What is Person-Centred Counselling?

I am grounded in the person-centred tradition and believe in the potential of the individual for positive growth. For me, counselling involves allowing myself to be affected by another person, attempting to deeply understand, so that my own thoughts and feelings may be of use to the other person. At the same time, I try to maintain a sense of separateness that allows me to hold the session safely and professionally. I will not be trying to "work you out", to give you advice or apply fixes. Instead, I will strive to listen deeply and be alongside you in your situation. I aim to help you discover your own way forward.

Person-centred counselling has been described as holding up a mirror to another's life. However, this description seems too detached - counselling is not an imitation, it is real, genuine human interaction. Just as gardeners will attempt to create the best conditions for the growth of their plants, the theory is that some conditions are more beneficial to human flourishing than others. The counsellor is there to provide "water", "light" and "nutrients", the environment that is most likely to contribute to growth. In a person-centred approach, it is the relationship that provides these elements.

Person-centred counselling is purposeful but does not impose its own organisation or structure. The sessions follow the client's lead - some clients prefer to come with ideas of how they want to use the sessions, while others will simply be with whatever is most on their mind at that moment. I aim to support you in using the sessions in a way that works for you.