About us

The Relational Academy – inspiring connection.

The Relational Academy is a non-profit organisation providing high-quality training, using the relational approach to psychological change, for counsellors, therapists and coaches. The training takes place in Cambridge, UK, and is led by practitioners who are spearheading the relational approach around the world.

The word ‘relational’ means different things to different people. At The Relational Academy, we particularly want to provide a forum for people to explore what ‘relational’ means to them in their work and life, as well as waving the flag for a definition of relational that prioritises the value of connection between people as a way of enabling change.

Also known as empathy, inclusion, resonance, dialogue, compassion and understanding, connection involves attending to the experience of self and other.

This, we believe, is most likely to happen when we also recognise that our ability to connect with others is dependent on the immediate here-and-now context of our relationships and knowing how they are supporting or limiting us in that moment. We believe that our relationships are ‘the ground’ from which change, creativity and a better life emerge.

Crucially, this includes the relationship between the client and the therapist or coach.

This recognition tends to change how, as professional therapists, counsellors and coaches, we understand our work, our presence and the way we intervene.

This relational approach is part of and/or is compatible with many types of counselling, therapy and coaching – including humanistic, person-centred, existential, gestalt, Adlerian, psychosynthesis, process focused and contemporary analytic/psycho-dynamic approaches.

What high-quality cost-price training means to us:

When we talk about high-quality training, what we mean is:

(1) A group size small enough to allow a depth of relating between the trainer/s and delegates and between group members. This means a maximum of 18 people with one trainer and a maximum of 22 people with two trainers. Many of our courses have even lower maximum group sizes.

(2) A practice-based and experiential focus to our workshops. Although lecture-style teaching is sometimes used as part of our programmes, it is never the only focus. We particularly aim to provide opportunities for in-depth reflection, experiential work, links to practice and in-depth connection between delegates, linked to the particular focus of the course.

(3) An experienced trainer, who is also an experienced practitioner, who both has something important to say about ways of working, but who also can help individuals and groups learn and benefit from engaging together.

We know how difficult it is to make our kind of work financially sustainable. Therefore, we try to keep the costs of our courses as low as possible. What this means is:

(1) The total cost to you will be an accurate reflection of the cost of the various components of the training and no-one will be taking a profit: only a fair and reasonable fee for the work they have done.

Typically, if you pay £140/day for a course, your money will be spent in this way:

  • £40-100 (dependent on their normal day rate and the size of the group) for the trainer/s (which covers development, preparation, materials, and the training days themselves).
  • £0-40 (depending on group numbers) for the course organiser (which covers designing and managing advertising and marketing, development and admin work on the course itself and investing/risking money to pay for the advertising, development work and room deposits). This function is sometimes provided by one of trainers/the trainer and can also be provided by someone else. Our course organisers work on a sliding scale, receiving the full fee only if the course fills or nearly fills. If the course runs, but with a significantly smaller group than the maximum group size, the course organiser is likely to receive no fee.
  • £20-30 for the cost of the rooms (main rooms and break outs for small-group work) and coffee, tea, fruit, biscuits and water.
  • £10 for the cost of advertising of the course in various publications, online and via email.
  • £10-20 for the cost of an administrator to help manage and track payments and send out directions, run the academy operations etc. Also, the cost of book keeping and accounts
  • Some courses also include the marking of one assignment (typically working out around £5/course-day).

For a course that costs £200/day the split will be the same – except more will go to to pay for the trainer/s.

Our courses are designed to break even if we get about 70-80% of spaces in the maximum group size filled. In the event that the course is full, any surplus is split 50/50 between:

  • A bursary fund for delegates on low-incomes to be able to attend future courses at The Relational Academy.
  • A fund to support the advertising, piloting and development of future courses at The Relational Academy.



You can keep in touch with news about our courses and other similar courses in various places, including:

Therapy Today (BACP)

The Psychotherapist (UKCP)

British Gestalt Journal

Gestalt News and Notes

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