Person-Centred Counselling was founded by Carl Rogers in the 1930's; his theory and therapy forms the very basis of being heard with the Core Conditions of empathy, respect, acceptance and understanding.
The Person-Centred approach trusts that human beings have an innate tendency to find fulfilment of their own personal potentials. By facilitating this, a Person-Centred Counsellor helps the Client recognise their own capacity for self-healing and personal growth.
Working within this framework, the Counsellor/Psychotherapist works to understand the Client’s experience from their point of view. Valuing and understanding the Client is paramount to form a working therapeutic relationship where Clients can explore their issues safely, without judgment.
This in turn promotes a sense of self-worth, enabling the Client to move forward with a new awareness of their strengths/weaknesses/personal identity and facilitate the Client's actualising tendency (self-actualisation is the belief that all humans will pursue what is best for them).
According to Rogers, there are six conditions necessary to enable real change. These are:
- There is psychological contact between the Client and the Counsellor
- The Client is emotionally upset, in a state of incongruence
- The Counsellor is genuine and aware of their own feelings (congruent)
- The Counsellor has unconditional positive regard for the Client
- The Counsellor has empathic understanding of the Client and their internal frame of reference, and looks to communicate this experience with the Client
- The Client recognises that the Counsellor has unconditional positive regard for them and an understanding of their difficulties
The following are known as the Core Conditions:
Congruence - the Counsellor must be completely genuine.
Unconditional positive regard - the Counsellor must be non-judgemental and valuing of the client.
Empathy - the Counsellor must strive to understand the Client's experience.
Applying these Core Conditions in Therapy helps the Client to explore and offload their issues, explore their patterns and coping strategies, explore new coping mechanisms and techniques in a safe environment where they are respected, valued and understood.
This in turn allows them to raise their self-awareness and regain their power to make positive changes.
This form of Therapy can be extremely effective.