The idea behind Person-Centred counselling is that the client, not the therapist, is the expert in his or her own case. The approach finds its roots in the work of Dr Carl Rogers, an eminent psychologist whose work throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s came to revolutionise the way in which therapy was practised.
The theory and practice of Person-Centred counselling have developed much since then, but our understanding of human thought and motivation still finds that we have an innate tendency towards fulfilling our potential. When exploring this potential with a trustworthy and trusted counsellor, progress is made in overcoming life's obstacles and hurdles.
This approach sees the psychotherapist providing an environment where the client can feel completely at ease, and able to discuss issues with someone who is deeply empathic, genuine, and unconditionally accepting of who they are. It is this relationship of trust and support which allows and encourages the client to explore their own way forward.
Person-Centred counselling is very different from directive therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), where the therapist gives instructions for coping with a particular issue. Clients may choose CBT to help them develop positive behaviours and thinking patterns, but often find the Person-Centred approach can allow them to develop a more holistic understanding of underlying causes.