Carl Rogers’ Theory of Client-Centered Therapy

The main thrust of Carl Rogers’ theories of human psychology and treatment revolves around the client- or person-centered therapy.Client-Centered Therapy was developed by Rogers in the 1940’s and 1950’s.It is a non-directive approach to therapy, “directive” meaning any therapist behavior that deliberately steers the client in some way. Directive behaviors include asking questions, offering treatments, and making interpretations and diagnoses.I find that a non-directive approach is very appealing on the face of it to many clients, because they get to keep control over the content and pace of the therapy.It is intended to serve them, after all.The therapist isn’t evaluating them in any way or trying to “figure them out”.
When Ifirst read about Rogers’ client-centered therapy, I found myself asking about what really is in client-centered therapy if the therapist isn’t interjecting their own insights and analysis.I think that the answer is whatever the client brings to it.And that is, honestly, a very good answer. The central belief of client-centered therapy is that people tend to move toward growth and healing, and have the capacity to find their own answers.This tendency is helped along by an accepting and understanding climate, which the client-centered therapist seeks to provide above all else.
Client-centered therapy sounds rather simple or even limited, mostly because there is no particular structure that the therapist is trying to apply.But when I saw the client-centered therapy in action I saw a very rich and complicated process.The patient is allowed to unravel his or her own thoughts and emotions.The patient discovers new things, takes brave steps, and does not have to cope with a therapist who is doing things to them in the meantime. The therapist strives to understand and accept the client’s feelings, which is no simple feat.Over time, the client increasingly seeks to understand and accept their o…

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