PSYCHODYNAMIC & PERSON CENTRED COUNSELLING
Psychodynamic Therapy is one of the oldest forms of therapy. Fathered by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) it has evolved continuously thanks to others such as Melanie Klein, Carl Jung, Donald Winicott, Peter Fonaghy and Alan Schore to name but a few.
How we truly feel and think deep down and our resulting emotional responses are rooted in our unconscious. Uniquely complex , individual dimensions within each of us contribute to who we are, what we think and how we relate to others and to situations/ experiences external to ourselves. More often we proceed through life with chains of reactions that as we experience them, serve us adequately and even fairly well. However, if we struggle with one or more sudden events or traumas, with frequent negative emotions, with ongoing relationship problems, or with depression, anxiety or stress, then “unconscious conflicts” may create serious chronic and apparently irresolvable problems in our lives.
Yet we do not have to feel ruptured beyond repair by one or more event, however long ago it happened. We do not have to feel regularly anxious or fearful, unsettled or stressed, unfulfilled or ill at ease. Through psychodynamic therapy we can revisit and understand significant connections and dynamics between previous emotional wounds and current issues that bring us to therapy. This process is key to long term positive change and growth. It is important to stress the intrinsic importance of Attachment Theory to Psychodynamic theory and practice.
Person Centred Counselling was developed by Carl Rogers (1902-87) and is rooted in the principle that each one of us has the wish and the potential to become our true selves. Rogers contended that the difficulties we feel are caused by an incongruence between what feels 'right' within our selves and how easily this sits (or does not sit) in the external world which formed us from childhood, and in which we live, relate and operate.
Self-acceptance and acceptance of others is achievable if we open ourselves to becoming our true selves, a process Rogers borrowed from Abraham Maslow ( 1908-70), termed 'self actualization'. This kind of personal development enables each of us to become what Rogers terms, a fully functioning person.
Rogers believed a counsellor could assist a person self actualize by assuring them the 'core conditions' needed for growth, namely: congruence, unconditional, positive regard and empathy. In such a counselling environment the empowerment provided a client would enable them to emerge feeling more congruent within and in relation to the world they inhabit. As such, the client heals themselves because of the core conditions that teh counselling experience has provided