The Person Centred Approach The American Psychologist Dr Carl R Rogers' theory originated and developed out of his interactions with clients initially. His lifetime of research and experiential work focused on demonstrating the psychological conditions for allowing open communication and empowering individuals to achieve their full potential.
The three cornerstones of these conditions are the deeply held attitudes of the therapist which are: A deep unconditional valuing of the client. Empathy - trying to understand the clients inner world as far as this is possible, and the therapist being genuine and authentic in the relationship. Roger's discovered that if he was able to openly "be" these deeply held attitudes in relationship with another, then the client would change and grow in ways that were right for the client. The client would be more able to tap into and utilize their vast inner resources and use the self awareness to change and grow in this type of relationship.
The person centred approach is more a "way of being" with another person as opposed to the therapist applying methods or techniques to facilitate change in the client.
His findings were that it is the quality of the relationship between counsellor and client that unfolds which is the therapeutic change agent, and which has the capacity to heal.
Current research confirms that regardless of the type of counselling / psychotherapy offered, it is the quality of the relationship underpinning the work that will determine your growth and development in counselling.
In this model of counselling, there is a deep faith in the clients capacity to discover the best way forward that is right for them. The client is the only true expert on their inner world, and ultimately will know what will or will not work for them, not the therapist. The therapists "job" is to accompany the client and work alongside them moment by moment at the clients pace and direction, offering a climate of genuinness, deep valuing and respect for the client, free from judgement.
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