Person Centred Therapy

by | Therapy type

Person centred therapy, or client centred counselling is a humanistic approach that views clients as always trying to fulfill their inner potential. Counsellors act as facilitators listening empathically without judgment or influencing clients’ process of self discovery. Through this approach, counsellors provide support to clients as clients explore their strengths and identity.

History

In the 1950s, Carl Rogers founded Person Centred Therapy. He challenged the notion that “the counsellor knows best”. Instead, he claims that clients are the best source of knowledge for themselves. He believed that we have the ability to grow towards self actualisation (fulfillment of potential). Furthermore, Rogers’ focused on the client-therapist relationship, and this focus has been incorporated into many other theoretical approaches.

Goals

The main goal of Person Centred Therapy is to enable clients to achieve their own independence to cope with their challenges. Clients increase understanding of themselves, facilitating their personal development.

Core Conditions

The success of Person Centred Therapy depends on three core conditions. Rogers believes that these conditions are necessary and sufficient for therapeutic change to occur.

Congruence

The counsellor is congruent; genuine and real with clients. The counsellor is authentic with the client, as the counsellor can express feelings and thoughts about the relationship with the client.

Unconditional Positive Regard  

Unconditional positive regard refers to counsellors’ genuine care for clients. Counsellors see clients’ worth and accept them without judgment. They may disapprove of clients’ actions, but see value in their clients. Counsellors communicate this through their positive attitudes towards clients.

Empathy

Counsellors aim to understand the subjective world of clients. They strive to discover the meaning of clients’ experiences, motivations and goals. Thus, tailoring responses to fit the specific client.

Techniques

There are no specific technique attached to this therapeutic approach. Rather, it is the presence of being attentive to clients that counsellors depend on to facilitate client change.

What to Expect

As a client of person centred therapy, you will explore beliefs and feelings that you previously avoided. The counsellor will restate these thoughts and feelings and you can clarify them until you have accurately expressed the way you feel and think. This client focused approach facilitates your continual growth and self discovery.

Critiques

Person centred therapy might be unsuitable for clients that prefer a directive approach. It also relies on clients to be self aware of their goals. Counsellors might also be too supportive of clients that they do not challenge clients when necessary.

To see therapists specialised in this field, visit here

Janna was our in-house blog writer and therapy specialist. She has supported The Therapy Platform users towards successful therapy experience. She is about to complete Master of Counselling. 

Janna Lim

Therapy Specialist

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