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The psycotherapy counselling approachThe Psychotherapy Approach

The discoveries of Sigmund Freud at the turn of the 20th century, in themselves an incredible advance in the history of human thought, created a revolution in psychiatry and reached out to leave their imprint on virtually every aspect of human experience. Psychoanalysis, as a technique of treatment was used extensively in the United States to combat neuroses of all kinds in the aftermath of World War II and the success of this approach caused it to become the dominate treatment modality for non-psychotic mental and emotional illness not alone in the USA but also throughout much of the western world.

The Person-centred Approach

Person–centred counselling has its origins in the pioneering work in the 1930s and 1940s of Dr Carl Rogers the American psychologist and therapist. During this period Rogers was developing his own style of therapy, which he saw as a radical departure from the analytical approach. The central truth for Rogers was that the client knows best. It is the client that knows what is hurting and in the final analysis it is the client who knows how to move forward. So convinced was Rogers of this fundamental insight that he first called his way of working “non-directive” counselling, thereby emphasizing that the counsellor’s task is to enable the client to make contact with his or her own inner resources rather than to guide, advise or in some cases influence the direction the client would take.


Analytic, non directive therapy Counselling that is the key that unlocks the door The Des Canning Approach

Des Canning has combined the analytical approach of Freud with the “non-directive” counselling style of Rogers, utilizing the method of free association pioneered by Freud. Its importance in the exploration of the human psyche was comparable to the microscope in biology and the telescope in astronomy. It is the basic and unique method of communication by the client and constitutes the major avenue to the client’s subconscious conflicts. In psychoanalysis free association means to say (freely associate) whatever is thought, felt or experienced without choice, direction or censorship. As the linking and connecting of thought develops over a period of 8 to 10 sessions, Des interprets the subconscious resistances to free association, the clients insight grows and the associations become progressively freer of subconscious control. The nature of the free- association experience and the data it yields, promote relaxation of conscious control, the emergence of fantasies and regression towards the primary process modes of thinking, coupled with a greater depth of self-understanding.

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