Essentially, the main idea is that human beings are capable of healing, growth, and wellness all on their own. We have within what we need to heal naturally. What is not always present, however, is an ideal environment that facilitates healing. For example, as an analogy, just like when you cut yourself (i.e. a paper cut or scissor cut), or even break a bone, your wound and your bones will eventually heal and recover on their own. We may clean our wound, wrap it in a bandage, wear a cast, be careful with out movements, take it easy, and rest more than usual, all of which creates an environment that allows the wound and bones to heal. The body heals on its own. It knows how to do so naturally. We don’t have to tell it what to do to heal. It’s remarkable, really. Healing occurs naturally given the right conditions. I believe that the same thing applies with the mind. We may suffer a trauma, adversity, or a wound to our mind and our soul. And even though we have this natural tendency to heal and recover, we may get stuck. Sometimes, the environment around us is not always ideal, supportive, nurturing, or facilitative of healing. Healing or growth cannot occur in these conditions.
This is where therapy may help. A person-centered therapist is one whose most important task is to create an environment in therapy characterized by these ideal conditions for healing to occur. These conditions include therapist empathy for clients and their lived experiences. As well as unconditional positive regard, which mean acceptance, liking, warmth, and caring for clients as a person, no matter what they may have experienced. And lastly, as a therapist, being my true, authentic, and genuine self (also known as congruence). I strive to provide a specific environment where healing and growth may occur. But clients are the ones who heal and grow on their own.
Person-Centered Therapy is non-directive. Clients are the experts on their own lives, not the therapist. Clients take the lead, and have choice and a voice in every step of the therapy process. Therapists follow the client, reflecting what they are hearing and understanding, to help facilitate the client’s own understanding of their experiences. Therapy can be modified and tailored to best fit what clients may need.
Person-Centered Therapy is empirically supported by the research and is evidence based. Research shows that empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence affect client outcomes.
Research shows that Person-Centered Therapy is beneficial with substance and alcohol use & rehabilitation, stress, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, abuse, trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief, couples, and families, among others.
Other approaches: I may also incorporate the use of meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and focusing in our counselling work together, but only if you choose to do so.
If you would like to learn more about my approach to counselling, please do not hesitate to ask.