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DEPRESSION AND THE PERSON CENTRED APPROACH

The philosophy underpinning person centred counselling.

This approach has three distinctive philosophical beliefs: Humanism, existentialism and phenomenology.  To generalise, they assume that people have within themselves the capacity for truth and goodness, and have the fundamental human motivation for self fulfilment or self actualisation.  People have free will, and since there are no universal guide lines or rules to live by or make decisions, life is seen as a series of choices.  The only important meaning which can be put on life is that which is put on it by the individual living it.   Lastly, there is a belief that in counselling the only important reality is the one that each of us experiences.

Carl Rogers' Main Ideas

depression

### Evidence-Based Approach to Person-Centred Counselling for Depression

#### Introduction to Person-Centred Counselling
Person-centred counselling, also known as client-centred or Rogerian therapy, is a therapeutic approach developed by Carl Rogers. This method emphasizes the importance of creating a supportive, empathetic, and non-judgmental environment where clients can explore their feelings and experiences. The core belief is that individuals have an inherent capacity for self-understanding and personal growth.

#### Core Principles of Person-Centred Counselling
1. **Unconditional Positive Regard**: The therapist provides a non-judgmental and accepting environment, fostering the client’s self-acceptance.
2. **Empathy**: The therapist deeply understands and shares the feelings of the client, helping them feel understood and less isolated.
3. **Congruence**: The therapist is genuine and transparent with the client, encouraging authenticity in the client.

#### How Person-Centred Counselling Helps with Depression

##### 1. **Creating a Supportive and Accepting Environment**
- **Evidence**: Research highlights the importance of a strong therapeutic alliance in the treatment of depression. Studies indicate that the quality of the therapist-client relationship is a significant predictor of treatment outcomes (Wampold & Imel, 2015).
- **Mechanism**: Person-centred counselling provides a safe, accepting space where clients can openly discuss their feelings without fear of judgment. This supportive environment helps alleviate feelings of loneliness and rejection, which are common in depression.

##### 2. **Enhancing Self-Acceptance and Reducing Self-Criticism**
- **Evidence**: High levels of self-criticism are closely linked to depression. Studies show that reducing self-criticism can significantly decrease depressive symptoms (Blatt, 2004).
- **Mechanism**: Through unconditional positive regard, clients learn to view themselves more compassionately. This reduction in self-criticism can lead to improvements in self-esteem and overall mood.

##### 3. **Fostering Emotional Awareness and Expression**
- **Evidence**: Improved emotional awareness and expression are associated with reduced depressive symptoms. Research indicates that emotional processing is crucial for overcoming depression (Greenberg & Watson, 2006).
- **Mechanism**: By becoming more aware of and expressing their emotions, clients can process underlying issues contributing to their depression. This emotional processing can lead to relief from depressive symptoms and a better understanding of personal challenges.

##### 4. **Empowering Clients and Promoting Autonomy**
- **Evidence**: Empowerment and a sense of control are important factors in recovering from depression. Studies highlight the role of personal agency in improving mental health outcomes (Ryan & Deci, 2000).
- **Mechanism**: Clients gain confidence in their ability to manage their mental health as they learn to trust their judgment and utilize their resources. This empowerment can reduce feelings of helplessness and enhance motivation.

##### 5. **Building Resilience and Coping Skills**
- **Evidence**: Developing resilience and effective coping strategies is crucial for managing depression. Research shows that resilience training can significantly reduce depressive symptoms (Southwick & Charney, 2012).
- **Mechanism**: By recognizing their inner strengths, clients can develop healthier coping mechanisms. This increased resilience helps them handle future challenges more effectively, reducing the likelihood of depressive episodes.

#### Conclusion
Person-centred counselling offers a compassionate, empathetic, and non-judgmental environment that is particularly effective for individuals experiencing depression. By fostering self-acceptance, enhancing emotional awareness, empowering clients, and building resilience, this therapeutic approach can lead to significant reductions in depressive symptoms and improvements in overall well-being.

For more detailed information and references to studies, please visit our resources page or contact our team of experienced therapists.

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**References**:
1. Wampold, B. E., & Imel, Z. E. (2015). *The Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work*. Routledge.
2. Blatt, S. J. (2004). *Experiences of Depression: Theoretical, Clinical, and Research Perspectives*. American Psychological Association.
3. Greenberg, L. S., & Watson, J. C. (2006). *Emotion-Focused Therapy for Depression*. American Psychological Association.
4. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. *American Psychologist*, 55(1), 68-78.
5. Southwick, S. M., & Charney, D. S. (2012). *Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges*. Cambridge University Press.

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