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         Counselling

Introduction -Humanistic Counselling - Person centred counselling - Jungian Analysis - Co-Counselling

Counselling can be an excellent way to promote change.

Through a relationship with another person, one who has no agenda towards you, it is possible to rediscover yourself and gain support to make changes. There are many different kinds and it is important to find the form which feels right for you at this particular point in time. It is worth taking a little time to find out the many different types on offer.

Counselling is also a very personal experience. It is one in which you need to feel you are working on together with the counsellor, rather than that the counsellor is in charge of you. Many counsellors allow a free short first meeting so that you can find out whether you believe you can work with that particular person. As you are going to share, possibly more than you would with your very best of mates, it is definitely important that you feel comfortable with who you are working with. I will give details of different methods and give links for you to follow up and learn more.

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Humanistic Counselling Humanistic Psychology is a psychology of the whole person. It followed on from the work of Freud and Jung but changed from the Patient/Doctor relationship where the patient was "under" the Doctor to a relationship of two people working together as equals to sort out the problem. The emphasis is on how the client experiences the situation.

It values all aspects of the person, thinking, feeling, emotion, intuition and so on. The right of the person to be self determining is valued highly. In this kind of counselling the counsellor does not expect the client to accept their views, rather the intent is to help facilitate the client finding his or her own inner resources. There are many different kinds of humanistic counselling one may be right for you and another not.

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Person Centered or Rogerian counselling  Carl Rogers was the man who introduced client centred (now call person centred or Rogerian) counselling. This is a therapy where the aim is to help the client gain contact with their inner feeling self and own inner resources. Rogers believed that if core conditions of genuiness, warmth and empathy were experienced by a client from a counsellor then the client would be able to begin to heal.

In this form of therapy, thought and feeling are equally respected. The counsellor does not try to change the client or be responsible for the client, rather the counsellor takes on a responsibility to be there with the client as they go on their journey. She will be there with the client in his pain but she will not try to take that pain away.

This form of therapy believes that through our experiences in life we build up a 'false self concept' and through the genuiness of the therapeutic encounter we are able to let go of that while getting in touch with our own inner resources. This way of working believes very strongly in the person's worth and is a therapy of love and connectedness. Through receiving warmth, understanding and empathy the client is facilitated to accept and understand himself and one would hope begin to feel his own intrinsic worth. The counsellor is very much there as an equal not as a guru.

The criticism which other therapists most often level at Rogerian counselling is that the client gets intimidated by all the warmth and so doesn't want to expose parts of themselves that are not 'good'!

Apparently many counsellors begin as person centred counsellors but then find they need to add something else. However, Carl Rogers believed that if the counsellor even for one minute doubted that the client had the resources to heal themselves then the process was stunted. Rogerian counselling does differ from all other forms in that the only 'tool' the counsellor has is him or herself. Given that genuiness is as important in the counsellor's relationship as warmth, there really ought to be no problem over authenticity.

It is highly unlikely that a properly trained counsellor would come over so gushy and warm that the client would not feel able to express their more shadowy side. If you believe that you could benefit from counselling where you are really listened to, where no one is trying to control you, where you can safely explore at your own pace, or if for whatever reason you are needing a very good friend for a while and don't have one at the moment, or certainly one who does not have an agenda for you, then Rogerian counselling may be for you. You can read more on Carl Rogers here or for a list of all kinds of Rogerian links including counsellors world wide visit Allan Turner's Person Centred site.

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There is no question that Carl Jung brought us an unparalleled rich, creative and symbolic way of working with ourselves. If you know nothing of Jung at the moment you could begin by reading Jung on this site. I have found myself that when I have read Jung my dreams have been quite happy to take on his symbolism to speak to me, so if money is an object, it is possible to read up on Jung and work on your own. This link is for those of you interested in learning more about or going into Jungian analysis

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C0-Counselling is a humanistic form of counselling but differs from all others in that here you meet with another person and for half the time you are the counsellor and for half the client, so very definitely the relationship is equal. It begins with a course you need to pay for where you learn how to be the counsellor (and indeed the client!) and thereafter the counselling is free, as you are providing counselling in return. Co-counselling website

Assertion Training can be of great help to people when they are working on themselves.

You may also find it helpful to have a look at our Feelings and Emotions page

The material on this page is believed to be correct but no liability will be taken if it is not.

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