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         "It is not that this approach gives power to the person; it never takes it away" 

Carl Rogers

(founder of the Person-Centred approach)


You might well imagine all counselling to be 'person

centred' - and indeed practitioners of other

counselling approaches (even technique-centered ones

such as CBT) often claim to be person-centred in the

delivery of their particular therapy. 

So what is it that distinguishes truly Person-Centred

counselling from these other therapies; what makes it


For me, it is its relationship to trust and power. The Person-Centred therapist trusts the client to

be the expert in their own experience - at a time when the client may have lost sight of this


Rather than the client trusting the counsellor to have some special technique that will 'fix' them,

the Person-Centred counsellor invests his trust in the client; in their perspective and in their

resources - so enabling them find their own trust in themselves, and to act upon it.

The intent of the Person-Centred counsellor is not to fix or to patch-up the 'problem' - it is to enable the client

to be both mender and maker in their own lives.

For example:

If I notice a client seems to be experiencing persistent, unhelpful thoughts (the issue which

CBT specifically addresses), rather than set the client homework tasks for combating these

thoughts (an approach which can make clients feel they are doing something 'wrong'); I would

flag such thoughts up - and seek to engage the client's own curiosity about what is going on

there; and collaborate with them in developing a more robust stance towards such thoughts - out of

their own experience and understanding of themselves.

I certainly might have ideas about how they could approach this. But these would be offered as

suggestions - for the client to take up (or not) - not as prescriptions. As keys for reflection on the self,

not instructions for its 'repair' (because all of my experience tells me that that is not how it works!).

By such means, the client not only becomes less susceptible to such thoughts; they also gain

confidence in their own ability to 'right' themselves - a confidence which will then be available for

other aspects of their self-recovery.

"You are a confident companion to the person, in his or her inner world"

Carl Rogers

My expertise as a Person-Centred counsellor lies not in the application of some external technique

intended to 'fix' the problem - but rather in helping the client to draw upon their own deep

understandings of themselves, enabling them to recognise and access their own inherent capacity

for self-righting and growth. What I offer is my familiarity with the process of such self recovery

- how it can be kindled, nurtured and sustained.

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