We all have the magic of potential
TEL: 020 7692 0046
EMAIL: info@peoplewithpotential.org
Follow us on: Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Connect via LinkedIn
 

Person Centred Therapy

Carl Rogers strongly believed that in order for a client's condition to improve therapists should be warm, genuine and understanding. The starting point of the Rogerian approach to counselling and psychotherapy is best stated by Rogers (1986) himself:

"It is that the individual has within himself or herself vast resources for self-understanding, for altering his or her self-concept, attitudes and self-directed behaviour - and that these resources can be tapped if only a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided."

Rogers rejected the deterministic nature of both psychoanalysis and behaviourism and maintained that we behave as we do because of the way we perceive our situation. 

Believing strongly that theory should come out of practice rather than the other way round, he developed his theory based on his work with emotionally troubled people and claimed that we have a remarkable capacity for self-healing and personal growth leading towards self-actualization. He placed emphasis on the person's current perception and how we live in the here-and-now.

Carl Rogers noticed that people tend to describe their current experiences by referring to themselves in some way, for example, "I don't understand what's happening" or "I feel different to how I used to feel".

Central to Rogers' theory is the notion of self or self-concept.  This is defined as "the organized, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself".  It consists of all the ideas and values that characterise 'I' and 'me' and includes perception and valuing of 'what I am' and 'what I can do'. Consequently, the self-concept is a central component of our total experience and influences both our perception of the world and perception of oneself.  For instance, a woman who perceives herself as strong may well behave with confidence and come to see her actions as actions performed by someone who is confident.

The self-concept does not necessarily always fit with reality, though, and the way we see ourselves may differ greatly from how others see us.  For example, a person might be very interesting to others and yet consider that he himself is boring.  He judges and evaluates this image he has of himself as a bore and this valuing will be reflected in his self-esteem.  The confident woman may have a high self-esteem and the man who sees himself as a bore may have a low self-esteem, presuming that strength/confidence are highly valued and that being boring is not.

Client-centred therapy operates according to three basic principles that reflect the attitude of the therapist to the client:

  1.  The therapist is congruent with the client. 
  2. The therapist provides the client with unconditional positive regard. 
  3. The therapist shows empathetic understanding to the client.

Because the person-centred counsellor places so much emphasis on genuineness and on being led by the client, they do not place the same emphasis on boundaries of time and technique as would a psychodynamic therapist. If they judged it appropriate, a person-centred counsellor might diverge considerably from orthodox counselling techniques.

The person-centred counsellor has a very positive and optimistic view of human nature. The philosophy that people are essentially good, and that ultimately the individual knows what is right for them, is the essential ingredient of successful person-centred therapy as “all about loving”.

 

 

book

 
back to top