What is person-centered counseling?
Hello, everyone, I’m going to give an introduction to the person-centered approach to counseling. so the person-centered approach is one of many methods that a therapist might use with their clients. every approach is very different in its philosophy and application with clients.
I will give a very brief introduction and simple overview of the theory to help in understanding the person-centered approach to counseling.
The approach itself was founded by Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 50s in America, at that time Rogers was working as a psychoanalytic therapist mainly with children however a real turn happened when a mother of one of the clients that he was seeing asked if he ever saw adults as part of his work although he didn’t usually he agreed to see the mother but he works in very different ways with her than he had done with the child clients when roger saw the mother he offered her a space to talk freely about any issues that she was facing in return he would offer acceptance and empathy to try and help her explore these things at more depth and to gain an understanding for himself.
What he discovered from this is that he actually created a very good therapeutic environment for the client and this change the way that he understood therapy, this was the birth of the person-centered approach to counseling.
It was Rogers who first formulated the theory in the form of non-directive psychotherapy in his book Counseling and Psychotherapy 1942. Roger believed that it isn’t important what we did in our past but our current perceptions are more essential.
He also believed with a supportive environment of warmth, close personal relationships, understanding, and genuineness are key for therapeutic change. Rogers has used the term ‘client’ rather than ‘patient’ to refer to the equal kind of the relationship between the therapist and client.
Rogers believed people are capable of self-healing and personal growth, which result in actualizing tendency, or self -actualization, an essential concept in person-centered therapy. Self -actualization refers to the tendency of all human beings to grow, move forward, and reach their full potential. Rogers believed self-actualization is hindered by unhealthy and negative attitudes about the self. Rogerian therapy has had an enormous influence in the field of psychotherapy and many other disciplines.