1.0 Person-Centred Therapy
Person- Centred Therapy was founded by Carl Rogers and originally developed in the 1940’s as a reaction against psychoanalytical therapy. Person centred therapy is a branch of humanistic psychology that stresses a phenomenological approach. The underlying vision of humanistic philosophy is captured by the metaphor of how an acorn, if provided with the appropriate conditions, will automatically grow in positive ways, pushed naturally towards its actualisation as an oak. This is in contrast with existentialist theory where there is nothing we “are”, no internal “nature” we can count on, and we are faced at every moment with a choice about we make of this condition (Corey, 1996, p. 200).
Person-centred counselling is grounded on a positive view of human nature and humanity and is based on the premise that the client has an inherent capacity to move away from maladjustment toward psychological health. The basic assumption is that in the context of a personal relationship with a caring therapist, the client experiences previously denied or distorted feelings and increases self-awareness. Clients are empowered by their participation in a therapeutic relationship. They actualise their potential for growth, wholeness, spontaneity, and inner-directedness (Heffernan, 2010).
1.3 Counsellor-client Relationship
Rogers hypothesises that “significant positive personality change does not occur except in a relationship” (Rogers, 1967, cited in Corey, 1996, p.204). Person centred therapy emphasises the client’s resources for becoming self aware and for resolving blocks to personal growth. The aim of the therapeutic relationship is to help in the clients’ self-exploration and become aware of these personal blocks to growth (Heffernan, 2010). The expert therapist places the primary responsibility on the client for resolving life problems effectively, without interpretation and...