‘In the last year of his life Carl Rogers give a remarkable interview to Michele Baldwin on the use of self in therapy. It would seem that Rogers was in a particularly expansive mood, and although he could not have known it at the time, the interview is in many ways his final testimony….
He begins by recalling his relationship with a schizophrenic man in Wisconsin. The climactic point in the relationship was when Rogers, faced with the man’s despair and his indifference to whether he lived or died, said, ‘I realise that you don’t care about yourself, but I want you to know that I care about you and I care what happens to you’. The effect on the man was instantaneous and he broke into sobs for ten or fifteen minutes. The therapy then took an altogether more positive turn. Rogers ponders on this incident and reflects that it was when he came to the man ‘as a person’ and expressed his feelings for him that a real impact was made. This, in turn, prompts Rogers to wonder whether in his writings he had perhaps ‘stressed too much the three basic conditions of congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding’. ‘Perhaps,’ he says, ‘it is something round the edges of those conditions that is really the most important element of therapy – when my self is very clearly, obviously present.’ ‘
The Mystical Power of Person-Centred Therapy: Hope Beyond Despair – Brian Thorne
(Quoting from The Use of Self in Therapy – Michele Baldwin)
In our view and experience – and whether you make sense of it in terms of the core conditions, or a person’s ability to be visible and present in relationship – it is love that heals…
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Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994