Goals in Therapy: Actualising Our Deepest Directions workshop with Mick Cooper

This interactive workshop provides participants with an opportunity to develop their understanding of goals in...

Last updated 7 May 2024

This interactive workshop provides participants with an opportunity to develop their understanding of goals in counselling and psychotherapy, and to deepen their skills and knowledge in this area.

The workshop is particularly oriented towards counsellors and psychotherapists from humanistic or integrative backgrounds: who are interested in understanding their clients as agentic and purpose-oriented beings, and wary of more mechanistic or ‘outcome-oriented’ goal-based approaches.

The workshop starts by introducing the philosophical 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, to show when and how goal-oriented practices can be useful.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • 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


Mick Cooper

Mick Cooper is an internationally recognised author, trainer, and consultant in the field of humanistic, existential, and pluralistic therapies. He is a Chartered Psychologist, and Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton.

Mick has facilitated workshops and lectures around the world, including New Zealand, Lithuania, and Florida.

Mick’s books include Existential Therapies (Sage, 2017), Working at Relational Depth in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, 2018), and The Handbook of Person-Centred Psychotherapy and Counselling (Palgrave, 2013).

His latest work is Integrating Counselling and Psychotherapy: Directionality, Synergy, and Social Change (Sage, 2019).

Mick’s principal areas of research have been in shared decision-making/personalising therapy, and counselling for young people in schools.

In 2014, Mick received the Carmi Harari Mid-Career Award from Division 32 of the American Psychological Association. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the Academy of Social Sciences.