What Is Person-centred Couples Therapy, And How Can It Help?

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What is person-centred couples therapy, and how can it help?

Finding couples therapy for the first time can be daunting, and finding out more about the types of therapy techniques that may be offered to you can help you feel more prepared. Person-centred couples therapy, also known as client-centred, or Rogerian therapy, focuses on helping each partner to understand themselves and each other to a greater extent.

Here, we explain what is involved in person-centred couples therapy, how it can help and what to expect.

What is person-centred couples therapy, and what does it consist of?

Developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940s, person-centred couples therapy offers an alternative approach to couples counselling that empowers and motivates the client. As opposed to traditional therapy viewing the therapeutic process as a way of improving, modifying or abolishing certain thoughts and behaviors, the client-centred couples therapy approach emphasises a person’s potential as an individual. The therapy is based on Rogers’s belief that every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential.

When applied to couples therapy, person-centred couples therapy holds the belief that when you gain a better understanding of yourself and your partner, you can better understand how you function within the scope of a relationship with another person. This process encourages honesty and openness with your partner, improving communication and views you as the experts on yourselves. Person-centred couples therapy can help you to understand the relationship between how your partner views themselves and how they view your relationship.

Are you struggling to understand what issues are impacting your relationship? Contact us today to find out how we can help.

The aims of person-centred couples therapy

Moment-by-moment empathy allows client reflection and connection. Person-centred couples therapy aims to:

  • Improve the communication between both partners, viewing each partner as the expert on themselves and their relationship.
  • To encourage speaking honestly and openly.
  • Help clients realise their self-concept and that of their partner to understand how each sees themselves. For example, one partner may have an unhealthy self-image, which may cause concerns within the relationship due to their unhappiness with themselves. The other partner being aware of this could help them to empathise with their partner and have a greater understanding of their relationship.
  • To help clients get a better understanding of themselves.

Could you and your partner benefit from overcoming these issues? Find out how we can help today.

What does a person-centred couples counselling session consist of?

Rather than the therapist guiding the patient’s session, such as in more traditional variations of therapy, they instead allow the individual seeking help to direct the flow of their sessions and support them along the way as the client leads to session. As opposed to traditional couples therapy, the client themselves chooses what to discuss and at what pace they would like to address their issues in a client-centred session. The couples therapist supports the individual as they discuss their issues and independently reach conclusions.

In a person-centred couples therapy session, each client is viewed as an individual person, rather than just their problems.

Is the person-centred couples therapy method ideal for you?

While you may be looking for a therapist that specialises in person-centred therapy; you should first bear in mind that this therapy technique will only be used if a therapist feels this is the right option for you and your partner. Your therapist will be experienced in determining the best technique for each client.

The person-centred method can be particularly helpful for the following:

  • If you struggle to communicate with your partner.
  • If you don’t have a good understanding of how your partner feels about themselves and your relationship.
  • If you find it hard to be open and honest in your relationship.

How do you prepare for your first therapy session?

Before starting couples therapy, it is important to consider your goals and gain an understanding of what to expect when therapy starts.

In your first person-focused couples therapy session, your therapist will touch on the following questions:

  • What are the relationship problems that led to you seeking therapy?
  • What goals do you have for counselling?
  • What obstacles can you see to these goals?

Find out more about what to expect from your first therapy session here.

How British CBT and counselling can help

We specialize in a range of couples therapy techniques – one of which is person-centred couples therapy. Our therapists will assess what therapy technique is the best option for you depending on your problems and circumstances. To find out more about how we can help, please get in touch or read more about our couples counselling services here. We understand that this can be a difficult time for you, so we will show care and compassion throughout any communication with you.

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