Why I am a counsellor?
I chose to train to be a counsellor initially because I had benefitted so much from working with a counsellor myself. I became more authentically myself and I am in an ongoing process of becoming more authentically myself. Becoming more authentic has helped me realise that part of who I am is someone who wants to help and connect with other people. It means a great deal to me to be able to support others to grow towards their potential in a similar way.
Why the person-centred approach?
The person-centred approach seems to me to be the most respectful of people’s expertise on their own lives. Person-centred counselling / psychotherapy was developed by Carl Rogers and his colleagues in the USA from the 1930s to the 1960s and continues to be developed by others today. Rogers based his approach on what he observed in many thousands of hours of what was helpful for people in therapy rather than starting with a theory and then testing it out. He was the first to record sessions and analyse what seemed to be helpful for people. He discovered that rather than techniques or ‘treatments’ it was particular qualities in the relationship between the two people which facilitated therapeutic change. These include particular attitudes of the therapist.
Why I am a pcsr member?
I am a member of ‘Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility’ (pcsr) which is about ‘Locating Psychotherapy and Counselling in a Socio-Political Context’ (http://pcsr-uk.ning.com) I joined because I am all too aware of how the gross inequality in our society not only causes a great deal of psychological distress but limits access to psychological therapies according to income which in turn relates to ‘difference and diversity’ in other ways.
I am supportive of pcsr’s campaign to address the ethnic and cultural imbalance in counselling and psychotherapy training so that people from representative ethnic backgrounds are able to train as counsellors and therapists. I hope this would increase access for more ethnically diverse clients.
I am deeply concerned about capitalist western culture’s disconnection with our environment. I have done CPD in this area with pcsr and in working outside as a way of beginning to help people connect with our environment. This can be a way to connect with our authentic selves too.
Why I am a BACP member?
I am a member of BACP because it has a set of ethical principles and values within which I am happy to work. It has been and continues to be important for me to know that I can benefit from the deep consideration the likes of Tim Bond has given ethics in counselling. I love his description of counselling as ‘ethics in action’ I hope this gives people confidence in knowing that I am working in a thoroughly considered way in terms of ethics.