Person-Centred Counselling

What is person-centred counselling?

Founded in the 1940s by American psychologist Carl Rogers, person-centred counselling (also known as ‘Rogerian therapy’)  is one of many humanistic approaches to counselling. Rogers believed that if a person was given the right set of parameters and conditions then they could help themselves to become their true self.

  • Helps clients to reach self-actualisation
  • Lead through empathy and the client's decisions
  • Therapists have unconditional positive regard for clients

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    How is person-centred counselling different from other therapies?

    Many have a preconceived notion that therapy will be led by the counsellor, that when they attend a session the therapist or counsellor will diagnose the individual’s problems and direct them with a course of action to rectify any shortcomings. A person-centred therapist or counsellor will take a different approach, with the session being led by the individual as opposed to the professional.

    This approach allows the individual to explore their own issues, beliefs, feelings, worldview, and behaviours in order to become more self-aware, ultimately achieving full independence which will lead to self-actualisation.

    What methods are used in person-centred counselling?

    In order to help an individual reach self-actualisation, a person-centred therapist will offer three specific types of reinforcement. These are:

    No judgement

    Person-centred counselling rejects offering people conditional support as it often makes them develop further problems. Therefore, the client-centred therapist creates a climate of unconditional positive regard, where the client is free to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement.

    Complete genuineness

    Open communication between the client-centred approach therapist and client should be established, where the client-centred therapist feels comfortable sharing their feelings with the client. This will similarly encourage the client to share their own feelings and engage in honest conversations.

    Understanding through empathy

    Empathy is a key quality in client-centred therapy. It fosters a positive relationship between the counselling therapist and client and represents a mirror that reflects the client’s thoughts and emotions so as to help them gain more insight INTO the situation they’re struggling with and into themselves.

    PCT is just one option for those seeking therapy

    Benefits of person-centred therapy

    Person-centred therapy is not designed to help any one individual with a particular issue. Instead, it is intended to be applied to people of all ages with a wide range of personal issues. A lot of people find it appealing as sessions and development are paced by the patient and there is no evaluation or predetermined target that can be assessed. 

    Person-centred therapy requires an urge from the patient to explore their own feelings and emotions, to want to understand behaviours and identify and overcome personal shortcomings. This can mean that it doesn’t work for certain people, namely those who do not see that they have an issue or are less willing to look within themselves without targeted psychotherapeutic approaches designed to reveal underlying issues.

    Designed to treat multiple issues

    Treatment through understanding

    Clients lead conversation to reveal issues

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