developing person centred counselling


Person-centred counselling is all about building a trusting, caring relationship with a client in order to create a safe space where they can explore their feelings and experiences. It puts the client at the centre of the process, aiming to empower them by helping them to gain insight into their thoughts and feelings. This type of counselling encourages clients to take responsibility for their own lives, making decisions that are right for them. It also aims to foster self-awareness and understanding, leading to increased autonomy and personal growth. Person-centred counselling is a type of talking therapy that focuses on the individual’s personal growth and self-development. It puts the person at the centre of their own change process, with the counsellor providing support and creating a secure environment for exploration. The counsellor will use specific techniques to help the client work through their thoughts and feelings, encouraging them to find their own solutions to any challenges they are facing. This type of counselling is based on the belief that everyone has an innate capacity for growth and healing, given the right environment. Person-centred counselling can help people gain insight into themselves, improve communication skills, and better navigate life’s challenges.

Core Principles of Person Centred Therapy

Person Centred Therapy (PCT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the individual’s experience and encourages self-exploration. It is based on the idea that everyone has the capacity to find their own solutions to their problems if they are given a safe and supportive environment to do so. PCT has several core principles, which include unconditional positive regard, empathy, genuineness and congruence.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) is the cornerstone of PCT, which refers to an attitude of acceptance and non-judgmental understanding towards the client. The therapist will take an objective stance towards the client, accepting them for who they are without any expectations or conditions. UPR helps clients to become more open to exploring their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgment.


Empathy is another important principle in PCT, which involves understanding how the client feels in order to connect with them on a deeper level. The therapist will try to understand what it feels like for them by listening actively and reflecting back what they hear in a sensitive manner. This helps clients feel heard and understood, which can create a sense of trust in the therapeutic relationship.


Genuineness refers to being open and honest with one’s feelings in order to build trust between therapist and client. The therapist will be genuine with their thoughts and feelings while being authentic about their own experiences, without trying to manipulate or control the client’s responses. This helps create an atmosphere where clients feel comfortable enough to express themselves openly without fear of judgement or criticism from the therapist.


The principle of congruence refers to being consistent between what one says and what one does in therapy sessions. The therapist must remain consistent with their words as well as their actions both inside and outside of sessions in order for clients to have trust in them as well as have faith that they are truly committed to helping them reach their goals.

These four core principles form the foundation for Person Centred Therapy which enables clients to explore themselves without fear or judgement while providing them with an environment where they can find solutions within themselves with help from their therapist’s support and guidance.

Developing a Therapeutic Alliance

Creating a therapeutic alliance is an important part of the counseling process. It involves developing a trusting relationship between the client and the counselor in order for meaningful progress to be made. A successful therapeutic alliance is based on mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration.

The first step in creating a therapeutic alliance is building trust. This starts with creating a safe and comfortable environment for the client to talk about their issues and feelings. The counselor should be attentive, non-judgmental, and supportive of the client’s needs. The client should feel free to express themselves without fear of being judged or misunderstood.

The next step is developing mutual understanding. The counselor should take time to understand the client’s perspective and experiences, while also making sure that their own biases are not influencing their understanding of the situation. They should also provide feedback on how they view the situation from an objective perspective. This helps create an atmosphere of collaboration, where both parties can work together towards finding a solution that works for both of them.

The third step is establishing respect between the client and counselor. This means that both parties must treat each other with respect by listening to each other’s opinions and ideas without judgment or criticism. They should also be willing to compromise when necessary in order to reach mutually beneficial solutions. This helps foster an environment where both parties feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of repercussions or criticism.

Therefore, it’s important for both the client and counselor to work together collaboratively towards achieving goals set out in therapy sessions. The counselor should provide guidance while allowing the client some autonomy to make decisions about their treatment plan. This allows them to take ownership over their own progress which can help increase motivation levels, making it more likely that they will stick with therapy long-term so they can reach their goals successfully.

Overall, establishing a successful therapeutic alliance takes time but is essential for creating a positive relationship between the counselor and client that will allow meaningful progress to be made during counseling sessions. Through building trust, mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration – clients can develop strong bonds with their counselors which can increase motivation levels as well as helping them reach their goals quicker than if they went through therapy alone

Facilitating Change in Counselling

Counselling is a great way to help people make changes in their lives. It can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development, but it does take time and effort to achieve the desired results. Counsellors need to understand how to facilitate change in their clients and help them make positive changes that will lead to a more fulfilling life.

The first step in facilitating change is to create an environment of trust and safety. Clients need to feel comfortable enough with the counsellor that they can open up and discuss their innermost thoughts and feelings. Counsellors should also encourage clients to take responsibility for their actions and decisions, as this will ultimately lead to better results.

Counsellors should also ensure that clients are given enough information about the process of counselling and what changes they are likely to experience as a result of it. This can include information about how long counselling sessions usually take, what types of activities or exercises might be used during sessions, and any potential risks associated with making changes. Clients should also be made aware of any support systems or resources available after counselling sessions have ended.

A key part of facilitating change is helping clients develop realistic goals. Many times, people enter into counselling with unrealistic expectations or demands that may not be achievable. It is important for counsellors to help clients set attainable goals that are based on their individual needs and abilities. Once these goals have been set, it is important for counsellors to provide regular feedback on progress made towards achieving them.

It is also important for counsellors to maintain open communication with clients throughout the process of counselling in order to ensure that they are on the right track towards achieving their goals. This includes providing support when needed, offering advice when appropriate, and providing feedback on progress made or difficulties encountered during sessions. Counsellors can also use different techniques such as role-playing or problem-solving exercises in order to help clients identify areas where they may be struggling or could benefit from additional support from the counsellor or other sources outside of the counselling sessions themselves.

Therefore, it is important for counsellors to remember that the goal of counselling is not only about helping clients make changes but also about helping them maintain those changes over time so they don’t fall back into old patterns or habits that could undo all the work done in previous counselling sessions. This includes creating plans for ongoing support such as follow-up appointments with the counsellor, attending support groups or workshops related to the topic discussed during sessions, monitoring progress made towards goals set during sessions, and providing positive reinforcement when appropriate so clients continue making progress towards their desired outcomes over time.

In order for successful change in counselling sessions, it is essential for counsellors to create an environment of trust between client and counsellor; provide adequate information on expected outcomes; establish realistic goals; maintain communication; use different techniques; and provide continual support after completion of therapy session so sustained change occurs over time

Understanding Empathy in Counselling

Empathy is one of the core components of counselling and is essential for a successful therapeutic relationship. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Empathy helps to create a safe space in counselling sessions, allowing both parties to communicate openly and honestly. Without empathy, it can be difficult for counsellors to build trust with their clients and provide them with effective support.

Empathy can be broadly divided into two types: cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. Cognitive empathy involves understanding another person’s thoughts and feelings from their point of view. It involves being able to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. On the other hand, emotional empathy is about feeling what another person is feeling, rather than just understanding it intellectually. It requires being able to connect deeply with someone else’s emotions and experience them as if they were your own.

Good counsellors need to be able to balance both types of empathy in order to create an effective therapeutic relationship with their clients. They need to be able to understand their clients intellectually, but also feel what they are feeling emotionally. This can help them build trust with their clients, as well as make them feel heard, valued, and understood.

Counsellors also need to be aware of how their own emotions can affect the counselling process. If a counsellor is feeling overwhelmed by a client’s emotions or experiences, it can be difficult for them to maintain an objective perspective. This can lead to biased advice or decisions that may not be in the best interest of the client. To avoid this, counsellors must learn how to manage their own emotions while listening empathically.

In addition, it is important for counsellors to remember that empathy does not mean agreement or approval. Just because a counsellor understands why someone feels or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they agree with or condone that behaviour. Counsellors should strive to remain neutral while still providing empathic support.

Therefore, it is important for counsellors to remember that everyone experiences things differently and there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to providing empathic support. Each individual has unique needs that must be taken into consideration when providing counselling services.

In summary:

  • Empathy is an essential component of counselling.
  • There are two types of empathy: cognitive empathy and emotional empathy.
  • Good counsellors need both types of empathy.
  • Counsellors must learn how manage their own emotions when providing empathic support.
  • Empathy does not equate agreement or approval.
  • Everyone has unique needs that must be taken into consideration when providing counselling services.

Working with Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) is a valuable tool in the helping profession. It is a form of unconditional acceptance that can be used to help people feel safe and accepted, regardless of their present feelings, behaviors, or beliefs. UPR involves recognizing the worth and dignity of every individual and treating them with respect and kindness. It means understanding that everyone’s needs are valid and worthy of being heard.

UPR can be used in many different situations, from counseling to teaching to parenting. Some ways that UPR can be used include:

  • Creating an atmosphere of safety
  • Encouraging open communication
  • Listening without judgment
  • Allowing people to express themselves freely
  • Honoring choices
  • Being supportive and understanding

By using UPR to build rapport with clients or students, it is possible to create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgement or criticism. This can lead to greater openness, trust, and understanding between individuals. UPR is also a great way for teachers or parents to show children that their feelings matter and that they are supported. By showing children unconditional positive regard, it helps them develop a sense of self-worth and encourages them to take risks and explore their potentials.

UPR is not about giving false compliments or telling someone what they want to hear; rather it is about being genuine in our interactions with others. It means being honest while still maintaining a respectful attitude towards the individual. It also involves avoiding language or behavior that may be seen as patronizing or condescending.

When using UPR it is important to remember that everyone deserves respect regardless of their background, beliefs, or behaviors. Everyone should be treated with kindness and compassion as well as given the opportunityto share their thoughts without fear of judgment or criticism. UPR can be a powerful tool for creating positive change in our relationships with others.

Exploring Congruence in Person Centred Therapy

Person centred therapy (PCT) is a type of counselling that focuses on the relationship between a therapist and their client. It is based on the idea that each individual is unique, and has the capacity to make changes in their lives. By creating a safe, non-judgmental environment, a therapist can help their client explore their thoughts and feelings without feeling judged or criticised. One of the key components of PCT is congruence, which refers to the therapist’s ability to be genuine with their clients and be open about their own thoughts and feelings. This helps to create a trusting environment where both parties can openly communicate without fear of judgement.

Congruence in PCT is an important concept because it allows both parties to feel comfortable expressing themselves. When a therapist is genuine with their client, it shows that they are willing to listen and understand them without judgement or criticism. This creates an atmosphere of safety and trust that makes it easier for clients to open up about difficult topics or emotions. Congruence also allows the therapist to provide feedback in an honest way, which helps the client understand how they can make changes in order to reach their goals.

In order for congruence to be effective, both parties must be open and honest with one another about their thoughts and feelings. The therapist should not only ask questions but also share personal experiences or stories that may relate to what the client is going through. This helps build trust between the two parties as well as provides helpful insight into how they can work together towards achieving positive outcomes.

One way for therapists to ensure congruence during sessions is by being aware of body language cues from both parties. By paying attention to facial expressions and body language, therapists can pick up on any unspoken messages or underlying emotions that may be present during the conversation. This allows them to address any issues before they become bigger problems and helps create an atmosphere of understanding between both parties.

Overall, congruence plays an important role in person centred therapy by creating a trusting relationship between therapist and client as well as providing insight into how they can work together towards achieving positive outcomes. It requires both parties to be open and honest with one another about their thoughts and feelings while also being aware of body language cues so any underlying issues can be addressed before they become bigger problems.

Utilizing Active Listening Techniques

Active listening is an important skill to have in any situation, whether it be in a professional or personal setting. By actively listening, you are showing respect and interest in what the other person has to say. It also helps you understand the other person’s perspective and build a stronger relationship with them. Here are some tips on how to practice active listening:

• Listen for understanding: Instead of focusing on what you’re going to say next, take time to really listen to what the other person is saying. Listen for understanding, not simply for facts. Ask questions and repeat back what they said so that you can make sure you fully understand their point of view.

• Watch body language: Pay attention to not only what the other person is saying but also how they’re saying it. Are they making eye contact? Are their hands gesturing? These non-verbal cues can give important clues about what the other person is really thinking and feeling.

• Don’t jump to conclusions: It’s easy to fill in the gaps with assumptions when you don’t have all the facts. Resist this temptation and try your best to stay open-minded until both parties have had a chance to fully express their thoughts and feelings.

• Focus on creating solutions: Active listening isn’t just about understanding someone else’s point of view — it’s also about finding a resolution that works for everyone involved. Ask questions, offer ideas, and be willing to compromise until both parties reach an agreement that works for them both.

By using these tips for active listening, you can create more meaningful conversations that lead to better understanding and stronger relationships with those around you. Active listening takes practice, but once mastered it can help improve your communication skills significantly!

Final Words On Developing Person Centred Counselling

Person centred counselling provides a great opportunity for individuals to explore their own thoughts and feelings and to work through their difficulties in a secure and supportive environment. It is about empowering the individual to make decisions about their own life and to help them find solutions to their problems. By providing an empathetic, non-judgemental environment, person centred counselling can help individuals to work through difficult situations in a supportive way.

Person centred counselling encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own lives, while also being supported by the counsellor. It helps them develop self-awareness, self-confidence and resilience so that they can cope with life’s challenges. It also helps them gain insight into themselves and learn how to manage their emotions more effectively.

Person centred counselling is about building relationships and trust between the counsellor and client so that they can work together towards achieving the client’s goals. By building this connection, it allows both parties to understand each other on a deeper level which can be incredibly beneficial for helping individuals overcome difficult situations in life.

Overall, developing person centred counselling skills is a great way for counsellors to provide a more holistic approach when working with clients. Taking the time to build trusting relationships, offering empathy and understanding, as well as providing helpful resources are all important aspects of person centred counselling that should be taken into account when developing these skills.


Author Bio:

P. Cutler is a passionate writer and mental health advocate based in England, United Kingdom. With a deep understanding of therapy's impact on personal growth and emotional well-being, P. Cutler has dedicated their writing career to exploring and shedding light on all aspects of therapy.

Through their articles, they aim to promote awareness, provide valuable insights, and support individuals and trainees in their journey towards emotional healing and self-discovery.

Counselling UK