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Person-Centered Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

Person-centered therapy is a type of therapy that helps people take responsibility for their lives and solve problems on their own. Person-centered therapy was founded by Carl Rogers in the early 1940s. A person-centered therapist creates a therapy environment to best fit their unique client.

Therapists and clients work together to empathetically understand and accept the client’s frame of mind. This sets the client up for personal growth. This type of therapy helps the client see themself more clearly and be in touch with their true self.

Therapist view clients as having value and should be viewed as a person of unconditional self-worth no matter their condition, behavior, or feelings. Person-centered therapists understand that what is important to them may be different from what is important and valuable to the client. The therapist focuses on the importance of not wanting to change the client but letting them progress at their own speed. Clients have the last say in how they live their lives and what works for them.

Person-centered therapy can help with various types of mental distress including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other mood disorders

What Techniques Are Involved in Person-Centered Therapy?

There are three main techniques used in person-centered therapy. Each technique is designed to help a person become more self-aware of their own behaviors in a safe space. When this happens, they are then able to make the necessary changes needed to recover. 

Genuineness and Congruence

The genuineness and congruence technique involves the therapist being genuine and harmonious toward their clients. The therapist is open and honest about their thoughts and feelings and, by doing so, teaches their clients the ability to do the same.

This technique also teaches the client self-awareness and knowing how thoughts and feelings affect a person’s experiences. Clients feel safer when their therapist acts in this way, which in turn builds a trusting relationship between both client and therapist. Trust in the relationship allows clients to be more comfortable opening up in a genuine way.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional positive regard is total acceptance. This means that the therapist will always completely accept and support their client when participating in client-centered therapy. The therapist takes all their client's feelings and emotions seriously and validates what they are feeling. They also offer reassurance through active listening and positive body language.

How Does Unconditional Positive Regard Help?

When your therapist practices unconditional positive regard, you are likely to feel safe opening up fully, without fearing how they will respond. When your experiences and emotions are validated, you are more likely to feel comfortable making positive changes in your life.

Empathetic Understanding

Empathy is the true understanding and sharing of feelings between two people. In person-centered therapy, the therapist uses empathetic understanding in an effort to get to know who you are, the way your experiences shape your life, and your point of view of the world, yourself, and the people in your life.

The main goal of empathetic understanding is to ensure that the client feels completely understood in everything they say. This is done in a way that gives clients the opportunity to gain insights into themselves that they may not have had prior to beginning therapy.

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