Carl Rogers' Theory of Person Centered Therapy

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The theories of Carl Rogers brought about much change to the world of psychology. He was the first to publish complete therapy sessions for later review and study. Changing the term “patient” to that of “client” since talk therapy is non-medical for his approach calling it Person Centered Therapy is often now the preferred term (Kirschenbaum & Jourdan, 2005). The main objective of “Person-Centered Therapy” would be that of helping the client in assuming responsibility and putting it into the client’s hands by way of “shifting their standards” back to client instead of others (Thompson, 2003). The central theme of Roger’s theory is that of “Unconditional Positive Regard” on the part of the therapist. One is to accept the client as they are without judgment. Using empathetic understanding with interpersonal warmth and a non-directing following with full attention on the client which should allow them to know there is an understanding, giving them a sense of caring from the therapist (Brodley, 2006).
This can be difficult work as some cases are not so easy to be understanding such as pedophilia or a convicted rapist, or other violent occurrences. For one to have the kind of empathetic understanding required in these situations, a willingness to set these things aside personally and look to understand the person would be the necessitating factor. Everyone wants to be understood and certainly there are therapists out there who do meet with this type of client, so there is a need in this direction. However, the idea of “whatever a person desires to be or do is okay” is reminiscent of the cycle the Hebrews followed in the book of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”...

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... for medication with little to no assessment would be less painful. There are great tools on how to relate to a client within this modality but as a complete therapy, but there is no collaborative effort to find solutions to the presenting problem. Is that not why the client came to therapy in the first place?

Works Cited

Brodley, B. T. (2006). Client-initiated homework in client-centered therapy. Journal Of
Psychotherapy Integration, 16(2), 140-161. doi:10.1037/1053-0479.16.2.140
Kirschenbaum, H., & Jourdan, A. (2005). The Current Status of Carl Rogers and the Person-
Centered Approach. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42(1), 37-51. doi:10.1037/0033-3204.42.1.37
Thompson, R. (2003). Counseling Techniques 2nd Ed.: Improving relationships with others, ourselves, our families, and our environment. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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