The Person Centred relationship with a client is a unique one. The counsellor does not have different strategies, techniques or goals with which to support the client. She/He has only herself/himself to use. The approach therefore does not ‘hide’ behind a ‘professional façade; It does not require the counsellor to be the ‘expert’ and be there to guide or direct the client in how they should resolve their particular difficulties. If the counsellor is the ‘expert’ then the client by definition is then less equal than the counsellor.
The Person Centred approach, on the other hand, requires the counsellor to be fully present within the relationship as someone who never wishes to hold more power than the client. Therefore, the relationship is an equal one in which the counsellor strives always to foster and nurture the clients sense of personal power. This, hopefully, increasing sense of personal power over the clients own life is the only ‘goal’ which the person centred counsellor has.
It must be also said that the client has the absolute right (and in a way this is also personal power) to decide whether or not they wish to move towards this attainment of self power.The person centred counsellor trusts the client to know when and how (or not) to embrace personal power. He/She accepts it is the client who is ultimately the ‘expert’ over their own lives.
Person centred counselling provides the client with the opportunity to have a deep and meaningful relationship based on genuine warmth, regard and acceptance. Through such a relationship the client can gradually begin to explore difficult facets of their experience which are challenging to their self-concept.
This has been an extremely brief focus on person centred counselling and due to its brevity, cannot hope to adequately convey the deep humanity and compassion the approach it engenders; both in relation to client and counsellor.