** Queue well known Queen song as soundtrack… “Now I’m there”… bah bah… etc. **
Have I only been on my course a month? Well actually no not even a month yet. It has seemed to just take over. I’ve been reading books and papers and researching a counsellor who fits the criteria to support me through the training, beginning to look for placements, trying to sort out a professional membership. Phew!!
In particular I have immersed myself in some reading – see previous post. I’m at the point of really studying Rogers’ core conditions. Often written in short hand as three, congruence, empathy and unconditional positive regard. But if you look at his seminal paper where he proposed his person-centred way it was actually six.
For constructive personality change to occur, it is necessary that these conditions exist and continue over a period of time:
1. Two persons are in psychological contact.
2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious.
3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist, is congruent or integrated in the relationship.
4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client.
5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference and endeavors to communicate this experience to the client.
6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved. ***
So many thoughts banging around in my head and feelings in my gut. Can I really provide all of this, in all cases, for all clients I meet? Demanding is my thought… Daunted is how I feel. Much to ruminate on.
A good thing is that I found a local person centred accredited counsellor and have had an initial meeting. I really felt comfortable with them and they followed a similar training route to me some years back so have personal experience and true empathy. I feel talking with them will be beneficial for me so that is one thing out of the way in terms of worrying about getting that sorted out. One thing I have to say is that counsellors seem incredibly bad at advertising themselves. Now I don’t mean necessarily “selling” themselves but simply stating what they do and don’t offer, which is a requirement of any professional associations code of ethics. I found myself on more than one occasion phoning up someone in the professional directory that stated that they practised in the person-centred modality only for them to say “Well I’m more integrative and don’t really just use person-centred”. Why is it in your professional profile then? My other trainees are finding similar issues.
*** The Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Therapeutic Personality Change
Rogers, Carl R.
University of Chicago.
Editor’s Note. This article is a reprint of an original work published in 1957 in the Journal of Consulting Psychology, Vol. 21, pp. 95–103.—LEB
Received Date: June 6, 1956