In order for personal growth to take place it is vital that the six sufficient conditions are present with three of these being the core conditions.
At the start of a therapeutic relationship it is vital that the counsellor and client are in ‘psychological contact’ (Kirschenbaum and Henderson,1990, p.221) recognised this to be the first condition in which counsellor and client are in contact, this could be minimal but there must be an awareness of each other’s presence in order for a therapeutic relationship to exist.
The client will enter the counselling relationship in a state of ‘incongruence’ Rodgers (1990, p.22) suggested that its essential that the client is experiencing a sense of anxiety or vulnerability.
In order for the client to be able share his/her world with the counsellor, the client must be able to trust the counsellor to allow them into their world one of the core conditions in person-centred therapy is genuineness known as ‘congruence’ (Natiello 2001, p.6). Rogers (1980, p.115) suggested that “the more the therapist is himself or herself in the relationship, putting up no professional front or personal façade, the greater is the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner”. In my own experience allowing the client to see who I really am enables the client to feel comfortable to explore the avenues in which they deem necessary. I have recently worked with a client who felt comfortable to explore his conviction for previous sexual offence and the severe depression that he was feeling due to the consequences he was facing because of his actions. During this time, I made a conscious effort to not judge him for the crime he had committed even though it was against my own personal values. In order for me to be congruent in the relationship I had to express that the subject in which we were exploring may cause me to feel a little discomfort but this wouldn’t reflect on him as a person, which leads me onto the second core condition. ‘Unconditional positive regard’ Rogers (1990, p.136) found that when the therapist is able to provide a non-judgemental view, and to be accepting to whatever the client says or does then the more likely the client will be able to experience therapeutic change as the client will be able to explore his difficulties without the fear of being judged by the counsellor. In my own experience when working with the client I have previously mentioned, I did not morally agree with the actions in which my client had taken, but I was aware of these thoughts and feelings and was able to put my beliefs a side and see the client for himself and not for the crimes he had committed.
According to (Rodgers 1980, p116) ‘Empathic understanding’ enables the therapist to understand the client’s feelings and is able to share this understanding to the client. I personally feel that empathic understanding is very important in the counselling relationship, as when the client experiences empathy from the counsellor they can feel truly heard and understood. It is important for the counsellor to be able to recognise the feelings in which the client is experiencing.