My Person--Centred Approach

The Person-centred approach was developed by Dr. Carl Rogers  (1902–1987). Person-Centred counsellors respect their clients' wisdom and understandings of themselves. 

'It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried'. Carl Rogers 

Clients do not need to be directed. They know which issues to work with. In this sense clients are the experts and can lead sessions at their own pace.

Person-centred Counsellors
Person-centred counsellors have understandings and experience of psychological development and the process of change. Counselling involves creating a healing relationship that relies upon personal qualities which counsellors develop within themselves. For many practitioners this is a continuous learning. 

'If I am to facilitate the personal growth of others in relation to me, then I must grow, and while that is often painful it is also enriching'. Carl Rogers 

Central the approach is the belief that people have a natural tendency to develop psychologically when they are in an accepting, empathic and genuine relationship.  

Rogers' Six conditions for therapeutic change
Rogers published an article in 1957, identifying six conditions that he considered 'necessary and sufficient' for therapeutic change. The first condition is that there is 'psychological contact' between counsellor and client. The second is to do with the state that the client is in and their readiness for therapy. The third, forth and fifth conditions (below) are often referred to as the core conditions, they are about the qualities which the counsellor brings to the relationship.

Unconditional Positive Regard  counsellors are genuinely accepting, respectful and warm towards clients who are free to be themselves and to explore their situation without being judged or criticized. When people are valued they are most likely to value themselves, to be more confident and to have greater self esteem.

Empathy involves understanding clients at a deep level, helping them to feel less isolated and alone with their troubles. Counsellors reflect what clients say, word for word or a sense of what the client is telling them. Clients begin to listen to themselves, to check their own views and meanings. They gain insights and self-awareness.

Congruence counsellors notice what they are experiencing during sessions. This awareness helps them to be honest and open in the relationship. Because they are honest and open, counsellors are trustworthy. When appropriate they share what they are experiencing with clients. During sessions clients can feel that it is safe for them to be open and to explore themselves and their issues at depth.

Clients often begin to notice what they are experiencing. This awareness can help them to be more honest and openly themselves in their own relationships. 

Rogers Sixth Condition
Rogers Sixth Condition is that counsellors communicate their empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard to clients so that clients can benefit from their understanding and acceptance.

My Person-Centred Approach Empowers Clients
Person-Centred counselling empowers clients by encouraging them to trust and to use their own resources. Counsellors support clients in this process.

'In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?' Carl Rogers

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