What Is Person (Client) Centered Therapy?

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Sarvika Aggarwal

06 January 2024

6 Mins

Person centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers and is based on the idea that the person, or client, will be provided with a safe and comfortable environment in which they can talk freely and openly. The therapist showers the client with unconditional positive regard and empathy, which helps build rapport between the client and the therapist.

In this type of therapy, the therapist doesn’t tell the client what to do; rather, they create an environment that pushes the client to find their own direction and share it with the therapist.

If you wish to understand more about client centered therapy, let’s go a bit deeper.

person centered therapy

What Is Person Centered Therapy?

Person centered therapy was given by humanist psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940s. It is a form of therapy where the entire control is shifted from the therapist to the client, and they become the driving force of the whole therapeutic process.

Rogers always had this notion that a person, regardless of their mental health struggles, has the full potential to live a full fledged life. This therapy doesn’t believe in the idea that humans are flawed or need proper treatment to change their behaviour. It is simply based on the idea that humans have the capacity to understand themselves and bring about positive change if they are provided with the right materials and resources.

what is person centered therapy

How Does Person-Centered Therapy Work?

In person centered therapy, the therapist and the client both work hand in hand. The therapist provides the client with a safe and supportive environment where the client is able to express themselves freely and without any fear of judgement.

The conversations in this type of therapy setting are driven empathetically, without the therapist making any suggestions or giving solution’s to the client’s problems. The therapist creates an atmosphere where the client feels absolutely safe and pushes them to realise how they have the full ability to live the life of an actualized person.

This type of therapy usually helps with anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and mood disorders, to name a few.

Connect with person-centered therapist and take full advantage of this type of therapy for free.

What Are the Methods Involved in Person Centered Therapy?

There are seven methods involved in client centered therapy. Each method is designed and thought of in such a way that it pushes the individual to become more aware and conscious of themselves and their inner selves. Let’s see what these methods are.

1. Genuineness

The genuineness technique plays an important role in a therapeutic relationship, as the therapist’s ability to be honest, radical, and transparent about their thoughts and feelings pushes the client to accept that humans have the ability to master the skill of understanding and build a healthier relationship with themselves.

For example: if a therapist uses the self-disclosure technique where they share their stories of struggle, it will push the client to see how therapists also have problems but also have the willpower to get out of them.

2. Congruence

This technique reflects how the therapist should match what they are saying with their non-verbal cues and body language as well. If there is incongruity in their actions and words, the client will be able to catch that. So it is important for the therapist to be congruent in their approach and be vocal about the things they actually mean.

congruence

3. Unconditional positive regard

The therapist has to provide the client with unconditional positive regard, which means fueling the client with full acceptance, positivity, care, and love so they feel absolutely safe and comfortable sharing their feelings out loud and finding a direction for themselves.

4. Empathetic understanding

It is important for the therapist to show that they understand the client's perspective like their own and not confuse it with sympathy, as there is a major difference between showing empathy and pity for someone else’s situation.

empathetic understanding

5. Non-directiveness

An important aspect of this type of therapy is non-directiveness which means that the therapist takes a backseat in driving the conversation forward and gives the client the lead to take the process forward by being completely honest and raw. Moreover, the therapist should also refrain from giving any solution or advice to the client.

6. Paraphrasing

In order to make clients know that you are able to understand what they are saying, you can repeat what the client told you in your language so that you are clear on what the client told you and it also gives the client confidence that you understand them clearly.

7. Open-questions

It is important to ask open ended questions in therapy, as that makes the client feel you are listening and also makes them delve deeper into themselves and ask themselves questions they never did before. For example: ask the client, “How does that make you feel?” or “What are the emotions you felt during that particular moment?”.

open questions

How Effective Is Person-Centered Therapy?

While there are mixed reviews about the effectiveness of person centered therapy, it also depends from person to person and case to case. In some studies, it has been shown that the effectiveness of client centered therapy is similar to CBT, or sometimes it takes a shorter duration of time to show results. ( Pybis et al., 2017 )

However, there is a good amount of evidence that the three methods given by Rogers in this therapy—empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence—have shown to bring positive outcomes. ( Norcross and Lambert, 2019 ).

It has also been shown that clients who are independent and are more likely to deal with their issues internally benefit more from the client centered counselling. ( Facts are Friendly ).

With all said and done, it comes down to the personality traits one carries and the situation they are facing.

how effective is person centered therapy

Who Can Benefit From Person Centered Therapy?

While client centered therapy can be beneficial for a good number of people, it can also benefit people going through mental health struggles who prefer a non-directional approach to therapy. Client centered counselling is beneficial for people suffering from –

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  4. Bipolar disorder
  5. People who are on a journey of self-awareness
  6. Chronic stress
  7. Substance abuse
  8. Low mood
  9. For better communication skills
  10. For those who wish to forgive themselves or let go off their past mistakes
  11. For those who wish to make healthier life choices
Person-centered therapy can change your perspective and help you see yourself with unconditional love and positivity. Try it yourself for free.

A Word From Now&Me

If you wish to see how client centered counselling works, connect with Now&Me experts and see it for yourself. Now&Me experts will make sure to provide you with a comfortable atmosphere while helping you feel your best with this approach.

And if you simply wish to see what client-centered therapy is or wish to ask people about it, you can become a part of the Now&Me community and talk to a bunch of like-minded people who, like you, are also on a journey to self-discovery.

So, download the app and simply start engaging with therapists and a well-built community with the help of person centered counselling.

Sources

  1. Everything to Know About Person-Centered Therapy. Verywell Health. Published November 2023. https://www.verywellhealth.com/person-centered-therapy-5218356

  2. What Is Person-Centered Therapy. Betterhelp. Published November 2023. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/client-centered-therapy-why-it-works/

  3. The comparative effectiveness and efficiency of cognitive behaviour therapy and generic counselling in the treatment of depression: evidence from the 2nd UK National Audit of psychological therapies. BMC Psychiatry. Published June 2017. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-017-1370-7

  4. Psychotherapy Relationships that Work: Volume 1: Evidence-Based Therapist Contributions. Amazon. Published August 2019. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0190843950/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

  5. Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly. Amazon. Published October 2008. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Essential-Research-Findings-Counselling-Psychotherapy/dp/1847870430/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=mick+cooper&qid=1562056502&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.

However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.

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