals, including skills practice and video demonstrations. Learning Objectives: Define the concept of ‘directionality’ and be able to apply this to an understanding of their own psychological processes Discuss the theory and evidence that relates 'goal actualisation' and goals types to psychological wellbeing and distress Apply basic goal-oriented practices in counselling and psychotherapy, including goal discussion and goal setting Use the Goals Form in an appropriate manner Workshop Schedule 10:00AM: Session 1: Directionality: The actualisation of our deepest directions 11:30AM: Coffee Break 11:45AM: Session 2: Goal dimensions: ‘Not all goals are created equal’ 1:00PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop) 2:00PM: Session 3: Basic principles and methods for working with goals in counselling and psychotherapy 3:00PM: Session 4: Using the Goals Form 4:00PM: Close About the speaker Mick Cooper is a Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton and a chartered counselling psychologist. Mick is a leading authority in the existential therapy field, and has delivered trainings nationally and internationally on this approach (including Japan, Australia, Denmark and Greece). He has written and edited widely on existential, person-centred and relational approaches to therapy. His books include Working with Goals in Psychotherapy and Counselling (Oxford University Press, 2018, co-edited with Duncan Law), Existential psychotherapy and counselling: Contributions to a pluralistic practice (Sage, 2015), Existential Therapies (Sage, 2003), Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2005, with Dave Mearns), the Existential Counselling Primer (PCCS, 2012) and Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2011, with John McLeod). Mick has also led a range of research studies exploring the process and outcomes of humanistic counselling with young people. He lives in Brighton with his wife and four children.

Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.