What is Person-Centred Therapy?
The Person-Centred or Client-Centred approach to therapy is a popular choice in the ever growing field of therapies currently available. All therapies are linked by the fact that they aim to help clients through particularly difficult or confusing times in their lives. What makes Person-Centred counselling different is that there is no intention on the part of the therapist to offer advice or diagnosis or to suggest changes based on their own assumptions.
As part of this approach the client is considered to be the expert about his or her own life because only the client understands the meanings and emotions attached to his or her experiences and how these have affected this life at any one time. The client will be listened to closely and never judged, this allows the client to explore his or her emotions honestly and without any fear of criticism. A client can find initially that it is painful to talk about judgements made by others but a Person-Centred counsellor is able support by offering warmth, space to consider and acceptance.
There is no homework for the client from a Person-Centred counsellor nor would the counsellor recap on the previous week‘s session. Person-Centred therapy is about the ‘here and now’ and in subsequent weeks the client may decide not to revisit a painful subject that causes anxiety. The counsellor accepts that it is the client who leads the session and that he or she will explore the subject further when the time is right for them.
It is not a quick fix therapy and there are no fixed limits to the amount of sessions any one client might need. By allowing the client to explore previously made assumptions, Person-Centred therapy aims to create long lasting changes in the way that the client perceives and reacts to life events.
If a client chooses a Person-Centred therapist he or she will feel supported and understood and will be given the time and space to explore feelings. Whether a client needs depression counselling, anxiety counselling, grief counselling or trauma counselling the Person-Centred approach offers a way to move on in a positive manner.