What is Person-Centred Counselling / Psychotherapy?

"When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another"
- Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers is known to be the ‘father‘ of Person-centred theory, it was through his experiential and observational research, alongside his colleagues, which reflected the effectiveness and meaningfulness in the experience of being seen, heard and accepted for who you are. The experience of sharing space with another who is able to ‘be with‘ you rather than ‘do to‘ you.

In our present world where the ‘doing to‘ rather than ‘being with‘ is so very prevalent, person-centred therapy centres itself on the mutuality of the therapeutic relationship, of meeting the client where they are psychologically and exploring together what has been experienced. ‘Freedom is what you do with what‘s been done to you‘ - Jean-Paul Sartre

A Person-centred counsellor / psychotherapist will be holding a fundamental belief in you. Your uniqueness and your individual, innate ability to creatively forge new pathways, and fulfilment in your personal potential.

Person-centred counselling / therapy will aim to provide a relationship where a person is able to seek, recognise and embrace their autonomy. To realise their capacity to self-heal and develop, to build resilience. To be enough.

There are specific relationship conditions which need to be present to enable a person to feel safe in this change, those are, to feel free from physical and psychological threat or judgement. This is enabled through empathic understanding, acceptance, and genuineness / authenticity from the counsellor/therapist.

In person-centred terms these 3 qualities are known as the ‘Core Conditions‘, empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence.

Equality, the core of person-centredness, there is no room for ‘powering over‘ another. Space will be created in this relationship to have a companion walk alongside you in exploration of your challenges, triumphs and being. There is no aim to diagnose or label in this relationship. There is respect and acceptance of the need in society for such to exist, at times labels can be helpful. However, thanks to the work of person-centred practitioners, researchers and academics in more recent years, person-centred theory has been developed to describe happenings and processes which maintain respect for the individual. This research has created deeper understanding of fragile process, dissociative process and pre-therapy, enabling valuable support to those with extremes of distress and disturbance.