Person Centred Approach

Person Centred Therapy

Person-centred therapy, also known as client-centred, non-directive, or Rogerian therapy, is an approach to counselling and psychotherapy that trusts much of the treatment process to the client, with the therapist taking a non-directive role.

Developed in the 1930s by the American psychologist Carl Rogers, person-centred therapy departed from the typically formal, detached role of the therapist emphasized in psychoanalysis and other forms of treatment. Rogers believed that therapy should take place in a supportive environment created by a close personal relationship between client and therapist. Rogers's introduction of the term "client" rather than "patient" expresses his rejection of the traditionally hierarchical relationship between therapist and client and his view of them as equals. In person-centred therapy, the client determines the general direction of therapy, while the therapist seeks to increase the client's insight and self-understanding through informal clarifying questions.

Two key goals of person-centred therapy are increased self-esteem and greater openness to experience. Clients can expect to experience closer agreement between the client's idealized and actual selves; better self-understanding; lower levels of defensiveness, guilt, and insecurity; more positive and comfortable relationships with others; and an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur.
Beginning in the 1960s, person-centred therapy became associated with the human potential movement. While Freud's theory focused on sexual and aggressive tendencies as the primary forces driving human behaviour, the human potential movement defined human nature as inherently good. From its perspective, human behaviour is motivated by a drive to achieve one's fullest potential.

Self-actualization is an important concept underlying person-centred therapy. It refers to the tendency of all human beings to move forward, grow,...