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3 Foundation blocks of the person-centred approach

3 Foundation blocks of the person-centred approach

January 2017 Newsletter from La Jolla Program

 

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2017.

These extracts are taken from an article by Jerold D. Bozarth.

There are three basic premises of the person-centred approach that identify it as a therapeutic paradigm different from other therapy and growth activating approaches.

These underlying premises are:

1. That the actualising tendency and the formative tendency are the foundation blocks of the person-centred approach and combined is the only motivating force.

2. That the individual is always his own best expert and authority on his life and

3. That the only role of the therapist is that of embodying and communicating certain attitudinal qualities. That is, the intent of the therapist is to be who he is while embodying the attitudinal qualities in order to promote the clients actualising processes.

Rogers was explicit about the foundation of the approach in many of his writings. For example, Rogers(1986) succinctly states:

"The person-centred approach, then, is primarily a way of being which finds its expression in attitudes and behaviour that create a growth promoting climate. It is a basic philosophy rather than a technique or method. When this philosophy is lived, it helps the person to expand the development of his own capacities. When it is lived, it also stimulates others. It empowers the individual, and when this personal power is sensed, experiences show that it tends to be used for personal and social transformation."

The essence of the person-centred philosophy in leadership includes giving autonomy to persons in groups, freeing them to "do their thing" ( i.e, expressing their own ideas and feelings as one aspect of the group data),facilitating learning, stimulating independence in thought and action, accepting the "unacceptable " innovative creations that emerge, offering feedback and accepting it, encouraging and relying on self-evaluation, and finding reward in the development and achievement of others.

In short, trust in the natural growth process of humans is the sine qua non of the approach.  The basic premise is an operational premise.

Rogers’ (1978) dedication to the basic premise of the actualising tendency of individuals and formative tendency of the universe is reflected in his comments when he stated, "The one thing that probably remains unchanged for me is trust in the fact that there is a group wisdom. I can really trust the group and trust the process.” He elaborated further upon the importance of the principles of the person-centred approach while working with groups:

"That's one of the duties of learning to be truly empathic. You may not have known that this would occur- or that would crop up- but your whole mind-set is a readiness to understand, to try to grasp what it is that has meaning for the person at this point and that gets across to the group- the desire to understand...The whole aim is to relinquish any attempt to control the outcome, to control the direction, to control the mood."

Rogers' summarisation is also appropriate here. He said:

"I'm asking myself, how can I be ready for the unexpected? Can I really be open? Can I really be open to any clue that might open up doors of new understanding? That's the way to approach a group also."

References.

Bozarth J.D (1988) The Person-Centred Large Community Group.

Rogers C.R (1970) On Encounter Groups.api

Rogers C.R (1986) A client-centred, person-centred approach to therapy. In J.L Kutash &A.Wolf Eds, A Psychotherapist's Casebook.

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Launch of a new Person-Centred Encounter Group

The first meeting of the Central London Person-Centred Encounter Group will be on Saturday 18th March 2017. It is open to anyone interested in the person-centred approach and aims to offer trainees, counsellors and therapists an opportunity to come together for support and personal and professional development. We now have a venue and a new Facebook group which will help us to communicate with everyone who want to come along. Maybe one day we will have a website – but early days!

The encounter group meetings will not be facilitated, but will be unstructured and will develop each month according to what people bring and want to focus on. We are hoping to have the opportunity for occasional guest speakers and themes if this is something that the group would find helpful. The aim is to offer a confidential space, allowing people the chance to be open and share their experiences, challenges and beliefs in a safe, accepting and warm environment. We look forward to discussing with others their ideas for the group and the direction to take.

Meetings will be for 2.5 hours and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates will be available on request.

The group will meet on the third Saturday of every month from 10.30am to 1pm, with the first meeting on Saturday 18th March 2017. The cost for each meeting is £5 and includes refreshments.

To join or find out more please sign up to the Central London BAPCA Facebook group or email [email protected]

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Coventry encounter day

Coventry encounter

(updated 17/12/16)

Coventry's BAPCA local group would like to invite you to a day of encounter, based at the Quaker meeting house on 25th February. 10.30-4.30

The venue is 0.7 miles from the rail station, and several (7!) buses run from the rail station to the bottom of the road the meeting house is on. There is limited parking at the venue, but on-street paid parking and a multi-storey car park near by.

BAPCA will provide a range of teas, coffee and cold drinks (and maybe a biscuit or two), and we ask that you bring your own lunch, either just for you, or as a bring and share. As a bring-and-share, please make sure it's clearly labelled.

This is a self-structured day of encounter, which is facilitated non-directively. This means that we (BAPCA trustees) won't be dictating the structure or the content beyond the start and finish time. This day is open to members and non-members of BAPCA and we actively hope that non-members will come along and be involved.

The kitchen and downstairs food area will be open at all times.

 

Please feel free to pay online here

Accessibility

The meeting house has a loop and a microphone available for use, and the ground floor has an accessible toilet. There is a small ramp up to the main door and in the building, the coffee area has a small ramp (or one step down) within it, and a stair lift (in the style of a Stannah lift) between the ground floor and the main meeting room.

We recognise that cost is prohibitive to some people and we'd like this to be as little of an issue as we can manage. Therefore, we are making a number of grants available per event. The grants are available for the full cost of the attendance price (£20 for members/£40 for non-members) and 90% of your travel cost, up to a maximum for £100 total. So - if your ticket cost is £40 and your travel is £70 we will cover £100. If your ticket cost is £40 and your travel is £50 we will cover £85 total. Equally, if you would like to pay something, but feel you cannot afford all of it, you can ask for this as well - just drop me an email.

For most people, you might well be able to pay in advance and claim your bursary back on the day/via phone with Di. And that's fine. But you might also need the money in advance. This is also possible - please drop me a line as below.

If you have any questions, please send LJ an email. If you'd like to book, please give Di a call on 01600 891508

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WAPCEPC Scientific Committee Questionnaire about Research

The WAPCEPC Scientific Committee invites PCE researchers to join our effort to create and to organize a research database so we are sending a questionnaire in order to gather the information. Those who have never answered the questionnaire, this is a great opportunity to do so; for those who previously answered the questionnaire, this is a time when you can update the information about your ongoing projects and new research interests.

This database will allow us to link and liaise with research initiatives, support PCE conference organizers and identify interest groups, creating a network of information for researchers, research consultants and practitioners.  This information will also maintain and keep updated research pages of the WAPCEPC website and explore further editions of PCE works and future publications.

If you want to participate, please fill in and submit the this form to [email protected]  by February the 28th, 2017. You can also send the form to other colleagues to be completed as well.

We appreciate your time and effort to contribute to our goals.

 

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Write for us!

Hi everyone,

 

It's that time of the year again, when we ask if anyone has anything they want to write or create for us. Last month we had some beautiful art from Lynne Blundell as well as some poetry. Members can catch up with old editions online, or just not recycle their paper versions! We've also had crosswords and there will be a wordsearch in this quarter's edition. 

 

Whatever your fancy - if it's person-centered, and you're feeling creative, please feel free to create something for us. You can send it to Sara and Mort at [email protected], or Sara at [email protected] who would both be glad to receive submissions.

 

This month of course, will include the six winners (and new members) of our BAPCA competition and I hope you'll agree with me that they make for great reading! There is always room for more however, and you would be welcome to send something for the summer edition if you wish!

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Finding balance, healing and connection through art and counselling

- By Lynne Blundell

There are four themes that pervade my life; learning to love myself, personal growth, a yearning for peace and the ubiquitous difficulties that arise between the internal mind and the external world. It is no wonder then, that one of my first paintings that brought together my counselling work and love of art involved the Carl Rogers’ quote; “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.” (Rogers, 2004, p.17) I still struggle with this paradox and my journey, I suspect like many, is one that involves creating space in life where self-acceptance, personal growth and resting in self-care are all somehow held, perhaps gently juggled or nestled somewhere together, within.

Rogers - curious paradox

 I am a trainee person-centred counsellor, currently in my second year of a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and I am also an artist; painter, mum and writer amongst other things. I have my own art business that I started up 3 years ago and is still in the early stages of growth. I wanted to write this piece to share some of my work in the hope that it comforts and inspires but also to talk about how my art has naturally evolved into a way to connect with people that struggle with mental health. Art is also part of my own personal development and I feel that this journey through art exemplifies self-actualisation in its subtleties. 

When I began to create art, something that I would often ask myself was “What does your art do Lynne?” and I floundered trying to find a coherent and useful answer. Art was originally something I used to aid my own counselling that I had some years ago to deal with long term abuse, depression, anxiety and trauma. I began expressing in paintings how I felt and what I wanted my life to look like, trying to create in pictures what I couldn’t see or feel in reality and to express what I could feel. It was entirely self-directed; expressionistic and abstract in quality. I had no official training in painting, I just...began. 

I have come to love and prefer this exploratory method as it is congruent with my person-centred value of trusting our own internal voice. There can be a place for learning techniques and skills but I have found that an emphasis on instinct and embracing myself as a feeling being is fundamental in the process of creating. So when I opened my art business I was still in the stage of art being about me and my expression. What my art did was provide me with an outlet for my emotions, visions, thoughts and in all honesty: it was an attempt to make some money for my son and me, whilst I was training as a counsellor and trying to find some ground upon which to build a future. I have had a good deal of successes throughout the past three years; painting commissions, hosting my own exhibition, having my work appear in various galleries and some sales along the way but I am always striving to answer that question: In a world of so many creative and talented people, what can my art and art in general do? 

During the last three years I have also worked part-time in a rehabilitation centre for addiction and trauma, which was a wonderful opportunity that came along serendipitously and I learnt a great deal from it. I was able to work with some inspiring people and sit alongside them on their recovery journey. Taking a person-centred approach in group work we would tentatively use art and poetry to explore emotions and hopes for their futures. We know from verbal and written feedback that clients found creating art and exploring art, enabled them to be present, find some peace and express themselves; create an external visual that embodied or bridged the gap between their inner and outer worlds

During that time my own art went through what I would call a fermenting period: I didn’t paint a great deal but I was absorbing and learning from people and practice.  I decided to leave my job at the rehabilitation clinic due to a desire and need to manage my own mental and physical health, focusing on my future as a counsellor and artist. Again managing my own life seems an ongoing process; through constant self-reflection, I find I need to consistently monitor my own health in order to be able to care for others.

 In the last year and quite organically; through becoming comfortable with acrylic painting, I started using watercolours. I was ready to explore different media and play with something I was unsure about and had always thought was very ‘wishy-washy’. Challenging my own tacit judgements, I discovered that the unpredictable way the colour would seep and merge reminded me of how life events are often interwoven, beautiful and random. There is a reassuring consistency in the way that the paint can be autonomous and sometimes unpredictable. For me this mirrors life and the counselling process; the relationship between myself and the paint, the counsellor and the client; allowing creativity to emerge in the space and being accepting of what is. Through this experimentation and a desire to find words to comfort my soul I began writing words for my paintings. I am also an avid collector of quotes through my love of reading and use these in my paintings. So, I finally started to answer the question “What does my art do?”

There are aspects of myself that still need healing, care, expression and encouragement and these paintings are a personal reminder to me to look after myself. But they are also attempt to make visible, words that might be whispering in others’ hearts, words that might resonate. They are an attempt at expressing and connecting internal experiences. I publish most of my work primarily on Twitter, Facebook, and my website and when requested, I print postcards and archival quality prints of the paintings. I have found that the watercolour paintings with words are some of the most popular and purchased pieces of work. I believe this is because they voice the gentlest and sometimes most painful parts of ourselves; giving our struggles, external expression of honesty and hope through the difficulties we can all face at times. 

In my experience, one of the sneakiest aspects of depression and anxiety is how it can shut down a person’s world, at times paralysing energy, crushing hope and leaving them despairing. Particularly in the world of social media, where people are exposed to so many opinions and success stories, it can be difficult to stay attuned to our own internal locus of evaluation. It can appear at times that we are not now communicating and building relationships with people, but simply observers of people’s narratives, commentaries on their own lives. It is a dangerous paradigm where worthiness is measured by numbers of ‘likes’. However, I do also see people reaching out to one another, supporting one another; compassionate people searching for connection. People sometimes share my work through social media and it gives me hope that it will help someone in a small way and maybe even in big unknown ways too! I believe art can ‘assuage the anxiety of separateness’ (Rogers, 2004, p.356).

One of the challenges I face as a counsellor, artist and single parent (or ‘whole parent’ as I like to say) is how to hold my internal passions and compassion for people close to my heart whilst striving for financial stability and meeting the external expectations that the society places on me. A struggle for balance is always present. When I began my journey in counselling and from there my journey as an artist, I didn’t really have a specific plan and any plan that I did have has often been derailed and taken many colourful turns. It is sometimes tempting to start from a position of needing to change and grow as maybe clients do when they enter counselling. They want to move from pain to pleasure, out of sadness to happiness. However, the ‘curious paradox’ is true; by way of being present and accepting of self, there is somehow a subtle shifting and life naturally changes. When I really listen to my voice, sit with where I am, embrace what I love and express that, magic can happen.

For me it has become clear that counselling is one of the most precious ways a person can heal, by being seen and heard, prized and understood. Creating the space that allows someone to look within and the gravity of what occurs in that space can be quite magical and it can change people’s lives as I’m sure many of you know even more than me at this stage in my learning. There are still too many people on waiting lists, people unable to access support, people that struggle alone, unable to reach out for a multitude of reasons. I hope that in some way by sharing my artwork I can connect with people and that they find comfort and inspiration in their painful and lonely moments. In the same way I hope that as a counsellor, committed to continued personal development, understanding people’s needs and through practice of the person-centred approach, I can help people in their struggles. Unconditional positive regard, empathy, connection and congruence are truly the cornerstones of all my work.

My hope is that art becomes more of a way of helping people to express the pain and hope that they cannot put into words. A way for people to find comfort and soothing of their souls in this often bittersweet world. I have recently been able to share my artwork in a local school and work with the children to discover what art means for them and how to express themselves through this medium. In our first session I asked the children who would consider themselves as ‘an artist’; five children (out of twenty-six) raised their hands. I asked them again at the end of our five sessions together, which modelled a person-centred approach and twenty-one of the children raised their hands. Having carried out qualitative and quantitative research I know this result is open to interpretation and scrutiny, but the difference in numbers, their expressed confidence, excitement and self-definition was significant and this brought me joy. Hopefully by encouraging them to listen to their inner voice and expression from an early age, we will make a small drop in a large ocean of humans that desperately need confidence in themselves as the artistic directors of their own lives.

I am looking forward to the rest of my diploma and the years beyond; enjoying my art and becoming a fully trained art therapist one day but I am staying open to discovering what the years ahead hold. Rogers himself wrote ‘My attitude is very well expressed by Max Weber, the artist, when he says “In carrying on my own humble creative effort, I depend greatly upon that which I do not yet know, and upon that which I have not yet done.”’ (Rogers, 2004, p.23) and this I echo looking towards my own future. If you’d like to share your experiences with art and creativity; personally or professionally, please contact me by email or through any of the social media channels below. Finally, if you feel any of my work can be useful for your practice and clients, would like to collaborate or have any thoughts or feelings you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.

 

Lynne Blundell BA (Hons) Phil & Psych

You can find me on Facebook,TwitterInstagram and my website: http://www.lynneblundellart.com

 

 

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Encounter weekend

Gregnyog Hall 2017 Encounter Event - News from Encounter events

Dear all, we have had the following from Encounter events and are posting it up here for anyone interested in next year's encounter event: Wednesday 5 - Sunday 9 July

"Following on from the very successful, ADPCA affiliated, 2016 event in Nottingham, we are pleased to announce that the 2017 Person-Centred Encounter Event will take place in the beautiful and highly accessible, Gregynog Hall, near Newtown, Powys. The hall is surrounded by 750 acres of grounds, giving a perfect, tranquil setting for encounter. In addition to the conference room, we are able to make use of two lounge areas.

The person-centred basic encounter group provides opportunity for both person-centred meeting and developing person-centred being. “In such a group the individual comes to know himself and each of the others more completely than is possible in the usual social or working relationships.” (Rogers, C. 1969, Encounter Groups, p16). This experiential event offers a self-structured, self-facilitated space where learning relating to encounter can be gained. It offers the potential to develop a more person-centred way of being, through offering space to develop greater congruence and deeper understanding of both person-centred and encounter theory

All our events are not-for-profit with any surplus going back into future events. The pricing for this year's event is as follows:

           

 Early Bird (ends 31 Jan 2017)Full Rate (from 1 Feb 2017)
Day Rate (excluding dinner) 50 70
24-Hour Rate (full board) 99 110
Full Event (full board) 392 414

Multi-day bookings attract a discount of £10 for day visitors, £5 per day on the 24-hour rate. Counselling students are offered a special day rate of £45 per day, with no additional multi-day discount, or a reduction of £20 on the full event rate (£10 early bird). You can download the flyer here.

 We are able to offer flexible payments to spread the cost. The earlier you book, the lower the monthly rate:

 

If you book in... November December January February March April May
You need to pay... 49/m 56/m 65.34/m 82.80 103.50/m 138/m 207/m

Book in November and pay less than £50 per month!

You can make payment online, by bank transfer, direct debit and debit or credit card. Limited partial bursaries or extended payment terms may be available, where necessary. Please email Teri and Dave at [email protected] for further details or complete the booking form.

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Save the date for ADPCA 2017

 

We are excited to announce that the annual meeting of the ADPCA will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) from 7 p.m. on Wednesday July 19th through noon on Sunday, July 23rd 2017.   There will be a free pre-conference workshop convened by Marge Witty on Wednesday 7/19 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (with 1.5 hour lunch break).  Dorm and meeting rooms are all located in the UIC Student Center East, 700 South Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607.  Chicago Counseling Associates has applied to offer continuing education credits for psychologists, social workers and counselors.

As in the past, we hope to assist as many as possible for whom conference costs are a barrier. We hope to maintain and vivify the multi-national collaboration that the person-centered approach has long valued. We encourage early registration to help us in planning for scholarships. Registration forms and additional information will be posted on the ADPCA website and sent through the list serves within the next couple of weeks.

We also invite all interested persons to submit ideas for presentations. We would appreciate your initial thoughts as soon as possible, and ask for a working title and proposal by March 31, 2017 so that we can begin compiling the conference program. Whether you wish to offer a formal paper or gather an informal conversation, please send your ideas by email to [email protected]

Conference costs include:

Registration:   $250 USD by check until March 31, 2017, $300 USD beginning April 1, 2017 Add U.S. $10. USD if paying by Paypal

Room:                  $41 USD per person per night in a single occupancy dormitory room $32 USD per person per night, in a double occupancy room

Board:                  Coffee, tea, and rolls will be served each morning in the main conference room. There are also a number of fast food restaurants located within the student center. UIC is located adjacent to Chicago’s famous Little Italy neighborhood that offers a number of great restaurants (all price ranges) within a short walking distance. 

The University’s cafeteria plan may also be available to us as well. Details to follow.

Please feel free to send any questions to [email protected]

We extend a warm welcome to members, friends and colleagues, and look forward to seeing everyone in Chicago next July!

Best Regards,

Susan Pildes, Carolyn Schneider, Tracy Youngblood and the Chicago Conference Committee

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Encounter days

Dear all,

In exciting news, we wanted to share with you a new venture we've started! As you might have guessed from the header, from 2017, BAPCA is going to be holding a series of encounter days. These will be marginally hosted by any local groups who wish to take part (I've approached most of the local groups and have heard back positively from some and waiting to hear from others). What this means is that those groups who say yes will hopefully tell me of organisations in the local area who might let us use their building for a day, and be on hand to point us in the direction of local shops/amenities etc. We're not asking anything onerous (we hope!) and a trustee (CG) member will be on hand to help out (unless otherwise organised in advance with the local group).

So: details.

Cost:

We have not yet formalised costs, and due to the differing prices that each venue across the country is likely to charge, each encounter is possibly going to cost a differing amount. But we think that taking the Coventry event as a marker for example: For BAPCA members, the cost would be £20. For non-members it would be £40. You can pay in advance by calling Di our administrator on 01600 891508 m/w/f 9-3, or you can pay on the day. Paying in advance would help us to know how many people we can expect, but you can also email LJ to update them, whether or not you've paid. As a side note - as a student, if you attend three meetings per year, it would be cheaper to join as a member, and if you're a full paying member, this becomes cheaper on the fourth event. You can also join on the day for the membership discount.

We recognise that for some people, cost+travel would be prohibitive. As a result of this, there will be a small number of grants available per event, available to both members and non-members. They will be up to a maximum of £100, and will account for a maximum 90% of the travel cost, whichever is smaller.

So: if you are a non-member who would like to come, the cost is £40.

Your entry cost is £40. If your travel costs £60, your total cost would be £100. You would receive the grant towards the full price of the attendance (£40) and 90% of the £60 (£54). This would mean your grant would be £94 leaving you to pay £6.

If you wanted a grant as a non-member and your travel cost was £10, you would receive the £40 attendance and £9 towards your travel, making your grant £49 leaving you to pay £1.

If your entry cost is £40 and you wanted to come and your travel cost was £200, you would receive £40 for attendance and £60 for travel, giving you £100 in total leaving you to pay £140.

If you live locally or do not need to pay travel fees, you grant would mean you did not have to pay.

If the events work well, it may be that we can change this arrangement to allow for more grants per event. If you'd like to come and would like to be considered for a grant, please email LJ on the link below.

 

Venues:

So far three local groups have replied with a yes:

  • Coventry
  • Solihull
  • Liverpool (Liverpool are not (maybe not YET) a BAPCA local group, but they have expressed an interest in being part of this)

Dates and times:

The only concrete date we have in the diary currently is 25th February from 10.30-4.30 in Coventry at the Friends meeting house. The building will be open from 10am. The venue is 0.7 miles from the rail station, and several (7!) buses run from the rail station to the bottom of the road the meeting house is on (and cost £1). There is limited parking at the venue, but on-street paid parking and a multi-storey car park near by.

We will provide a range of teas, coffee and cold drinks (and maybe a biscuit or two), and we ask that you bring your own lunch, either just for you, or as a bring and share. As a bring-and-share, please make sure it's clearly labelled.

If you have any questions please email LJ

Stand by for updates from Solihull and Liverpool, and from other local groups! 

 

 

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