Rogers 3 Core Conditions

Carl Rogers (an American psychologist) was largely responsible for the development of the person-centred approach in the 1940s and 1950s. This form of therapy creates a relationship which fosters the client’s innate tendency to develop as a unique individual -a process known as self-actualization- whilst respecting their capacity for self -determination. Three specific, therapeutic conditions create a climate conducive to growth and therapeutic change: congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy. I should like to examine each of these in turn, while drawing on my own experience of them.
              The first, congruence, is one of the three characteristics that form an integral part of every successful therapeutic relationship. In person-centred counselling, relating and engaging with the client has much more relevance than utilising any specific skills or techniques. It is important that we relate in a genuine, transparent way. We must try to link our own inner experiencing with our outward behaviour whilst without hiding behind a professional façade. Sustaining this is no mean feat – but the dividends are enormous.   Instead of assuming trust- as in many other disciplines - we must try to earn it. Thus establishing an equal relationship.   By being entirely genuine, it is possible, using personal resonance (being open to my own experiencing of the client’s events) to give an alternate, critical perspective on his phenomenological reality.   Moreover, by showing how we have arrived at this outcome, the client’s faith in the relationship should grow: they need not be concerned about a therapist’s possible personal agenda and this should foster an increasingly open dialogue, thereby encouraging further self-disclosure.
              Furthermore, it is essential for a therapist to be open to similar scrutiny. We must acknowledge our own beliefs, prejudices and values – self-awareness is vital.   In fact, a therapist’s ability to admit her own frailties can...