Person Centred Approaches to Counselling- Creating a Safe Space

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Introduction A safe space for a client could be described as a place or space in which a client feels secure and free to express him/herself in a real, true and open way. This could mean a number of things to different clients, it is very individual. What makes a person feel safe? The list could include some or all of the following; Not feeling judged or criticised by the counsellor or that the counsellor is likely to not accept you if you share something ‘bad’ Feeling that the counsellor accurately understands you, what you are saying or trying to say and what you are feeling or experiencing Feeling that the counsellor is ‘true’ and genuine in the relationship, his/her real self Knowing that the counsellor will hold anything said in absolute confidentiality The counsellor is focused on you and working off your agenda The counsellor firmly believes that you are the one and only authority on yourself The counsellor fosters deep trust between you and his/herself The actual setting of the counselling is private and professional and you do not feel that you will be overheard or misrepresented in any way The counsellor has put in place adequate boundaries for your safety and also his/her own. Boundaries can be personal, professional and physical There is equality between you and the counsellor ie you don’t get the feeling that the counsellor has all the answers nor do you have a sense of mystery or secrecy about the process Some of the points I have made above are self-explanatory but I will go into many of them in much greater depth as follows. Core Conditions Rogers found that there were six such conditions and they are: That the therapist and the client are in psychological contact ie there are no obvious blocks to contact being made between the two and both are ‘present’ and willing to work together as much as possible given the


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