The core theoretical model is known as the Core Self model. It is an integrative person-centred model which was especially developed for this course. It is fundamentally person-centred in that it draws heavily on the work of Carl Rogers and other person-centred writers and shares with its humanistic counterpart many of the philosophical assumptions and theoretical hypotheses that shape person-centred theory and practice. It is also person-centred in that it rests firmly on the belief that ‘the relationship is the therapy’ (Mearns and Thorne 2000) – in other words, that it is the quality of the relationship between counsellor and client that lies at the heart of the effectiveness of the counselling process.
It is, however, also an integrative model. Firstly, it is integrative in that it seeks to draw together the person-centred and the spiritual in a meaningful synthesis. It rests firmly on the assumption that all human beings are spiritual beings and that the spiritual dimension of human nature and experience is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. It sees human beings as complex living unities of body, mind, soul and spirit in whom the various aspects of being and experiencing are closely interwoven, and hence recognises the importance of being willing and able to address this dimension of human experience in the counselling room.
It is also integrative in the sense that it seeks to draw together relevant insights from psychology, counselling theory and philosophy. The course draws on the thinking of a number of Christian writers and also incorporates aspects of writings from a wider variety of sources.