The Principles of Person-Centered Therapy

In the 1940s, Carl Rogers pioneered person-centered therapy. This notion represented a radical departure from the leading behavioral and psychoanalytic techniques of that time. Rogers’ method emphasizes using listening, empathy and acceptance in therapy to help clients maximize their full potential. If you are looking for an effective humanistic method to support your mental health, this approach is an excellent place to start.

Why Choose Person-Centered Therapy?

Rogers believed that the most successful treatments were client-directed, instead of drawing from a therapist’s interpretation of the situation. Person-centered therapy emphasizes that the client’s experience is just as valid as a professional’s insight, and therefore, Rogers used the term “client” rather than “patient” to end the power imbalance he perceived in the therapeutic relationship.

The person-centered approach supports mental health with empathy and compassion. A humanistic therapist encourages positive changes and solutions by inclusively centering the client.

How Does Client-Centered Therapy Work?

Person-centered therapy requires the therapist to be a good listener and encourage their clients to make decisions independently. A person-centered therapist avoids making themselves the center of attention by judging or interrupting.

The goals of client-centered therapy include increasing self-awareness and improving your ability to make confident, self-directed changes. Therapists who practice Rogers’ person-centered theory should exhibit the following essential qualities.

  • Congruence: Genuineness and authenticity are foundational to a successful client-therapist relationship. A client-centered therapist should be open and welcoming, creating a setting that fosters sharing and two-way communication.
  • Unconditional positive regard: Carl Rogers believed person-centered therapists should help clients express themselves without fear of judgment.
  • Empathy: Empathy is a vital trait in client-centered therapy. If a therapist can accurately reflect their client’s thoughts and emotions, it helps both parties gain more insight.

Is Client-Centered Therapy Effective?

Client-centered therapy sessions can help people work through complex emotional circumstances such as trauma. Humanistic counseling’s non-directive nature encourages clients to depend less on their therapist to provide answers. Instead, they become more self-aware and learn to make positive changes for themselves.

Though client-centered therapists don’t diagnose their clients with specific conditions, this approach can still be helpful for resolving known issues such as trauma, substance use and eating disorders. Person-centered therapy can also be valuable for panic attacks and mental health crises, as it creates a safe and accepting space for clients to get support while dealing with the stress they’re going through.

The Rogerian approach can benefit people who hesitate to seek therapy due to a fear of judgment or criticism. If you decide to pursue person-centered therapy, embrace it as an opportunity to accept your authentic self and let go of guilt over past mistakes.

Join the Cumberland Heights Family

As a nonprofit organization that has provided addiction medicine since 1966, Cumberland Heights prides ourselves on building upon established tradition while adding cutting-edge practices such evidence-based therapies.

You deserve high-quality treatment, and you will receive it here at Tennessee’s first ASAM-accredited rehab. Our dedicated clinicians, therapists and other specialists will support you on your journey to sobriety, helping you write a story of hope, healing and happiness. If you are struggling with your mental and behavioral health, we encourage you to request help today.