‘Counselling and therapy are about relationship, about depth, about extraordinary intimacy. But to what end? So that a person who is suffering can find hope, alleviation of their pain, a sense of meaning and of value, a way forward from stuckness, a way out of darkness into light, a passage from alienation and loneliness into connectedness and communion. You will note that I have not said that counselling and psychotherapy are about remedying anxiety, dispelling depression, overcoming phobias, curing eating disorders, stopping alcohol abuse, teaching stress management, or a hundred and one other problem-solving activities. It can, of course, be all of those things but they will be bonuses, happily associated outcomes of the essential work which is about relationship, intimacy and the restoration of hope and personhood.
Personhood is a key word here because much that passes for counselling and psychotherapy these days seems to have little to do with persons. Human mechanisms perhaps which have become dysfunctional and need repairing, minds which think crookedly and need to be straightened out, behavioural patterns which require correcting – but not persons yearning to be fully alive.’
Brian Thorne – Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment: Bridging Faith and Person-Centred Therapy
(Originally published in ‘A Collision of Worlds (2009)’
This is how we see therapy at this service too. Here’s a link to Brian’s wonderful book:-
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter