A Person-Centred Perspective on Trauma Workshop with Sheila Haugh

Workshop Details This session will explore how a person-centred theory understands trauma and how a...

Last updated 3 May 2024

Workshop Details

This session will explore how a person-centred theory understands trauma and how a person-centred therapist might work with a person experiencing trauma.

Who is This Workshop Appropriate For?

  • Counsellors & Psychotherapists working with people who have experienced trauma

2023 Conference – TRAUMA and the Person-Centred Approach

Fiona’s aim with this series of events is to bring together a range of practitioner voices for lively discussion and exploration of the challenges and benefits of person-centred practice when working with traumatised people.

Trauma & The Person-Centred Approach

The appropriateness and sufficiency of the person-centred approach to working with trauma is a topic of debate and controversy. On one hand, some argue that the approach is not appropriate or sufficient, because it doesn’t specifically address the unique needs and issues that individuals who have experienced trauma may face. These might include chronically intrusive traumatic memories and flashbacks; bodily and emotional reliving of the trauma; troubling somatic symptoms; difficulties with highly dysregulated emotions; experiences of dissociation, including structural dissociation of the self; chronic dysregulation of the nervous system; sleep disturbance and nightmares. Questions arise for some, as to whether the person-centred approach is a holistic enough approach to working with the extensive repercussions of trauma, or whether it works actively enough towards ‘resolution of trauma’.

Conversely, others argue that the person-centred approach is highly effective and uniquely powerful, because it prioritizes safety in relationship – the very thing that trauma undermines. What’s more, it is founded on the principles of unconditional positive regard and empathy for all parts of the person, including traumatized parts who feel the urge to protect by (reflexively or deliberately) disconnecting from relationships with self and others. Importantly, the person-centred approach also promotes self-exploration and autonomy, leading to a reconnection with organismic valuing, which we know tends to be stifled in traumatic childhood relationships, or can be lost through the experiencing of a traumatic event as an adult.

The question of whether the person-centred approach can be helpful in counselling for trauma survivors is an important one that requires further examination from different perspectives, which is the purpose of this series of events.

Fiona has sought out a range of speakers, from well-known writers and trainers in the field, to newer, emerging voices, as well as some practitioners from outside the field of person-centred practice. She would like to extend the invitation to anyone interested in speaking in 2023, so if you would like to speak on a topic related to person-centred practice and trauma, please get in touch with Fiona at therapistfionagregory@protonmail.com.

Course Content

A Person-Centred Perspective on Trauma Workshop with Sheila Haugh
Workshop Resources


Fiona Gregory

Fiona is a UKCP registered person-centred psychotherapist with a special interest in trauma. She works predominantly with clients who are struggling with the complex long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences and abuse, as well as people who have experienced single traumatic events and are experiencing post-traumatic stress.

She holds an MSc in Contemporary Person-Centred Psychotherapy and Applications from Metanoia Institute and is also an EMDR practitioner. She has her own private practice in Surrey, volunteers for Mind as a therapist, and is the creator/facilitator of the Person-Centred Association’s Trauma Special Interest Group.

Sheila Haugh

Sheila is Course Leader for the MSc Contemporary Person-Centred Psychotherapy and Applications at the Metanoia Institute in London. A former convenor of the BAPCA, and member of the board of the WAPCECP, she works as a psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and consultant in the UK and in the Czech republic where she has lived for the last 11 years.

She was a member of the UKCP Training and Universities College and was involved in the process of getting the tittles ‘person-centred psychotherapist’ and ‘client-centred psychotherapist’ registered in the UKCP. Co-editor of two books and author of a number of chapters.

Sheila is currently involved in developing the dissemination of person-centred based qualitive research from MSc students at Metanoia.