Person-centred counselling, also known as person-centred psychotherapy, client-centred therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy developed by the psychologist Carl Rogers beginning in the 1940s and extending into the 1980s. Person-centered therapy seeks to facilitate a client's wish for „self-actualization“ or a desire to fulfil their potential and become the best people that they can be.
Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was a humanistic psychologist who thought that for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).
Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree or flower will not grow without sunlight and water. However, unlike a flower, the potential of the individual human is unique, and we are meant to develop in different ways according to our personality. Rogers believed that people are inherently good and creative. They become destructive only when a poor self-concept or external constraints override the valuing process.
Rogers maintained that we behave as we do because of the way we perceive our situation. As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves.
Client-centered counselling asserts that the most important factor in successful therapy is the relational climate created by the counsellor's attitude to their client. One can specify three interrelated core conditions:
Rogers initially started out calling his technique non-directive therapy. Directive therapies include asking questions, offering treatments, and making interpretations and diagnoses.
A non-directive approach is very appealing 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 is not evaluating them in any way or trying to "figure them out".
The foundational belief is that people tend to move toward growth and healing, and have the capacity to find their own answers.
I have worked with this method since 1990. In my practice I use this technique of talk therapy in phases of a session when material that has arisen needs conscious verbal „digestion“. Otherwise, not all material needs talk, many inner processes can develop by themselves and on a non-verbal level.