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Person-centered therapy

Person-centered therapy, also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers beginning in the 1940s and extending into the 1980s.[ Person-centered therapy seeks to facilitate a client’s self-actualizing tendency, “an inbuilt proclivity toward growth and fulfillment”, via acceptance (unconditional positive regard), therapist congruence (genuineness), and empathic understanding.

It is one of the most influential and fundamental modalities of treatment in modern psychological practice, and is applied almost universally in modern psychotherapy. However, it is rarely used on its own; typically it is combined with other forms of therapy. This type of therapy diverged from the traditional model of the therapist as expert and moved instead toward a nondirective, empathic approach that empowers and motivates the client in the therapeutic process. The therapy is based on Rogers’s belief that every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential. Person-centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, has had a tremendous impact on the field of psychotherapy and many other disciplines.

What is person-centred counselling?

The core purpose of person-centred therapy is to facilitate our ability to self-actualise – the belief that all of us will grow and fulfil our potential. This approach facilitates the personal growth and relationships of a client by allowing them to explore and utilise their own strengths and personal identity. The counsellor aids this process, providing vital support to the client and they make their way through this journey.

When It’s Used

Anyone who would be better off gaining more self-confidence, a stronger sense of identity, and the ability to build healthy interpersonal relationships and to trust his or her own decisions could benefit from person-centered therapy. This approach, alone or in combination with other types of therapy, can also be helpful for those who suffer from griefdepressionanxietystress, abuse, or other mental health conditions. Person-centered therapists work with both individuals and groups. Since the client must do a lot of the work in person-centered therapy, those who are more motivated are likely to be more successful.

Benefits of person-centred therapy

Generally, person-centred counselling can help individuals of all ages, with a range of personal issues. Many people find it an appealing type of therapy because it allows them to keep control over the content and pace of sessions, and there is no worry that they are being evaluated or assessed in any way.

The non-direct style of person-centred counselling is thought to be more beneficial to those who have a strong urge to explore themselves and their feelings, and for those who want to address specific psychological habits or patterns of thinking.

The approach is said to be particularly effective in helping individuals to overcome specific problems such as depressionanxietystress and grief, or other mental health concerns. These issues can have a significant impact on self-esteem, self-reliance and self-awareness, and person-centred therapy can help people to reconnect with their inner self in order to transcend any limitations.

What to Expect

Person-centered therapy is talk therapy wherein the client does most of the talking. Your therapist will not judge or try to interpret what you say, but may restate your words in an attempt to fully understand your thoughts and feelings. When you hear your own words repeated back to you, you may then wish to self-edit and clarify your meaning. This may happen several times until you decide that you have expressed exactly what you are thinking and how you feel. There may be moments of silence to allow your thoughts to sink in. This client-focused process facilitates your self-discovery, self-acceptance, and a provides a means toward healing and positive growth.

How It Works

Person-centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, originated in the work of the American psychologist, Carl Rogers, who believed that everyone is different and, therefore, everyone’s view of his or her own world, and ability to manage it, should be trusted. Rogers believed that all of us have the power to find the best solutions for ourselves and make appropriate changes in our lives. Person-centered therapy was a movement away from the therapist’s traditional role—as an expert and leader—toward a process that allows clients to use their own understanding of their experiences as a platform for healing. The success of person-centered therapy relies on three conditions:

  1. Unconditional positive regard, which means therapists must be empathetic and non-judgmental to convey their feelings of understanding, trust, and confidence that encourage their clients to make their own decisions and choices
  2. Empathetic understanding, which means therapists completely understand and accept their clients’ thoughts and feelings
  3. Congruence, which means therapists carry no air of authority or professional superiority but, instead, present a true and accessible self that clients can see is honest and transparent.

How It Works

Person-centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, originated in the work of the American psychologist, Carl Rogers, who believed that everyone is different and, therefore, everyone’s view of his or her own world, and ability to manage it, should be trusted. Rogers believed that all of us have the power to find the best solutions for ourselves and make appropriate changes in our lives. Person-centered therapy was a movement away from the therapist’s traditional role—as an expert and leader—toward a process that allows clients to use their own understanding of their experiences as a platform for healing. The success of person-centered therapy relies on three conditions:

  1. Unconditional positive regard, which means therapists must be empathetic and non-judgmental to convey their feelings of understanding, trust, and confidence that encourage their clients to make their own decisions and choices
  2. Empathetic understanding, which means therapists completely understand and accept their clients’ thoughts and feelings
  3. Congruence, which means therapists carry no air of authority or professional superiority but, instead, present a true and accessible self that clients can see is honest and transparent.

The necessary and sufficient conditions

Rogers (1957; 1959) stated that there are six necessary and sufficient conditions required for therapeutic change:

  1. Therapist–client psychological contact: a relationship between client and therapist must exist, and it must be a relationship in which each person’s perception of the other is important.
  2. Client incongruence: that in-congruence exists between the client’s experience and awareness.
  3. Therapist congruence, or genuineness: the therapist is congruent within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist is deeply involved—they are not “acting”—and they can draw on their own experiences (self-disclosure) to facilitate the relationship.
  4. Therapist unconditional positive regard: the therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval. This facilitates increased self-regard in the client, as they can begin to become aware of experiences in which their view of self-worth was distorted or denied.
  5. Therapist empathic understanding: the therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference. Accurate empathy on the part of the therapist helps the client believe the therapist’s unconditional regard for them.
  6. Client perception: that the client perceives, to at least a minimal degree, the therapist’s unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding.

How It Works

Mental health professionals who utilize this approach strive to create a therapeutic environment that is conformable, non-judgmental, and empathetic. Two of the key elements of client-centered therapy are that it:

Reference:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/therapy-types/person-centered-therapy

https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/person-centred-therapy.html

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/person-centered

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy