Person-Centred Counselling in Action by Dave Mearns & Brian Thorne

Person-centred reding originated in 1930’s and 40’s from the work of the American psychologist Carl Rogers. Rogers came to believe that as it is the client who is aching. so finally it is the client themselves who holds the replies about how best to travel frontward. At the clip. this attack was a going from others signifiers of reding which relied on clients being advised. guided or someway influenced on which way to take.

Using the individual centred attack. it is the counsellor’s occupation to assist the client connect with their ain interior resources enabling them to happen their ain alone solutions. In this book the writers undertake to explicate the theories and rules of individual centred guidance by associating them to existent pattern. The book is intended as a practical and comprehensive usher for trainee counselors. those developing them and besides for established counselors wishing to familiarize themselves with the individual centred attack to guidance.

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Coming from the point of view of person merely get downing out as a trainee counselor. the author was foremost attracted by the short. snappish rubric of ‘Person Centred Counselling in Action’ . The word ‘action’ intimations that the work will non be a dry. hard to read book concentrating merely on the theoretical side of things but the reader will really acquire to see how the procedure works in pattern. In this respect. the book did non let down. -2- The chief organic structure of the book explores in some deepness. the conditions ( known as the nucleus conditions ) of empathy. credence and congruity. which are indispensable to the pattern of the person- centred counselor.

The concluding three chapters draw on one peculiar instance survey demoing how the nucleus conditions are used in pattern. These concluding chapters look at the experience from both the counsellor’s and the client’s point of position. The author found the contents of the book to be written in a logical manner and in the chief utilizations directly frontward linguistic communication. The author felt that the down to earth manner of authorship and turning away of slang made the book more accessible than some others of the same genre.

Besides really helpful is that as new constructs are introduced. illustrations of the construct being discussed are highlighted in boxes throughout the text. This helped to reenforce the writer’s apprehension of thoughts that are unfamiliar to her at this phase of her acquisition. One of the chief subjects of the book is an in-depth geographic expedition of the three elements that make up what is referred to in individual centred literature. as the ‘core conditions’ . In the first chapter the book clearly states what these are as follows: “The creative activity of a growing bring forthing clime in a curative relationship requires That the counselor can:

  • be echt or congruous
  • offer unconditioned positive respect and entire credence
  • feel and pass on a deep empathetic understanding

While this statement is utile for lucidity it is obvious on reading farther that these conditions are non easy attained. They take committedness on the portion of the counselor to develop and keep these attitudes and are so important. state the writers. that non merely do they have profound deductions for the counsellor’s professional pattern but besides for the counsellor’s life as a whole.

This idea makes the author intermission and reflect on how powerful the nucleus conditions are and the words ‘life changing’ spring unbidden to mind. Although in pattern. the nucleus conditions are inextricably linked. for the intents of this reappraisal the author has chosen to concentrate on the book’s geographic expedition of credence or ‘unconditional positive regard’ . The writers speak of unconditioned positive respect as being an attitude held by the counselor and give the undermentioned clear definition:

“Unconditional positive respect is the label given to the cardinal attitude of the person-centred counselor towards her client. The counselor who holds this attitude profoundly values the humanity of her client and is non deflected in that valuing by any peculiar client behaviors. The attitude manifests itself in the counsellor’s consistent credence of and digesting heat towards her client” . It struck the author that although this attitude of unconditioned positive respect can be viewed as extremely applaudable. it may besides in pattern. be hard to achieve.

The author agrees with the 5 authors’ sentiment that unconditionality can non be guaranteed due to each counselor being fallible. homo and holding personal bounds. The author nevertheless inquiries the authors’ statement that “ the individual centred counselor is likely to be ‘less conditional’ than most other people with whom the client will relate” . The author feels that this is a sweeping generalization of clients’ relationships and may non be true. That said. the author believes that the attitude of unconditioned positive respect is one that every counselor. irrespective of tradition. should actively seek to develop and keep.

The writers pose the inquiry “Why is unconditioned positive respect of import? ” In reply to this inquiry a image is drawn of a client who has been brought up to believe that it is merely by run intoing conditions imposed on them by important others that they have any value. By systematically holding an attitude of unconditioned positive respect and by valuing the client in their ain right. irrespective of conditions imposed by others. the counselor is straight disputing the client’s long held beliefs about their self- worth.

The writers describe the client as being in a negative. self-defeating rhythm. non anticipating to be valued and associate to others by being self-protective or defensive. They may good be exposing behaviors that drive others off such as being unsuitably aggressive. non demoing any feelings or possibly retreating from any demanding societal contact. In driving others off. the client’s belief that he is unworthy or unlovable is reinforced. The writers explain that by holding an attitude of unconditioned positive respect. the counselor can bit by bit interrupt into the client’s self- defeating rhythm.

Once the rhythm is broken. the client 5  no longer needs to be defensive towards the counselor. His fright reduces and an environment of trust and safety is created where the client feels able to research what troubles him. The writers claim that non merely will the client have been influenced to oppugn conditions of worth imposed on him and been helped to go less defensive but that somehow the client will get down to see the counsellor’s attitude for himself and get down the journey

towards self-acceptance. The author. though rawness. agrees with the writers’ position that the counsellor’s attitude of unconditioned positive respect can finally hold dramatic positive effects for the client. The author besides takes on board the authors’ advice to bear this dramatic consequence in head. early in the curative procedure when the client can expose a figure of hard. off-putting behavior. There was some treatment by the writers about ‘defensive’ clients.

They give illustrations of three clients with really different jobs. Mary an unkempt 45 twelvemonth old lady with hapless personal hygiene who is filled with self-loathing ; Roger a hardheaded 35 twelvemonth old. cut-throat concern adult male who blames his married woman for all their matrimonial jobs and James a leery. angry 18 twelvemonth old who used most of his first guidance session to verbally mistreat the counselor. It subsequently became clear that the three clients had four things in common:

  • They all had a deep unhappiness.
  • Felt intensely unloved.
  • Did non love themselves
  • Were all highly vulnerable

The writers note that although the clients behaviours were really different their defensiveness was moving as a shield which repelled others and conceal what sort of people they truly were. The 6 writers advise that unconditioned positive respect means that the counselor should non be put off by these behaviors but should go on to value the worth of the client and finally earn the right to be given entree to what lies behind the shield.

The author can conceive of that it could sometimes be hard for the counselor to accept their client. The writers examine this job in some deepness and besides give practical stairss for the counselor to take when confronted with this state of affairs. They advise the witting usage of empathy which helps the counselor to concentrate more on the client and less on her ain negative feelings towards the client. Using empathy can besides promote the client to open up more and do the counselor to oppugn her earlier opinion.

The writers besides suggest that it would be good for the counselor to research the affair more to the full in supervising. The dislike belongs to the counselor. state the writers and is hence her duty to cover with it and non fault the client for her feelings. In the chapter on unconditioned positive respect. the writers go onto discuss in some deepness other affairs worthy of consideration and survey such as ‘Can the Client Accept My Acceptance?

Focus on Warmth’ . ‘Focus on Conditionality’ and ‘Accepting the Client who loves you’ . Unfortunately clip does non let the author to discourse these subjects any farther. The author found the whole book really piquant and enlightening and would urge the newer edition to anyone desiring to larn more about person-centred guidance. Its ‘hands on’ manner is really clear and gives many utile illustrations of the procedure in action. In decision. it ‘does what it says on the tin’ ! ( Word Count 1. 565 )

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Person-Centred Counselling in Action by Dave Mearns & Brian Thorne. (2017, Sep 04). Retrieved from