Issues to consider when seeking counselling

There are many approaches to counselling and therefore choosing a therapist that suits you and the issues you bring is important. Before choosing a therapist, check your practioner has the relevant qualifications and experience and is registered with an appropriate professional body such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. Linda Voice Associates takes a Person-Centred Approach to Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Person-centred therapy takes the view that every individual is unique and has their own internal resources for personal growth. The Person-centred therapist aims to provide the core conditions of unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence. From this perspective the client is viewed as "the expert" of their own internal world and experience. An important feature of this approach is the development of the relationship between therapist and client. It is a dynamic relationship-based therapy that recognises the uniqueness of each client. With the facilitation of the Person-Centred therapist, the client is seen as being fully capable of fulfilling their own potential growth.

A unique feature to the Person Centred Approach is that it views the client as their own best authority. The focus of therapy is on the client's own feelings and thoughts and not those of the therapist. From this approach you can expect not to be given advice or instructed what is best for you but encouraged to explore those issues that you feel troubled by.

Therapy from this approach can being very challenging and not the "soft and touchy-feely" experience that some people may think it is. The following passage is taken from a book to be published 2006(Sage,London)called Person-Centred Therapy In A Nutshell by Roger Casemore (Practising counsellor for over thirty years,Supervisor and trainer of counsellors at Warwick University).

    "The person-centred approach has often been parodied as a soft woolly process with little rigour or discipline of the cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic approaches. I recently heardsome call it "the teddy bear approach"....I often wonder why this mythical parody about the natureof person-centred counselling exists, when I know the reality of my practice and the practice of my colleagues, to be so different."

The outcome of any type of therapy is dependent on a variety of dynamics - the effectiveness of the therapist, the limitations of the approach, the commitment and effort from the client, the complexity of the issues brought into therapy. Counselling does not offer a magic wand and entering into therapy requires serious consideration. An initial consultation with your therapist gives you the opportunity to agree whether this is the suitable way forward for you.

An initial consultation gives you the opportunity to meet with your therapist and ask any questions about the process of counselling and psychotherapy, the assessment of the issues you bring and an idea of whether it's short term, medium term or long term work.

Discuss and agree fees at your initial consultation and find out about cancellations, arriving late, holidays.

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