Person-Centred Therapy: Tried and Tested

A person-centred approach means you are in charge of your destiny

Person-centred therapy is a leading approach to counselling, scientifically proven to be effective; that’s why I use it – to help you.

The person-centred approach is an evidence-based model that has been tried and tested to work since the 1960s. Millions of people worldwide have used it to improve their lives, have closer relationships and be happier. If you are stressed because you want to get rid of your anxiety and have felt this way for a long time, person-centred therapy will help.

“I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders.”

JD

It would help if you were less stressed, and that’s what telling someone (myself) would do for you. The fact that another person would know what you’ve been going through will give you a sense of relief. Furthermore, you would be less defensive because I am not judgmental, freeing you to engage your natural creative abilities. Person-centred therapy is not problem-focused but one that naturally empowers you to flourish.

Person-Centred therapy is naturally empowering.
Grow Awareness in Person-Centred Counselling

What is Person-Centred Therapy?

Person-Centred therapy is a talking therapy developed by Dr Carl Rogers in the 1950s USA when working with young people.

He realised that not everything he did to help others always worked. And so, he made tapes of many client sessions and had his secretary type transcripts so he could understand what was happening.

The Core Conditions

He found that when the following conditions occurred, it was inevitable that the client would progress to become freer from the initial issues that brought them to seek help.

  1. A good connection between yourself and the therapist.
  2. You are anxious or vulnerable.
  3. The counsellor is genuinely him or herself.
  4. You receive empathy from your counsellor.
  5. The counsellor values you just as you are.
  6. You perceive acceptance and being valued.

When the work is client-led, your self-esteem should improve, and anxiety and other issues will decrease.

The Precepts Behind Person-Centred Therapy

This popular approach contains the following beliefs.

  1. You are unique, having your unique personal history and ways of making sense of everything.
  2. You are the expert on yourself.
  3. The counsellor’s job is to help you explore your issues and understand yourself.
  4. Using your “self-actualising tendency” in client-led sessions realigns you with the source of your vitality.

The Benefits of Person-Centred Therapy

Several distinct areas of life should improve if you keep up the sessions.

  1. The stress between how you’d like to be and how you think you come across to others decreases.
  2. You can be more understanding toward yourself.
  3. Your self-awareness can intensify, as can your ability to conduct your life.
  4. You can better understand your identity – also called your “sense of self.”
  5. Your relationships should improve as you can easily be yourself with less anxiety.

Does that sound like a “no-brainer” to you?

Read more about the Person-Centred Approach. (leave this website)

A Compassionate Approach

I get that you probably put on a brave face because you hope others won’t notice. That sounds really tough. However, there’s an ongoing unseen pandemic.

“One in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do.”

NHS England

So, why is it so hard to reach out for help?

Seeking mental health support is hard because we fear it may change how others see us if they found out.

Person reading a self help therapy book to improve mental health
Hoping to Improve Your Mental Health

Hiding your troubles from others can make you feel isolated when you need friends the most. But with a compassionate approach, you will be more likely to relax and make better sense of everything. In fact, I aim to help you sort things out for yourself and deal with your emotions in a healthy way so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Then, instead of reacting uncontrollably, you could stay calm, mend your relationships and reshape your life.

Mindful Awareness

Another exercise that I sometimes encourage fits in nicely with this approach. If you’re interested, I can take you through a mindful breathing exercise. It’s not as religious as some believe, but training yourself to grow more aware of mind and body working together.

Learn to listen to the still, quiet voice within.

I practice this myself before meeting you in sessions and during them because it enables me to become very calm, and then I can give you my full attention. Basically, I quiet my mind so that I listen to you at a deep level, taking into account any of my personal experiences I can use to empathise with you in your situation.

I believe mindfulness enhances the quality of presence and, therefore, the support I offer.

Mindfulness for better awareness.
Living Mindfully Can Be Joyful

Conscious Living

My approach is helped by taking a look at some new attitudes.

You are the most amazing version of yourself when you are as much yourself as possible; this means becoming less habitual, less unconscious, and more aware, or “awake”. Once engaged in the process, something powerful in you takes over, and you become more confident.

  • Spiritual growth means being inspired.
  • Feel truly alive
  • Be in tune with your environment – inner and outer
  • Understand yourself in the context of a bigger picture
  • Find meaning and purpose
  • Make decisions with confidence
  • Enjoy greater freedom

After all, trying to fit in with others is like clipping your wings.

The Meaning of Personal Pain

Maybe you feel terrible right now. If so, I have a unique angle on emotions that should quickly take the sting out of your hurts.

To my way of thinking, pain and suffering are facts of life and have a purpose. Your discomfort is helpful because the things you usually do aren’t effective in your current situation. Hence pain and suffering motivate you to do something extraordinary.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Kelly Clarkson

Believe it or not, your childhood didn’t prepare you for everything that came your way. So, if you are to resolve your pain, there is a lesson of some sort: something new you need to learn. In overcoming your troubles, you would realise where you went wrong before and thus improve your life.

And, you know what?

The pain persists unless you are willing to learn new things about yourself. Just like in the film “Groundhog Day”, where the hero experiences the same events repeating every day as if it’s always Thursday, 2nd February.

Once you become open enough to learn the lessons life is trying to teach you, things start to change for the better.

So, get ready to do something to free yourself from the suffering that holds you back.

The Power of Acceptance

With the support of a counsellor, you can stop fighting so hard to protect yourself and learn the sense there is in letting go of trying to control what you cannot.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…

Such an attitude can free your energies to focus on something more important: your recovery. Ultimately, you will have dealt with your unfinished business and be free to move on. Armed with your new knowledge, you should be able to forge ahead into a brighter future.

Acceptance is part of person-centred therapy.
Words of Wisdom

Session Structure

Although you are leading the sessions, which is the defining feature of person-centred counselling, there are definite stages to your journey to a better you.

During the initial consultation, we establish what you want to achieve and align our expectations of what will happen. We will build a mutual understanding that we are a team working together on the same goals.

For the most part, we continue to collaborate as you untangle and clarify where you’re at right now. You will learn to listen to yourself and view everything differently. We aim to be successful, and so every six sessions, we review how you think it’s going, including monitoring if your goals are still the same and reflecting on the progress made so far.

You can reflect and make sense of what you learned and how it will continue to guide you in the future.

What Happens in The Room

You would usually meet me weekly because this is the optimum interval between meetings so you can think about and absorb what you said. However, I recognise that this isn’t for everyone. You might work shift patterns, for example. Alternatively, you might prefer a fortnightly meeting towards the end of therapy.

I'll put the kettle on - let's have a chat.

At the start of each session, we’d discuss anything from the last time that impacted you and then establish what you want to talk about for the remainder of this one. I listen deeply to you, staying with your agenda as it develops.

Putting your thoughts into words where you feel free to talk allows you to work with a flow of ideas that change over time. It should help you clarify what you really want and give you confidence in making difficult decisions.

“After talking to you, I’ve found it much easier to open up and share my feelings with my partner.”

DM

As the end of the hour draws near, I will remind you how much time you have left and summarise the relevant topics. You would continue to reflect on your thoughts in between seeing me.

You could either book your next session at this point or view my calendar and text me when you’ve decided on a time.

Where person-centred counselling happens - my room at Wath Hall.
My Room at Wath Town Hall

Finally

So, there you have it. My approach combines the most popular talking therapy with mindfulness and considers some ideas about what makes your healing effective.

Main photo by Unsplash

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