The Power of Person Centred Counselling

person centred counselling
The underlying principle of Person Centred Counselling is that each individual has the ability to Self Actualise – i.e. to feel whole and to fully develop his potential for life. What stops one from doing that is the conditioning of society – often negative – and the demands made upon the person to conform.

Negative Conditioning

Often society – through parents, siblings, authority figures and the media, impose their view of how life should be led. This puts people in the position of having to achieve difficult / impossible goals and forces them to live in a way that is alien to their true nature.

Over time this creates a "false" persona that is impossible to sustain. Eventually this can give rise to such strong internal stresses that it causes tension or – at the other end of the spectrum – a nervous breakdown or mid life crisis, or worse.

How Person Centred Counselling Works

Person Centred Counselling is the least "invasive" form of counselling. The counsellor does not offer advice since the underlying principle, as already stated, is that the client has it within himself to attain a state of wholeness.

Mirroring Feelings

It is the Person Centred counsellor’s role to mirror back to the client and allow him to recognise / explore any feelings that he is expressing explicitly or implicitly. The conscious mind can be expressing the things that society “wants to hear” whilst the subconscious mind is showing – through non verbal expression – the true state of being.

The client may be expressing one emotion verbally, but be expressing a totally different emotion with his tone of voice, facial expression or with body language. An example of this would be someone saying how happy he is, while sitting hunched up with a miserable expression on his face.


In this case the PC counsellor would challenge the difference between the words the client is saying and the feelings being expressed non verbally. This can help by alerting the client to a situation within – a conflict – that he wasn't aware of, or was trying to deny or repress.

Holding up a Mirror

The PC counsellor holds up a mirror to the client so that he can better recognise that there is a disparity between what is being said and what is being expressed implicitly. It is discovering and exploring the unsaid emotions that is the key to achieving wholeness.

Safe, Confidential & Non Judgmental

Talking things over with a relative or friend is often not a viable option. It is often the relatives that are causing the problem, or the fear of upsetting relatives and friends that makes this an unhelpful option.

One of the important aspects of Person Centred counselling is to create a safe place where the client feels he can express any feelings (whether they are politically correct or not) in confidence, without any danger of being judged or fear that they may hurt someone.

The Person Centred counsellor helps the client to understand him or herself better. In so doing he becomes true to himself rather than trying to mold his personality into the “self ” that is imposed by society.

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