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Describe and examine the theoretical principals that form the basis of the person centred counselling relationship. What do you feel to be the limits and potentials of these principals?

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Introduction

Describe and examine the theoretical principals that form the basis of the person centred counselling relationship. What do you feel to be the limits and potentials of these principals? Person centred counselling is a humanistic approach, developed by an American psychologist and counsellor, Car Rogers. Rogers was one of the main founders of humanistic psychology and many of his ideas and influences have been spread across the world. Person centred counselling can also be known as 'client-centred' counselling and more often than the 'Person centred approach'. The underlying concept of this type of counselling is that attitudes and values can be applied where there is concern of people's growth and development. It is also an effective means of promoting personal change and for an individual to gain acceptance of responsibility for his or her life. This will then lead them along the path of self-awareness and self-acceptance. This essay aims to concentrate on the theoretical principals that form the basis of person centred counselling. Within these principles there are limitations and potentials, which will also be discussed. One of the theoretical principals that person centred counselling looks at is that of the phenomenological approach to the person. This can be explained that whatever an individual experiences is their own individual experience. Therefore, the way we respond to the world, results from meaning and sense. Meaning and sense is derived from our exclusive mixture of needs, expectations and past history. Therefore, every single one of us lives in our own subjective world, and this world cannot be fully understood by anyone else. The phenomenological approach tries to unravel the difficulties of perceiving reality through another person's eyes. ...read more.

Middle

However, all these limitations have the potential to be put right by both the counsellor and the client. A central theoretical principle of person centred counselling is the six conditions of therapeutic process. Rogers (1957) believed that the counselling relationship needed to be characterised by certain conditions in order for constructive change to occur. There are six conditions in total, with three 'core' conditions included. The 'core' conditions are those that have concentrated on the most. All six conditions will now be looked at with emphasis on those, which are 'core'. The first condition is that 'two persons are in psychological contact'. Rogers believed that during a relationship, significant changes take place. 'All that is intended by this first condition is to specify that the two people are to some degree in contact, that each makes some perceived difference in the experimental field of another' (Rogers 1957). Therefore, fore person centred counselling to occur and to be successful, a relationship must be formed between the counsellor and the client. If this bond is not formed then psychological contact will not take place and constructive change will not take place. It may appear that there will obviously be contact in a counsellor/client relationship. This is not always the case. It remains a fact that some clients are unable to form meaningful relationships with their counsellors. Recently, this phenomenon has been tackled by the development of 'pre-therapy'. This is an attempt to establish minimal contact (Prouty, 1990, Prouty and Cronwal, 1989). The second condition is where the client is in a state of 'incongruence' - being vulnerable or anxious. Incongruence occurs when a client loses touch with their organismic valuing process. ...read more.

Conclusion

The process of constructive personality change will follow.' Therefore the six conditions are evidentially a strong theoretical principle of the person centred counselling relationship. Through these conditions a client can learn to grow and change and reach self-actualisation. As we have seen there are limitations in this approach but each has a solution, which gives both counsellor and client the potential to overcome them and progress forward. Relationship is a key principle in the person centred approach, as without some kind of relationship, it is doubtful that any progress can be made in person centred counselling. The person centred counsellor must make every attempt to foster an environment in which clients can encounter themselves and become more intimate with their own thoughts, meanings and feelings. Person centred counselling offers relationships within which people's felt realities or inner worlds can be explored from within their own frames or reference. The therapy enables the sensitive and progressive revealing of layers of meaning and experience that have led to each person's uniqueness and individuality. The counsellor aims to contribute to this process by experiencing and communicating empathic understanding of the complex reality of each individual, by respecting and valuing each person and by remaining congruent, open and non-defensive with client's. Today there are many people that use the work of Rogers and though the theory may appear fairly simple, many people would attest that it can be very difficult to put into practice. This may be because of the deep and complex relationship, which has to be built to ensure that person centred counselling, is obtainable and successful. However, it is a world wide approach and through the examination of theoretical principles it is clear to see how the basis of a person centred counselling relationship is formed, through communication, awareness and understanding. ...read more.

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