Person-centred counselling is one of the humanistic modalities or approaches. It was founded in the 1940s by the American psychologist Carl Rogers who believed that, given the right conditions, a person can reach their full potential and become their true self, which he termed ‘self-actualisation’. This actualisation process is innate and accessible to everyone.

To help you achieve self-actualisation, the person-centred therapist will offer:

  • unconditional positive regard (UPR) – accepting and valuing you
  • congruence - being honest and transparent in how they experience you and your world
  • empathic understanding – seeing your viewpoint as if they were you

When you’re attending counselling sessions with a person-centred counsellor, you’ll be encouraged to bring your own issues to the session – the counselling is led by you and not directed by the counsellor.

Many clients, with no prior knowledge of counselling, believe that the counsellor will sort their problems out for them. A person-centred counsellor will help you to explore your own issues, feelings, beliefs, behaviour, and worldview, so you can become more self-aware and achieve greater independence.

Discover your own abilities

Your therapist will help you to realise what resources and support are available to you that you can use to work through your own issues, build your self-confidence and appreciate that you always have options. They will treat you as the expert on yourself, as no-one else knows exactly what it’s like to be you.

They will not judge you, no matter what you bring to the session. This helps build a trustworthy relationship in which you can feel free and supported to disclose whatever is troubling you. Eventually it will lead you to discover your own abilities and autonomy, so that you can cope with current and future problems.

If you have any comments or would like to share your story, please email us at engage@bacp.co.uk