Person Centered Therapy : A Humanistic Approach

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Person-Centered Theory
Brian L. Brooks II
Lindenwood University

Person-centered therapy was founded by Carl Rogers in the 1940s. Person-centered therapy was a humanistic approach different than Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory. Person-centered therapy was a non-directive approach where counselors guided their clients towards self-actualization in hopes of attaining fulfillment. Rogers (1979) had an optimistic view of the client’s ability to achieve fulfillment under the proper environment. Person-centered therapy counselors were active listeners guiding the client towards a self-awareness of their needs and goals. Person-centered therapy has influenced many modern approaches including emotion-focused therapy. …show more content…

Rogers (1979) stated “Persons in an environment infused with the attitudes, develop more self-understanding, more self-confidence, more ability to choose their behaviors” (p. 106). Cooper and McLeod (2010) agreed with Carl Rogers and emphasized “At the heart of person-centered approach, then, is an understanding that human beings want and need different things, and that an individual’s distinctive wants and needs should be given precedence over any generalized theories…” (p. 214). This new therapeutic focus was quite different from the common psychoanalytical theory of Sigmund Freud. Rogers (1979) believed “Irresponsible or socially undesirable behavior emerges from defensiveness that alienates human beings from their own nature” (p. 117). Counselors were no longer in charge of leading a client to specific goals. Rogers (1979) instead believed “As defensiveness declines and people become more open to their own experiences, they will strive for meaningful and constructive relationships” (p. 117). Rogers believed in creating an environment to help the client achieve whatever the client was hoping to achieve.
Theory Overview
Person-centered therapy consists of three focal points: A safe environment, a client’s autonomy and a counselor’s guidance. It is important to understand how each one’s importance is critical to a successful person-centered

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