It is often said that one can be surrounded by people and yet still feel lonely. Jung explains this as being unable to communicate one’s feelings, or from fear of communicating them, because they may be met with disapproval. Person centred counselling provides a relationship that is often lacking in the lives of many people. It’s core values are empathy, remaining genuine and accepting of the client and their needs. It’s about a collaboration between therapist and client, with an awareness that the client is the expert in their own life, how they experience how it is to be them, with all of the complexities that come with being human. It comes with an understanding of not wanting to ‘fix’ the client, but rather bringing about change by carefully listening to their concerns, gaining clarification of what is meant, reflecting back to the client what has been understood, having enough curiosity to explore links and meaning, with the intention of bringing about a greater understanding of self, or self awareness. These new insights, sometimes referred to by therapists as ‘lightbulb moments’ can provide a catalyst for the client to bring about significant change in order that they can live a more meaningful life.
In writing this short article I should like to give credit to the two Carl’s, firstly to Jung, who’s prolific writing heavily influences my day to day work, and Rogers, pioneer of the person centred approach I was privileged to train in and that underpins all that I do.