Counselling methods and techniques The core conditions of counselling

There is no unitary model of counselling, and there is no universal set of technical skills. Each model of counselling has its own theoretical base, rationale, and specific techniques. However, there are fundamental principles and non-specific technical factors common to all models of counselling and psychotherapy. Empirical research confirms that these core factors exert a powerful influence, and may account for the repeated finding that, for some clinical conditions, markedly different models of counselling and psychotherapy have equivalent therapeutic effects, the so-called 'equivalence paradox'. The core conditions required of the counsellor are unconditional positive regard, expressed through genuineness, empathy, and non-possessive warmth, and congruence in the therapeutic relationship. Such core conditions owe much to the work of Rogers/1.,5* and have been used and developed in many models of counselling. Whilst Rogers took the view that such core conditions are both necessary and sufficient for therapeutic change to occur, other models of counselling have defined such conditions as necessary but not in themselves sufficient for change to occur. However, the core conditions remain the bedrock upon which counselling is practised. The importance of the relationship between counsellor or therapist and client is widely recognized, and research has identified the great importance of the therapeutic relationship alongside therapeutic technique/!,!6*. The analysis by Horvarth and Symonds(l7) of 24 studies concerning the therapeutic relationship show that a strong relationship makes a positive contribution to the outcome of therapeutic intervention, regardless of the model used.

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