Carl Rogers, in full, Carl Ransom Rogers, born January 8, 1902, originated Person Centered Approach. Originally known as the non-directive and then the client-centred approach, this school of psychotherapy finally became famous as the Person Centered Approach due to its emphasis on a person-to-person relationship between the therapist and the client. Rogers mainly contributed by changing the power equation between the therapist and the client by stating that, it is the client who determines the course, speed, and duration of treatment. This change in the therapeutic relationship came from his belief and the underlying humanistic philosophy of the school that “Every organism has the intrinsic intelligence to survive and grow through life. It is therefore the therapist’s role to help the client, unleash this basic life energy.”
He took M.A. (1928) and Ph.D. (1931) degrees from Columbia University’s Teachers College. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Rochester, New York, becoming the agency’s director in 1930.
From 1935 to 1940 he lectured at the University of Rochester and wrote The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child (1939), based on his experience in working with troubled children. In 1940 he became a professor of clinical psychology at the Ohio State University, where he wrote Counseling and Psychotherapy (1942). In it, Rogers suggested that clients, by establishing a relationship with an understanding and accepting therapist, can resolve difficulties and gain the insight necessary to restructure their lives.
While a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago (1945–57), Rogers helped to establish a counseling centre connected with the university and conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of his methods. His findings and theories appeared in Client-Centered Therapy (1951) and Psychotherapy and Personality Change (1954). He taught psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1957–63), during which time he wrote one of his best-known books, On Becoming a Person (1961). In 1963 he moved to La Jolla, California, where he helped to foundand became a resident fellow of the Center for Studies of the Person. His later books include Carl Rogers on Personal Power (1977) and Freedom to Learn for the 80’s (1983).
Person Centered Therapy was developed in the 1940s and 50s as a response to the less personal, more “clinical” therapy that dominated the field.
It is a non-directive form of talk therapy, meaning it allows the client to lead the conversationand does not attempt to steer the client in any way.
The three key qualities that make for a good person centered therapist were defined as Core Conditions by Carl Rogers. He emphasised that if therapists provide these conditions in their way of relating with their clients, they create sufficient conditions for clients to feel safe, explore themselves and bring about changes that are growth oriented. These core conditions are mentioned below:
1. Unconditional Positive Regard: This quality in a therapist means the ability accept the client for who s/he is and provide support and care no matter what s/he is going through.
2. Congruence/Genuineness: This quality means being comfortable sharing one’s feelings with the client. Not only will this contribute to a healthy and open relationship between the therapist and client, it provides the client with a model of good communication and shows the client that it’s okay to be vulnerable.
3. Empathetic Understanding: This ability means sensing and feeling how the client’s world is andlike amirror, reflecting the client’s thoughts and feelings back to him or her. This helps both to form a positive therapeutic relationship and allows the client to better understand him or herself.
Another notable characteristic of person or client centered therapy is the use of the term “client” rather than “patient.” Therapists who practice this type of approach see the client and therapist as a team of equal partners rather than an expert and a patient (McLeod, 2015).
At Maanas, the Core Conditions are not only the philosophy with which we work, they are also the basis of how we teach, how we conduct our therapeutic practice and how we train others.
Our students are at all times treated with unconditional positive regard, nurtured with empathy and taught with congruence. All of us as team members and facilitators not only remain real with our students, we also create an environment where our students feel safe and free to be themselves. Throughout the program, we provide avenues so that the students get to explore their own person and ways of using and expressing their unique self in their work.
We at Maanas The Inside Story, welcome you to a Nine Month Program that trains you to become a Practising Person Centered Therapist. Know more about this program in the details shared below.
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