This case study analyses, synthesises and tests a person-centred approach by a trainee sport and exercise psychologist working with a male amateur distance runner. The aim of applying a person-centred approach was to enhance the athlete’s understanding of himself, enable him to make sense of his experience, and facilitate personal growth. This case study explores the client’s change process and how developing the quality of the relationship allowed him to share his true thoughts and feelings and move towards his authentic self. The trainee describes the theoretical framework that guided the consultancy, reflects on the experiences of exhibiting empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence, and discusses the challenges with implementing the approach. The case study reflects on and evaluates the support service, so that the practitioner could learn from this experience and enhance service delivery as he moves towards the end of his formal training.
- distance running; holistic support; therapeutic relationship