My name is Spencer Hickson, I’m a DJ, producer and record label owner. I’m also a counsellor, providing talking therapy. I recently completed my degree in person-centred counselling at Derby University. I live in Cheshire with my girlfriend and our three children.
I began my counselling placement working at a high school in Nantwich, where I counselled many children from the ages of 11 up. It was here I envisioned a future helping the children of today for a brighter tomorrow, combining counselling and my passion for music. During my final year of study I undertook a dissertation, researching counselling in schools. It was through this research I discovered that there was a huge need for counselling with young people. The research I had looked at spanning a decade or more was saying that mental health was growing and something needed to be done. However, my findings highlighted that still enough wasn’t being offered to a young person, and they may have to live in silence with a problem before any help is ever offered. One 15 year old boy I worked with in his last year of high school said, he wouldn’t have got through the year without counselling.
My own journey in my life led me at times to experience counselling first hand, it was through these moments that my own healing started to begin. Our personal journey is unique in every way and I have discovered that counselling especially Person Centred is a truly remarkable therapy, in the way as it is free of any judgement and open to what ever the person wants to bring. Counselling has allowed me to be able to talk openly about my life. To be really heard is a wonderful thing. It has allowed me to really experience my feelings, at times with a lot of pain, but also with the safety that the counselling tutor ‘held’ you all the way through that time. The course has given me peace. After 20 years of looking for that peace, I found it through counselling.
The course taught us how to fully understand and experience the core conditions (Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard and Congruence). Person centred counselling is like no other course in terms of working on your self and using your own life experiences, a huge amount of the work is about working on your self. Each week for 3 years we would sit through counselling skills sessions, one-to-one and in group work. We were taught about different psychological theories and approaches. The theoretical tribes of the person-centred approach and it’s philosophy became a way of being for me. If you wish to know more about the person-centred approach Carl Rogers has written extensively about the subject.
MY PERSON-CENTRED WAY
The basic premise of the approach states human beings are essentially ‘good’, having the capabilities to reach their potential when the environment they are in is conducive for growth. It is my belief this is an important theoretical statement where the psychological development of children is concerned, since personality development is dictated by both nature and nurture. I want to create a helping relationship in a nurturing environment where a young person can be facilitated in self-directed change and self-understanding, ensuring the discovery of inner-resources.
Rogers says a striving and forward moving tendency is found in every living organism. This is called the Actualizing Tendency. He likens this process to a household issue we often encounter in the kitchen. At some time you have probably come across forgotten potatoes in your kitchen cabinet. You would have noticed that those potatoes have sprouted roots which have grown towards the tiniest bit of light they could find. This is a metaphor for the human condition. I don’t believe people born ‘bad’, but I feel they might be struggling in life because they have had to twist and turn their ‘roots’ around obstacles in their path, whilst growing towards the light. I feel that inner trust can help young people who want a creative outlet, acting as a conduit for their personal growth and maturation.
My vision for Inner Trust is to make a difference for a young person. It could be the first stepping stone in their lives to a better future. Also, I have found on my own journey, counselling is of huge benefit. It is important to note that the ability to engage with young people through music and technology is especially useful in this digital age. This method of communication is paramount in the way they interact, and this is my person-centred way.