It is often difficult to find or have space for meeting or living with the stresses, demands and difficulties coming at us or arising within us…
Person-centred/experiential counselling is a confidential space that can offer safety when things are difficult or impossible to bear.
‘…relieved, temporarily, from the need to [‘take care of the inner strangers…’]…’ (David Brazier, Zen Therapy (London: Constable, 1995) 26.)
Person-centred/experiential counselling is also a space to help explore new or unknown aspects of yourself.
‘space is…room to grow.’ (Brazier, Zen Therapy, 23.)
‘…[the] implicit aim of person-centred[/experiential] working is to help…[you ‘…find and…exercise more of [your]…personal power [in]…understanding and evaluating [your]…actions…and in making decisions…’].’ (Dave Mearns, Developing Person-Centred Counselling (London: Sage, 1994) ix-x.)
I aim to provide or offer • an unconditional acceptance that is safe, warm and respectful of how you are and what you are • a climate conducive to being with your feelings, thoughts or what is important to you through following your lead and trying to understand things from your point of view. (I don’t usually offer ‘advice’ or ‘firm direction’.)
‘PCE [Person-Centred/Experiential] therapies are associated with large pre-post client change [‘…maintained over…follow-ups.’].’ (Robert Elliott & Elizabeth Freire, ‘The Effectiveness of Person-Centred/Experiential Therapies: A Review of the Meta-analyses’ in Mick Cooper, Jeanne Watson & Dagmar Hӧlldampf (eds.), Person-Centred and Experiential Therapies Work: A Review of the Research on Counselling, Psychotherapy and Related Practices (Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books, 2010) 9.)
‘…[the] therapeutic process…develops at its own pace and in accordance with the client’s readiness to take the risks…growth…involve[s].’ (Brian Thorne, ‘Brief Companionship’, in Dave Mearns, Developing Person-Centred Counselling (London: Sage, 1994) 61.)
Additional resources such as ‘…self-help group[s and]…education[/relevant information]…’ may also be important or helpful (Charles Whitfield, Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Florida: Health Communications, 1987) 142).
‘…although distress may ease quickly pattern change takes time and determined work.’ (Godfrey Barrett-Lennard, The Pathway of Client-Centred Therapy (Paper presented to the First International Conference on Client-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy, Leuven, Belgium, 1988) 5.)
Three meeting patterns I have found clients tend to use:
meeting once per week or two weeks 3 to 5 times then
• ending, or
• meeting once per two/three/four weeks around 6 to 8 times then
• ending, or
• meeting around once per month/two months
meeting once per week or two weeks
‘The person-centred counsellor…is a guest within the client’s world of experience.’ (Mearns, Developing, ix.)