Person-centered therapy, also known as client-centred counselling, is a humanistic approach that deals with the ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously, rather than how a counsellor can interpret their unconscious thoughts or ideas. This approach was created in the 1950s by psychologist Carl Rogers. It ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential – the ability to self-actualise . However, for many of us this ability can become blocked or distorted by certain life experiences, for example a trauma and particularly those experiences which affect our sense of value, ‘self-worth’.
This approach allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.
Person-centred therapy can be used along side other modalities (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Pyschodyanmic, Transanctional Analysis and Coaching Pyschology etc), to help facilitate personal growth and relationships of a client by allowing them to explore and utilise their own strengths and personal identity. The counsellor aids this process, providing vital support to the client and they make their way through this journey.