The aim of this chapter is to engage with some conversations on 'otherness' in the hope that person-centred explorations of diversity can be enriched by widening the context for our thinking.
What follows is not a comprehensive or thorough survey; I am no student of philosophy. I am a person-centred practitioner who was introduced to the terrain of epistemology (the theory of knowledge) when I was a postgraduate student.
My question concerned why I found such a close 'fit' between person-centred values and living on retreat in a community dedicated to awareness of the 'Unity of Being': what can be said about experiencing two very different domains of knowledge as strikingly similar?
My journey as a student began with an exploration of the relationship between subjective experience and what counts as knowledge: the conversations that follow represent pebbles on the path that attracted my attention during the journey rather than a detailed map of the territory, and then are arranged together around the theme of how we think about 'the other'."
- Dot Clark
From the book:
The Person-Centered Counseling And Psychotherapy Handbook – Colin Lago & Divine Charura (2016)
Colin Lago and Divine Charura (Eds)
Independent Practitioner & Trainer, Leeds Beckett University UK
From the origins of Carl Rogers' person-centred approach to the cutting-edge developments of therapy today, the Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy Handbook charts the journey of an ambitious vision to its successful reality. In this book, Lago and Charura bring together history, theory, research, and practice to deliver a complete and unique perspective on the person-centred approach.
Key topics include:
- The groundbreaking journey of PCA’'s early decades, spearheaded by Carl Rogers.
- Developments and extensions of the original theory and practice.
- The influence of PCA in developing new therapies and practice.
- The frontier of contemporary PCA, and therapists' work with client groups of difference and diversity.
With its broad view that explores the origins, variations, and applications of PCA, The Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy Handbook gives a comprehensive overview of the knowledge required and the issues faced by practitioners, making it an important resource for the seasoned and training practitioner alike.
About Dot Clark
While on a long-term retreat 2008-9, I experienced a profound connection between mystical explorations of the unity of being and the fundamentals of the person-centred approach (PCA). Both traditions call for a particular quality of attention to be paid to whatever is happening in relationship, with Other people and with Being itself. The territory discussed in my chapter was part of the exploration I undertook into the meaning of this experience while a student at the University of Edinburgh.