Subsection 5.2 The initial processes of person-centred therapy
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Although in the eyes of some, person-centred therapists are seen as `casual' or even cavalier in their attitudes to practice, particularly with respect to contracts and boundaries, beginning therapy with a new client in fact requires that the therapist considers a number of issues and carries out a number of processes concerned with these very things. This includes an assessment process (although many person-centred practitioners neither call it such nor think of it in that way ± Point 32), `contracting', that is agreeing with the client the terms and conditions of therapy however ¯exible these may be, and also considering and being explicit about the boundaries to be imposed by the therapist and/ or by the institution or service under the auspices of which therapy will be offered. All of these involve a careful consideration of ethical and professional issues and they are addressed in the following Points. It is in the nature of person-centred therapy that exactly what is done and how it is done will vary for each client/therapist relationship. Person-centred therapy is about the encounter of two individuals, a meeting of persons, and so each beginning is idiosyncratic and not about working methodically through a checklist. However, there are professional and sometimes institutional obligations to be sure that the client is clear about what is likely to happen and what the limitations of the offer of therapy are.