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  • Joanne Bergmann-Goodhall

Modern therapy types - 1 of 3, Person Centred Therapy

Person centered therapy involves focusing on Self Development, personal growth and personal responsibility. In this blog posting we're going to go into more depth on the 3 most common therapeutic approaches.



A therapist using this approach works to create a safe supporting space where clients are able to explore every aspect of their potential, whilst working towards goals in their own personal growth, mentally as well as emotionally. They ideally suit people who are feeling that they are lost, or have self esteem issues. They are ideal when helping clients with Anxiety, Panic disorders, Depression, OCD amongst others. It's also ideally placed to help with family based relationship issues.


This therapy approach was pioneered by psychologist Carl Rogers - he saw humans as having an intate ability to reach their full potential, but this can be blocked or distorted by certian factors. The therapist works to help the client understand their own experience from their perspective. They work closely with the client and will view them as a whole person in all aspects of their humanity. It can help the client to reconnect with their own inner values, self belief and their sense of self worth.


The core preposition of person-centred therapy is to assist in the self-actualization of the client. This means that you have the belief that you can fulfill your potential and grow as a person. It helps identify and build on the clients own strengths and personal identity, whilst providing support that can be vital to assist in the clients ongoing journey.


There are 3 conditions that help achieve this:


* Congruence - The therapist is genuine in what they say and do

* Empathy - The therapist will understand and in some way live the clients experiences

* Unconditional positive regard - the therpaist is non-judgemental


The therapist will offer a safe, comforting place for the client to discuss any aspects of their life. This approach can also help to:


* Find a closer alignment between the ideal of your self (idealised self) vs your actual self

* Get a better understanding and awareness

* Free feelings of insecurity and guilt so they are released

* Obtain a greater ability to trust yourself

* Get better self-expression



This approach is appealing to many people, mostly because it allows the client to retain control and the pace of the sessions. The client is firmly put in charge of the direction and speed! It is more beneficial for people who want to explore more about themselves, and if you have a strong urge to dig into what makes you *you* it's an ideal approach to consider.


The therapist is not really there to be an expert - that is your job as the client (as no one knows you better than yourself!) but they are a facilitator in the conversation. As the sessions progress typically people cope with any unconditional acceptance offered by gradually incorporating these messages into their own self-image. This means that over time the identity that we have (our own personal judgements, expressions etc) can be strengthed and expanded with the clients self-knowledge. It allows you to be able to grow into the person you know you can be.





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