What is Person-Centered Counseling?
You have wisdom living within yourself and learning how to access that wisdom is part of the role of the therapist who uses a person-centered approach. In person-centered therapy, you are in charge, leading the way and this gives the client a great deal of space for self-discovery.
Many believe that in a typical therapy session, the therapist asks questions, guides the process, and offers solutions. Many people want to hear solutions from the therapist and are looking for guidance. This type of therapy and approach can be helpful in certain situations where the counseling psychologist and psychotherapist is teaching the client-specific skills or helping with a crisis situation.
At One Life, we strongly believe that all the wisdom lives within you and having a person-centered approach to therapy is very important to us in our work.
In this type of therapy, the client takes the lead in discussions and comes up with the answers and insight for themselves through very reflective questions. This non-authoritative approach allows clients to have more space and agency in the process. It empowers and motivates the patient during therapy.
The purpose of this type of therapy is to help you by looking within yourself. It also lets you come up with solutions to correct any thoughts or behavioral flaws that are setting you back or causing you pain.
The Origins of Personal-Centered Counseling
Person-centered counseling began in the United States by Carl Rogers in the 1940s. At the time of its inception, psychotherapy centered on children and students. The therapeutic approach was based on Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis. The Freudian theory aimed to raise self-awareness by expressing repressed thoughts and feelings. However, therapies utilized a lot of directive techniques because it involved children and young adults.
Roger’s training and experience as a psychoanalyst brought an opportunity for him to define his understanding and approach toward counseling. His concept was a deviation from traditional therapy where the health practitioner provides direction for counseling sessions and solutions.
Roger believed everybody can understand their lives and personality and identify areas that cause them mental distress just by directing themselves. Therefore, he designed a therapeutic approach that enabled people to find themselves during counseling.
It is for this reason that Roger refused to call therapy seekers patients. He deliberately referred to them as clients because the term patient denotes that someone is ill and is looking for a cure. However, with client-centered counseling, a person is trying to find themselves.
The Nature of Personal-Centered Counseling
The aim of Roger’s client-centered counseling is not to target flaws and problematic behavior and thoughts. His therapeutic approach focuses on making people actualize their potential. Human beings have intrinsic capacities to understand themselves and make changes from this knowledge. They can change their attitudes, concepts, and behaviors if they are aware of their true self.
The same is observed with all living organisms evolving toward organization, balance, and complexity. With non-directive therapy, the client is encouraged to focus internally. The intrinsic analysis helps the client identify their beliefs, perceptions, attitude, values, and problems. After the self-evaluation, a person can make changes where it is required to come to a real understanding of themselves. The point of finding out your true nature is called self-actualization.
Elements of the Therapy Session
As the name of the Rogerian therapy suggests, counseling is self-directed. The client gets to control their intervention. Therapists do not offer insights, provide solutions, or ask leading questions during counseling. They are an equal partner with the client during therapy.
Therapy sessions also take an empathetic approach. The psychotherapist seeks to understand the client’s emotional and mental perspective and acknowledges their experience throughout each session. By putting themselves in the client’s shoes, they are in a better position of understanding the patient.
Additionally, the counseling psychologist mirrors the client’s feelings and thoughts so that the client can better understand their feelings, perspective, and line of thinking. Roger’s approach increases the client’s self-awareness leading them to self-direct toward change. Empathy also boosts the client’s confidence.
The counseling session is non-directive. The therapist does not guide the client in a particular direction. Additionally, the psychotherapist provides unconditional positivity and support. Positivity is vital in building confidence and encouraging honesty. The counselor does not pass judgment on the client. No matter what is shared or expressed during therapy.
The opposite of unconditional support is conditional support. Here, the client is only supported when they meet certain therapeutic expectations. Unconditional support enhances candidness during therapy. The client can express their emotions: fear, anger, resentment, and misery without any form of condemnation.
Counseling is based on genuineness and authenticity. The psychologist and psychotherapist demonstrate this by being honest in their sharing to encourage the client to be sincere. The positive environment helps the client develop an open view of the world and how they see themselves.
The primary objective of Rogerian therapy is to help clients find their true selves without deviating from reality. There is a lot of distortion of the understanding of self. The conflict between this perception and reality creates incongruence. For instance, if someone says they are good at athletics and fail to perform in the field, their supposition and reality do not align.
Through non-directive counseling, incongruence becomes apparent to the client, enabling them to adjust where needed. These changes are what lead the client to a real understanding of self. The process is called self-actualization. Everyone distorts reality. Through this therapy, people can get a better understanding of themselves without any misconstrues.
Find a Psychologist Near You
If you are looking for person-centered Counseling in Calgary, we have a team of therapists who can lead you toward the path of self-actualization and healing. It is for your benefit to find a therapist within your area of residence to avoid unnecessary stressors that come with beating traffic and missing meetings.
Some of the psychologists at One Life use the Rogerian method in their counseling approach and are happy to collaborate and partner with you along your journey.
Even with the availability of many mental health experts, not all are going to be compatible with you. As Roger’s concepts denote, you need to have a good relationship with your therapist for client-centered therapy to work. Any form of discomfort or incompatibility hinders your willingness to share and freedom in honesty. Due diligence has to be done before committing to any therapist in Calgary and we trust you will feel in good hands with our team.