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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

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

#### Introduction to Person-Centred Counselling
Person-centred counselling, also known as client-centred or Rogerian therapy, is a humanistic approach developed by Carl Rogers. This therapeutic method emphasizes creating a supportive environment where clients can discover and utilize their strengths and potential for self-healing.

#### 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 Grief

##### 1. **Providing a Safe and Accepting Space for Expression**
- **Evidence**: Research shows that having a safe space to express emotions is crucial for processing grief (Neimeyer, 2016).
- **Mechanism**: Person-centred counselling creates a supportive environment where clients can openly express their grief without fear of judgment. This emotional release is essential for processing and coping with loss.

##### 2. **Facilitating Emotional Awareness and Understanding**
- **Evidence**: Studies indicate that greater emotional awareness and understanding can aid in the grief process (Shear et al., 2005).
- **Mechanism**: Through empathy and active listening, person-centred counselling helps clients become more aware of their emotions and understand the complexity of their grief. This increased awareness can lead to more effective coping and resolution of grief.

##### 3. **Promoting Self-Acceptance and Reducing Self-Blame**
- **Evidence**: Self-acceptance and reduced self-blame are linked to better grief outcomes (Neimeyer et al., 2006).
- **Mechanism**: Person-centred counselling fosters self-acceptance through unconditional positive regard. Clients learn to be more compassionate towards themselves, which can reduce feelings of guilt or self-blame often associated with grief.

##### 4. **Empowering Clients and Encouraging Personal Growth**
- **Evidence**: Empowerment in therapy has been shown to facilitate personal growth following grief (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).
- **Mechanism**: The non-directive nature of person-centred counselling empowers clients to explore their grief journey at their own pace. This empowerment can lead to personal growth and finding new meaning after loss.

##### 5. **Building Resilience and Coping Skills**
- **Evidence**: Developing resilience and effective coping strategies is crucial for managing grief (Bonanno, 2004).
- **Mechanism**: Person-centred counselling helps clients identify and build on their strengths and resources. By recognizing their inner strengths, clients can develop healthier coping mechanisms, increasing their resilience in the face of loss.

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

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


1. Neimeyer, R. A. (2016). *Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved*. Routledge.
2. Shear, M. K., Frank, E., Houck, P. R., & Reynolds, C. F. (2005). Treatment of complicated grief: A randomized controlled trial. *JAMA*, 293(21), 2601-2608.
3. Neimeyer, R. A., Baldwin, S. A., & Gillies, J. (2006). Continuing bonds and reconstructing meaning: Mitigating complications in bereavement. *Death Studies*, 30(8), 715-738.
4. Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. *Psychological Inquiry*, 15(1), 1-18.
5. Bonanno, G. A. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? *American Psychologist*, 59(1), 20-28.

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