17 Apr 2007

Counselling Approaches 2

Well Back from college and its time for more counselling information.
The last time i posted counselling information i touched on Person Centered Counselling so i think i will continue from there, although today in class we have started on cognitive behaviour (my bad for me being lazy posting). So i have a lot to catch up! So continue reading if you want.

The idea behind these latest counselling posts, is to briefly touch on what you might expect if you went to a counselling session, this obviously depends on what type of counselling you go in for. I have started with the Humanistic Approach of Person Centred Counselling, developed by Carl Rogers in the 1950's.
This is the theory behind the counselling, not the actual counselling itself. I suppose you have to believe in the theories behind the counselling, if a particular type of counselling is going to work for you.

So i left off at the importance of 'Self Concept' which is the way we perceive and define ourselves (go back and read it if you get a bit lost)

What next? in Person Centred counselling the 'actualising tendency' is very important. This is the ability to maintain and enhance 'self' and move towards fulfilling one's potential, is the strongest motivating force.

Psychologically healthy people are those that have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by others whose acceptance and approval have enabled them for at least some of the time to be in touch with their deepest feelings and experiences. They trust and have confidence within themselves, this is hard for those that have had to battle with adverse and negative opinions of those around them. This where you become a victim of your conditions of worth, a term used by Carl Rogers to describe social influences on the self-concept; for instance, a child might not include anger in her self-concept because her parents' scolding has established a condition of worth such that anger is inappropriate. Their sense of worth is conditional upon winning approval, so they only behave in ways which are acceptable to others.

The 'fully functioning person' has his or her source of wisdom deep within and accessible.
Six Key characteristics of a fully functioning or self actualising person are:
  • openness to experience
  • rationality
  • personal responsibility
  • self regard
  • capacity for good personal relations
  • ethical living

So how does knowing all this make this type of counselling affective?

The therapist or counsellor needs to have the three Core Conditions.
  • Empathy,being able to see things as if standing in the other person’s shoes, feeling and sensing what their experiences are like.
  • Congruence,being attuned to and appropriately expressive of one’s inner experience (i.e., emotional intelligence). Being honest if something is affecting you.
  • Unconditional Positive Regard, accepting the client for who they are without imposing conditions of worth (i.e., “I will only be able to like you if….” Is a condition of worth).
it is 'necessary and sufficient' for therapeutic change to have these core conditions.

Necessary: All three core conditions must be present before helpful change can take place. Although change and growth of a kind can take place if only one or two conditions are present, for lasting, personally fulfilling resolution to a problem, all three conditions must be present. A plant will grow without light, but it will be pale and weak and the growth will eventually stop.

Sufficient: If all three core conditions are present then lasting, personal and meaningful change will take place, whether we intend it or not. The core conditions are all that's needed, they are only the active ingredients. Most of us recognise that if you accidentally give a seed the right conditions, it will grow anywhere whether you want it to or not.

So if you go to a Person Centred Counsellor, this is a summary of what to expect:
  • Active Listening
  • Non-Directive
  • Non-Judgmental
  • Three Core Conditions
  • Client centred
  • Non-Interpretative
Basically you are in charge and the counselling will go in the direction you want it to go, this is definitely not a quick fix.
As i move onto the different styles of counselling, it does become clear that a certain type of counselling will appeal to you more than another.

If you have just discovered my counselling homework go back and read up on what i have done so far.


  1. I have a wonderful PhD friend who does counseling. The running joke if you go to him for marriage counseling is that the next thing the couple does is divorce.

    I love him, but I wouldn't go to him for couples counseling. Everything else he is awesome. Weird. Happy Counseling :)

  2. Hmmm... something is quite strange with my curser while on your page! LOL

    Is this some sort of social experiment, perhaps testing us?

  3. So impressed with this cursor (buddha?) I kept watching it instead of reading your post!!!!

  4. Claire, for once I have nothing to add or suggest. Congrats on an excellent and insightful analysis.

    On the cursor, however, would not a redhead with a whip have been more appropriate? ;-)

  5. Thanks as always for reading my stuff!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.