What is Person-centred Counselling?

Person-centred counselling was founded in the 1940s by the American psychologist Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that, if given the right conditions, anyone is able to reach their full potential; a process he called ‘self-actualisation’. What makes person-centred therapy different to psychotherapy is that the counsellor acknowledges that you, the client, are the expert. Each session is led by you, allowing you to keep control, and meaning that you do not have to go to difficult places until you are ready to do so.

The key to good counselling is the therapeutic relationship; that is the trust that builds between you and your counsellor. To facilitate this, your counsellor will provide these three core conditions:

  • unconditional positive regard (UPR) – acceptance of you exactly as you are
  • congruence – being honest and open about how they experience you and your world
  • empathic understanding – seeing your world from your perspective 

This non-judgemental, welcoming space allows the you to feel held and supported so that as trust builds, you feel able to disclose whatever is troubling you. Your counsellor will help you to explore your own feelings, core beliefs, and behaviour, so you can become more self-aware, find your own hidden resources, and build your self-confidence and resilience. 

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