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Person-centred counselling (sometimes also referred to as client-centred counselling) was the creation of Carl Rogers.  Rogers believed that every human being has a huge capacity for personal growth.  Rogers saw this ability to bring about a positive change as being present even if you found yourself in a situation where it was difficult to believe this was true.

Rogers believed that attitudes, rather than techniques, are what is important in a talking treatment.  If the ideal environment is provided, the client can more easily let go of fears or anxieties and begin to see their situation in a more realistic way.

Taking the view that each individual has all the necessary internal resources required for growth, person-centred counselling aims to provide three main conditions, known as Core Conditions.  The three Core Conditions are: Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy, and Congruence.  Together, these three core-conditions can help new growth to occur.

The first of the three core conditions: Unconditional Positive Regard; means that the counsellor accepts their client unconditionally and without judgement, meaning that the client is free to explore each thought or feeling, whether positive or negative, without danger of condemnation.


The second of the three core conditions: Empathy; means that the counsellor strives to accurately understand the clients own thoughts and feelings, from the clients point of view.

The third of the three core conditions: Congruence; means that the counsellor must be authentic and genuine, in order that the client does not have to speculate upon what their counsellor is really like.

Together, these three core conditions enable the client to develop and grow in their own way; to strengthen and expand their own identity, and to become the person that they really are, free from the pressures of others to think, or behave in a particular way.


See also: Counselling | Why counselling?


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