Last night was my fifth session in therapy, I had recently undergone a module on my course of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and I became quite strong in my beliefs that CBT was the answer in therapy and a more person-centred approach, which my style, is not as effective.
However, I went to my therapy with quite a specific issue that had been causing me some distress, a problem that I had no intention of discussing before I started the sessions last month (because it had not arisen at the start). I needed answers and solutions – something a person-centred therapist won’t give.
Anyway, my counsellor provided me with empathy and warmth, a safe environment and a non-judgemental area that felt safe in and I began talking about my problem. When I began talking I seemed to feel some release from these deep-seated worries that I had upon entering the session. My counsellor offered some very good questions which helped clarify that she was listening and we were on the same page.
I came up with a small solution to my problem, this solution was already in my awareness but I began to see it in a different light and it became much clearer to me. I also was able to look at my situation from another angle, like with another set of eyes. This was with no advice from the counsellor.
My therapist is person-centred and to feel that it works was a kind of revelation to me – I have read the books and attended the lectures but to see it working first had was very good. So, with a combination of accurate questioning, good summaries and a brilliant listening ear I was able to express how I was really feeling.
I feel my listening ability is my key strength and its one that I have really worked on since I began my work in this field.
To know that a person-centred approach is valid for certain people at certain times gave me great confidence in my abilities and my qualification. That said I have taken on board some of the CBT training and have this in my tool box ready for when it is required.