Counselling Approach

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Person Centred Therapy

In the 1930-1940 the American born Carl Rogers became the mental father of Person Centred counselling. Carl Rogers childhood was repressed and he was not encouraged to express his true feelings, he also found it hard to communicate with his parents, thus once he had grown into an adult he realised that clear communication with other people was key in all relationships. In his theory the client knows best, they are aware of the hurt that they feel. The Person Centred counsellor will enable the client to use their own inner resources to find the solution to their issues. The counsellor will form a therapeutic alliance with the client and will gain trust and build confidence. Person Centred counselling does not challenge the client and is non directive. The counselling space will offer the client the right conditions to bring about change.

Cognitive Behavioural Approach

Aaron Beck developed the idea of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychological distress after noticing that certain anxious or depressed client’s experienced specific unhelpful thinking patterns and negative thoughts of which they were only semi aware, unless their attention was directly focused on them. These thoughts that Beck identified led to powerful and compelling feelings for the clients, but usually did not tell an accurate and reasonable story. He also noticed that people who are depressed or anxious do not readily think to question the validity of their thinking. It was evident that the unhelpful thoughts affected not only how a person feels but their behaviour as well, such as difficulty getting motivated or disengaging in the rhythm of life. The main goal of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is to help individuals bring about coping and change to their behaviour or thinking process. The counsellor will work with the client to challenge their own faulty thoughts and this in turn will help the client to re-frame a situation in a positive way.

Mindfulness Therapy

Mindfulness is a modern reworking of ancient meditation traditions, principally Buddhist. It is designed to help you deal with day to day difficulties by putting you in control of your own mind. In difficult situations such as when a loved one is very ill or we are approaching an anxiety provoking situation, e.g. an exam, life and people get us down, we may experience very strong emotions e.g. sadness, anxiety or anger in the above situations. Sometimes these emotions incapacitate us by overwhelming us or lasting a very long time. Unhelpful thoughts may accompany these emotions such as “I’ll never get over this” or “I must be stupid if I’m so scared of this exam”. Such thoughts are often believed uncritically and tend to perpetuate the strong emotions so that we are no longer in control of our minds and we can’t cope. The aim of mindfulness therapy is to help you learn to be aware of your thoughts and bodily sensations and in so doing be able to better cope with day to day emotions and problems.