How I work

I work by listening attentively and without judging what you choose to tell me.

Roisin Elder, Counsellor

I accompany you as you reveal to me, and to yourself, the problems you have already identified and want to work with, and help bring more awareness to them.  I can help you shine a light on your thoughts, perhaps to gently uncover more awareness to help you move forward.

I can help you find the moments of relief, and hold with empathy the moments of deepest grief.  I will try to steady you when you are unsteady and try to accompany you to the deepest places you want to go to in your search for peace of mind.

I can contain  and help you contain whatever the most personal and secret matters you want to work with are.

“The journey of the heart is radical and revolutionary and requires you, exactly as you are, in all your chaotic glory.”  Matt Litaca

I work in the Person Centred approach, which is completely centred around your experience.

“When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another.”   Dr Carl Rogers, founder of the Person Centred Approach

Here is more information about the approach, if you are interested.

Person-centred therapy harnesses your natural self-healing process. In good relationship with a therapist, you can decide what you want to do with your life. In this way person-centred therapy is a personal growth model, also known as non-directive therapy. You aren’t  taught the model of therapy or asked to do homework.

I love to use this approach because I want to work in a genuine relationship with people. I find it the most respectful and empowering, leading to greater self-determination and autonomy in the client.

Increasing your awareness

The idea is to gently explore what may be true to yourself and what belongs to external attitudes, and to become more aware of the difference, and of what you think and feel; to become more expert in evaluating and positively running your own life.

You are encouraged to self-create a healthy sense of yourself while also increasing awareness of your external circumstances and the choices you have. My skill is in facilitating this and supporting you while you describe, and also discover the world according to you.

The relationship of trust

This is most possible when you are in a trusting relationship with your therapist who is gently facilitating changes to cherished views of self and others, to allow for growth and change.

Trust is developed through the counsellor not imposing agendas or directing you, the client, but  by ‘prizing’ the client’s perceptions, without judgement or evaluation, and with empathy -trying to understand everything from your point of view while showing care and consideration.

Confidentiality is assured. I work within the ethical framework of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Background of the Person Centred approach

This approach, that each of us can find our own way with compassionate support, was discovered and developed by Dr Carl Rogers in the mid-late 20th century. It was revolutionary then to prize the client so highly but it has become the common ground in most psychological approaches today.

Therapeutic change

Research shows that the engagement of the client with their therapy, and a trusting relationship between counsellor and client are actually the most important aspects of therapy – more important than the type of therapy or the qualifications of the therapist to achieve a good therapeutic outcome. The gentle and empathetic nature of the person centred approach is proved to be most helpful towards building this therapeutic relationship and this is why I choose to work in this way.

 “We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.’  Dr Carl Rogers, founder of the Person Centred Approach.

The person-centred counsellor is therefore trained to offer Rogers “core conditions” of support, outlined below. If the client can experience these things there fertile ground for therapeutic change towards peace of mind.

Rogers’ core conditions for the person centred approach

  1. Unconditional Positive Regard – means respecting the client’s point of view, not judging, but genuinely valuing them. Sometimes called “prizing” the client.
  2. Empathy – the counsellor trying to understand the client’s point of view, of trying to stay in the client’s “frame of reference”, and attempts to really stay alongside the client without directing them away from their own experience. 
  3. Congruence – This means the therapist is a genuine person with self-awareness, and also is genuine with the client. 

If you are interested to learn more there is plenty online. It is not necessary for you to know about the approach for it to work, and you are not required to study, read or do homework, but simply to talk with  me, your therapist.

‘People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.’   Dr Carl Rogers