Carl Rogers developed the person-centred approach in the middle of the last century. So, what is person-centred counselling? The man himself neatly encapsulates person-centred theory.
People often feel that they cannot reach out for help because it is too difficult. The idea of frame of reference was first introduced by Carl Rogers, founder and chief theorist of person-centred therapy in 1959. Rogers believed:
He went on describe how being understood helps one become more open about their difficulties. Consequently, this leads to them feeling secure enough to speak up concerning these issues.
As a person centred counsellor, how do I apply the principles above?
- At the core of person-centred counselling (PCC) is the belief that people possess an innate need to be the best they can be.
- However, past relationships, family, work, social can feed into our sense of self which can become distorted by a need to ‘fit in’.That is to say, ‘conditions of worth’.
- I provide a therapeutic environment where the client feels safe emotionally and physically.
- Three core conditions help to develop and maintain the therapeutic relationship:
- First, empathy – I will endeavour to understand your point of view.
- Secondly, unconditional positive regard – I will be non – judgemental and value you as a person;
- Finally, congruence in therapy – I will be genuine with you.
- The therapeutic relationship will help you to be more like yourself – and to like yourself more.
- PCC considers you to be the expert on yourself.
As a person-centred counsellor, I will not tell you what to do.
The last point above is worth reiterating: You are the expert on yourself.
What about the person-centred approach and development?
To demonstrate, below is a video by Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton. He does a brilliant job of outlining the person-centred theory of development.