What is Unconditional positive regard?
It is a commitment from the counsellor to the client that the client is accepted completely and non-judgementally, where the client can explore positive and negative content without the fear of being judged or rejected. The client does not have to ‘earn’ the counsellor’s respect or regard, they are freely given.
How does empathy help me?
When someone is able to put themselves into your ‘shoes’ and reflect back your experience accurately and with the same level of feeling, it can be a tremendous relief that someone else understands and can mirror your experience back accurately can also allow you to see it from a more objective place, therefore providing a unique window into yourself that allows you to see things from a different perspective.
How will I know what to do? If the counsellor waits for me, they could wait forever, I’m stuck, that’s why I need to see someone!
If you’re stuck, the counsellor works with the stuckness and all those frustrated feelings. When you are able to see from a different perspective through the mirror reflected, you surprise yourself with your ability to find solutions or realise there is none and then acceptance is the key.
I want someone to tell me what to do, give me answers, not just passively listen.
The therapeutic relationship is not passive. The therapist is fully engaged and actively listening. Being offered a solution feels so tempting but another person’s solution is their perspective on your problem, not yours!
I want an expert, I would feel reassured by their expertise.
Our counsellors have had a minimum of 4 years training and receive supervision to monitor their practice, they are highly trained professionals who have experienced clinical work in practice and seen it work. Often clients surprise themselves. It is easy to offer advice, but it is far more life nurturing to enable someone to discover their own internal resources, which they can then rely upon again. This is a highly developed, non intrusive skill.