What I understand by the term Person- Centred Counselling Person-Centred counselling was developed by the psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers . It is a humanistic non-directive approach to counselling where the counsellor allows the client to lead the conversation and not try to steer them in a particular direction. A fundamental part of this type of counselling is the therapeutic relationship between Counsellor/Client. An important part of this is providing an environment where a person feels free from threat, both physically and psychologically.
This can be achieved by the counsellor providing three ‘core conditions’ genuineness, empathy and warmth which help that growth to occur. The approach relies on the personal qualities of the practitioner to build a non-judgemental and empathic relationship with the client. The objective of the counsellor is to listen without making any judgements, without giving advice, and make the client feel accepted for their own feelings. It trusts the client to find their own answers and direction and of being fully capable of fulfilling their own potential.
There are many tools used in person-centred counselling, including active listening, , paraphrasing, summarising, minimal encourages etc. Person-centred counselling recognizes that achieving potential requires favourable conditions and that not having these conditions may lead the individual to not grow and develop in the best ways that are possible. When we are denied acceptance from others or it is made conditional upon the individual behaving in a particular way we may begin to lose touch with their own feelings and not be able to chose paths which are best for ourselves.
When a client feels safe and accepted in the relationship they can explore their own feelings and desires and take any steps they feel necessary to self-actualize. This occurs when a person’s behaviour is congruent with the person they would like to be. Person-centred counselling encourages the client to freely look at themselves and accept themselves for who they are or make changes to eliminate the behaviours that they do not like. Positive regard is to do with how other people evaluate and judge us. If a person has not been accepted in life for numerous reasons it can affect their self worth.
A person with low self-worth may avoid challenges in life, not accept that life can be painful and unhappy at times, and will be defensive and guarded with other people but a person who has high self-worth, that is, has confidence and positive feelings about themselves, faces challenges in life, accepts failure and unhappiness at times, and is open with people. By providing the client with the core conditions it allows for an environment where they feel accepted for who they are and can change the negative outlook they have on themselves and increase their self esteem.
In summary person-centred counselling provides a therapeutic relationship which allows the client to explore their feelings freely. It promotes a person to go on in life and grow to be the best that they can possibly be. The overall aim of person-centred counselling is to help the client self actualise and become a Fully Functioning Person where they are Open to experience , live in the present moment, trust their own feelings, and live a fulfilled life where they are well adjusted and balanced.
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