Person Centred Counselling
The person centred counselling approach was founded by Carl Rogers, an American psychologist who, in the 1950s, proposed a form of therapy that focused on the clients’ experience of themselves, as opposed to the counsellor being an expert and telling them what to do, or what was wrong with them.
The quality of the therapeutic relationship between the counsellor and client is crucial for establishing a climate that will facilitate therapeutic change. The key features of the person-centred approach are:
- Empathy (the counsellor trying to understand the client’s point of view)
- Congruence (the counsellor being a genuine person)
- Unconditional positive regard (the counsellor being non-judgemental)
Empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard are known as the core conditions, and Rogers was of the strong view that if these therapeutic conditions were all present, then therapeutic movement would invariably occur.
Person-centred counselling harnesses the client’s own self-healing process; given the right relationship with the therapist, clients can decide what they want to do with their lives. Person centred counselling is a personal growth model rather than a directive therapy; unlike other models such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the client is not taught the model of therapy or asked to undertake homework.
Counselling can help you to gain a new and wider understanding of your life, supporting you to find and develop the resources and skills needed to be able to deal with your issues.
I specialise in individual counselling, working with a client in a comfortable, private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty the client is having, distress they may be experiencing, perhaps their dissatisfaction with life or loss of a sense of direction and purpose.
Person Centred Counselling Sessions
I listen attentively and patiently in counselling sessions and perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view. From here I can help the client to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change, or of reducing confusion and enabling clarity. It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action.
In the person centred counselling sessions the client can explore various aspects of their life and feelings, talking about them freely and openly in a way that is rarely possible with friends or family. Bottled up feelings such as anger, anxiety, grief and embarrassment can become very intense and counselling offers an opportunity to explore them, with the possibility of making them easier to understand. I encourage the expression of feelings and as a result of my experience and training am able to accept and reflect the client’s problems without becoming burdened by them.
Within the counselling sessions acceptance and respect for the client are essential and, as the relationship develops, so too does trust between myself and the client, enabling the client to look at many aspects of their life, their relationships and themselves which they may not have considered or been able to face before. I can help the client to examine in detail the behaviour or situations which are proving troublesome and to find an area where it would be possible to initiate some change as a start. I help the client to look at the options open to them and help them to decide the best for them.
The most successful outcome is that you also learn to be your own therapist. This is based on the premise that when one experiences the genuineness of another and a real caring and valuing from that person that they will develop a more nurturing attitude towards themselves. Similarly being on the receiving end of attentive listening and empathic understanding tends to develop a listening attitude towards oneself. The client becomes more skilful at getting in touch with and listening to their feelings thus promoting a greater understanding of self.
If you are interested in or considering individual counselling then please get in touch with me by phone or email to see how I can help you.
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