Rogerian Therapy: Person Centered Therapy Techniques To Improve Your Relationship
Psychotherapy often focuses on a person's problems and addresses the issues they wish to overcome. There are, however, some different approaches to helping a person improve certain aspects of their lives within a therapeutic setting. Rogerian therapy focuses on the person and their capacity to improve and conquer their obstacles by emphasizing positive traits and abilities. This is also known as client-centered therapy or person-centered therapy).
Rogerian ("Client-Centered") Therapy: Psychology, Definition, And Origins
When it comes to client-centered therapy, the definition states that therapy focuses primarily upon the client. This method is as straightforward as the name implies. While traditional therapy methods view the therapeutic process as a way of improving, modifying, preventing, or fully abolishing certain thoughts and behaviors as a way of treating a person's mental health concerns or problems in their lives, Rogerian therapy (or person-centered therapy), however, takes a different view when it comes to working with a patient.
Rogerian therapy instead emphasizes a person's potential as an individual. It focuses on encouraging personal growth with the goals of self-realization and healing without interference by the mental health professional. Rather than the therapist or counselor guiding the patient's session, such as in more traditional variations of therapy, they instead allow the individual seeking help to direct the flow of their sessions and support them along the way as they come to their conclusions. The patient is responsible for taking out their concerns and coming to their resolutions for these issues. The therapist helps them further understand certain aspects without fully interfering or intervening in any way.
Carl Rogers, the creator of Rogerian therapy, was a man that believed a "one size fits all" approach to therapy would not simply fit for all individuals that would be seeking out the help of mental health professional. He believed that all of a person's troubles stemmed mainly from their perception of their events. Therefore encouraging the individual themselves was the best method of making psychological improvements and progress, rather than relying on the more typical views of therapy revolving around the concepts of behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Rogers placed a lot of emphasis on a person's capacity to self-heal and strive for personal growth. Therefore he claimed that the best expert for anyone seeking psychological help was the individual themselves.
One of the most important aspects of Rogers' theory in regards to a person being the best suited to "fix" themselves was the idea of their self-concept. This states that we all have certain perceptions about ourselves, and these self-views impact how we interact with the world and handle things. Someone who views themselves as weak or victims of their circumstances may be far more likely to be affected negatively and not fight back against something unpleasant than them. A person who views themselves as strong and independent is likely to go through their life events with more confidence and feel like they could tackle the world.
Rogerian therapy, instead of helping a patient overcome the problems of their past like in traditional psychotherapy methods, has the goal of helping clients achieve personal growth instead and achieve their full potential as an individual. This is why the term "client" is used instead of "patient" during person-centered therapy sessions because it emphasizes the individual and their potential for growth instead of implying they are in therapy to treat a particular psychological illness.
What Techniques Are Involved In Person-Centered Therapy?
So how is therapy supposed to work if the therapist isn't really involved in the coping and healing process? The techniques involved allow the patient themselves to direct their session in several ways:
- Client-Directed Sessions-Most therapy sessions consist of the mental health professional asking questions or helping to guide the client in the right direction throughout their sessions together. With person-centered therapy, though, the client themselves chooses what to discuss and at what pace they would like to address their issues. The therapist supports the individual as they discuss their issues and come to conclusions and possible solutions independently.
- Focusing On The Client As A Person, Rather Than Just Their Problems - In standard types of therapy, the healing process is often approached with a specific focus upon one or more particular issues and with the belief that the client's behaviors or thought patterns need modification to help alleviate some of their problems or the perspective of such. Still, Rogerian therapy takes a very different approach. Instead of being so focused on the problems or having a flawed mindset, this type of client-centered therapy emphasizes the positive traits within the client. It encourages these factors as a means of overcoming any other difficulties they may be having. This focus upon the client helps that individual to find the solutions to life's problems that work best for them, and this can further boost their self-confidence and self-esteem as they're provided the support to realize what they're capable of once they discover their own specific set of methods for problem-solving and working towards their actual goals.
- Focusing On Identifying And Working Towards Goals - One of the first tasks at hand in client-centered therapy is identifying the client's goals and how they might achieve those aspirations. It's easy to let any hardships in life distract you and lead you further away from where you want to be and what you want to be doing. Still, Rogerian therapy will redirect your focus away from the negative and back to the positive. As with every other aspect of this type of therapy when in session, the clients themselves are encouraged to narrow down what they want out of both the therapy sessions and their lives in general and are supported by their therapist as they reach these conclusions and begin to discover the changes they will need to be making to help lead them closer to reaching those goals.
- Acknowledging The Client As The Expert On Themselves Instead Of The Therapist - Mental health professionals are often considered the experts on getting help; hence people seeking them out for assistance in the first place. Once again, though, client-centered therapy differs from the usual ideas of therapy in practice. Rogerian therapy insists that the client is the expert on themselves rather than the therapist, and there can be quite a bit of truth to this. No matter how much you speak to your mental health professional, they won't know every detail of your mind or how it functions, even if they can get a pretty good idea of how it works. There may be some details you leave out in sessions that you wouldn't initially find important but may realize on your own later on, but they would never know to apply that in helping you with your problems. Rogerian therapy focuses on you as the expert about yourself. Therefore you are the most likely person to properly analyze yourself, your mind, and your issues at hand to find the most appropriate coping mechanisms and fixes that would be the most successful in resolving any concerns and leading you in the right direction. Your therapist is there as a supportive figure, available to lend guidance and advice in helping you to continue to figure things out yourself.
However, the most important factor of client-centered therapy is the unique relationship between the therapist and their client. Rather than having someone to sort through the information the client is providing them with and pinpointing issues, and giving them specific directions on how to go about fixing these things, client-centered therapists are more like having a good friend to listen to as you talk and sort through everything yourself. The ideal therapist for this type of therapy is a fantastic listener, accepting of their client and the things they will discuss during their sessions, and understanding the concerns their client has on their mind. In these sessions, there is no judgment, no analyzing on the therapist's part, and respect is crucial as they empathize with the client.
Person-Centered Therapy For Couples
The majority of couple's counseling sessions follow the beliefs and patterns of standard psychoanalysis: speaking to each partner, identifying their problems and concerns, figuring out the underlying wants and needs, and working towards conflict resolution in several areas.
When couples seek out person-centered therapy, the flow is instead far more like an individual session with a Rogerian therapist. Instead of pinpointing all of the problems and making plans for resolving problem areas, client-centered therapy for couples will focus primarily upon speaking openly and honestly. The sessions will emphasize improving communication between the two partners. As with individual sessions, the therapist will not dictate what each partner should be doing differently and heavily involve themselves in the sessions, but provide support for the two to focus on communicating with each other and openly expressing themselves. By doing this, the two clients in their session will improve their ability to express their wants, needs, and feelings with their partner and direct their session with a safe mediator present.
The idea of self-concept also plays a role in couple's therapy. Person-centered therapy can help clients realize their self-concept and that of their partner and begin to understand how each sees themselves and what they believe to be their place in the world. By recognizing this, one partner can gain a significant understanding of the other as they realize how they view themselves and the world around them. There may even have been conflicts of one partner being insecure and having an unhealthy self-image and low self-esteem, causing potential problems or concerns within the relationship due to the unhappiness with themselves, and this can be brought to light and addressed if the other partner had never even thought that their loved one viewed themselves that way.
By gaining a better understanding of yourself, you can better understand how you function within the scope of a relationship with another person.
If you're interested in learning more about Rogerian (or client-centered) therapy or feel like couple's counseling could help improve your relationship with a loved one, ReGain is available remotely and for your convenience, regardless of your location and schedule. Don't hesitate to reach out to one of the many licensed and trained professionals available today and get the information and professional assistance you want and deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Rogerian approach?
The Rogerian approach is one often used in therapy Rogerian therapy and otherwise. The Rogerian approach focuses on putting the power back in the client's hands rather than the therapist; instead of the therapist guiding the client through the session and various topics and questions, the control belongs entirely to the client.
Rogerian therapists will likely utilize practices that put the focus on the client during the session. The client will likely lead most of the discussion in Rogerian psychotherapy, and the client also has control over what topics are discussed.
When we discuss therapy, Rogerian approaches are utilized; we’re often discussing client-centered or person-centered therapy. Rogerian psychotherapy emphasizes self-awareness and self-reflection throughout the therapeutic process; a Rogerian therapist will likely feel less hands-on than other therapists.
When it comes to client-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and similar ideas, individual and professional opinions vary. Some find that Rogerian psychotherapy and working with a Rogerian therapist are very effective ways to work through and understand the challenges they experience. Still, others might find these sorts of therapy sessions to be overwhelming or unproductive.
Any sort of therapy, Rogerian or otherwise, is, of course, a work in progress for many; it can take months or even years to find a therapeutic process and set-up that works for you, so patience and flexibility are key.
How does Rogerian therapy work?
Rogerian psychotherapy is often referred to as person-centered or client-centered therapy for a reason. Rogerian psychotherapy and Rogerian therapists focus on putting the control back in the hands of a client during the therapy session: a client controls and steer the conversation.
A Rogerian therapist will likely focus on being more of an active listener than the leader of a therapy session. A Rogerian therapist might focus on restating and synthesizing what a client says to help them better understand their emotions rather than telling them how they feel, for instance.
In person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar services, a Rogerian therapist might use various other therapeutic techniques and activities. The main goal of a Rogerian therapist and client is to work through challenges in a way that embraces self-awareness and self-reflection above all else.
What are Carl Rogers's 3 core conditions?
When it comes to an understanding of person-centered therapy, Carl Rogers is perhaps the leading expert; after all, in Rogerian therapy, Carl Rogers pioneered it, becoming the first Rogerian therapist. Rogers’ ideas about therapy and how Rogerian therapists should act conflict resolution and the human mind have significantly impacted how we view and understand mental health.
Carol Rogers’ three core conditions are as follows:
- Unconditional positive regard or acceptance
According to Rogers, each of these three core conditions must be present between a client and a Rogerian therapist to ensure that the therapeutic process is successful. A Rogerian therapist must prioritize these values throughout the entire process for all clients.
In therapy of any kind (individual therapy, Rogerian therapy, or a similar service), having a good and trusting relationship with the therapist in question is extremely important. In therapy, Rogerian or otherwise, feeling open with your therapist is the best way to honestly address difficult topics (those that create major problems in our lives).
What is the main goal of person-centered therapy?
The main goal of person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar services is to remember that the client is the leading expert in their own life and, as a result, should be the leader during therapy sessions/throughout the therapeutic process.
In Rogerian therapy, person-centered therapy, or client-centered therapy, a therapist focuses on helping a client become more self-aware. This allows the client to understand present mental health issues/concerns better and be prepared to combat ones that arise in the future.
Rogerian or otherwise, commitment, dedication, and patience are all key in any therapy. Even in person-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and similar services, real improvement and change can take time. It’s important to be kind to and understanding toward yourself.
How long does person-centered therapy last?
Rogerian therapy or person-centered therapy usually consists of weekly meetings, around 30-60 minutes long. Rogerian or otherwise, the entire therapeutic process might take months or even years to complete in any therapy.
For person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar services, the length really depends on the circumstances. Those with more concerns or challenges to work through can expect to spend more time working with a therapist, and many individuals find that their work in therapy is never truly, finished.
What are the weaknesses of person-centered therapy?
Regarding person-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and similar services, some cons to be aware of. In any kind of therapy, Rogerian or otherwise, some individuals might be better suited to certain practices or techniques than others.
Some of the weaknesses of person-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy or client-centered therapy, are as follows:
- It has more potential to benefit educated clients, who may be more likely to have a thorough understanding of mental illness disproportionately.
- This approach relies on the honesty and ability of the client, who may have a hard time working through therapy due to mental illness or personal obstacles.
- In an attempt to be a listener rather than an instructor, a therapist may fail to offer sufficient advice or sufficiently address a client’s concerns.
- It may be harder for Rogerian therapists to monitor your personal progress without some degree of inclusion or control.
Rogerian therapy or otherwise, it’s important to note when things feel like they aren’t working in any therapy. Always be honest and open with your therapist; therapy isn’t worth anyone’s time if it’s not helping you.
What are the strengths of person-centered therapy?
Rogerian or otherwise, individual benefits can be associated with different techniques and focuses in any therapy. In individual therapy, Rogerian therapy, and other similar services, an individual might experience a greater deal of self-worth and have an easier time completing day-to-day tasks.
Some of the strengths of person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy or client-centered therapy might include:
- Increased self-awareness and a desire to make life decisions
- Less of a disconnect between a client’s genuine self and who they show in therapy
- Improved mood and relief from mental health symptoms
- Stronger sense of trust in oneself and higher self-worth
- Higher level of independence
- Less likely to turn to maladaptive or detrimental behaviors
Person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy or client-centered therapy isn’t the best for everyone, but they do have the potential to be incredibly beneficial for some.
What techniques are used in person-centered therapy?
In Rogerian therapy, Rogerian therapists focus on activities and conversations that promote self-awareness within a client. Clients usually lead the majority of the session and are in charge of deciding what to discuss.
In person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar types of therapy, a therapist focuses on acknowledging and validating different experiences an individual has had and helping said individual understand things they may be avoiding or denying. In person-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and other therapies, this sort of practice is key.
Rogerian therapy, person-centered therapy, and client-centered therapy are all terms that the world is becoming increasingly aware of. Over time, more and more individuals and therapists alike will likely implement the practices used in therapy Rogerian or otherwise to improve their lives.
Person-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and client-centered therapy can help an individual be better equipped to handle future conflicts and concerns.
How does change occur in person-centered therapy?
In person-centered therapy, change occurs as a result of self-awareness. In person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar services, self-awareness is the first step to identifying, understanding, and eventually remedying various conflicts in life.
In person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and other similar types of therapy, the job of a professional is not to lead, but to support, listen, and assist. In any therapy, Rogerian therapy or otherwise, giving clients the skills to understand and work through issues outside of the office is an important priority and first step to facilitating long-term change.
Is client-centered therapy still used today?
Person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar practices are indeed still used today. In fact, many of the fundamentals of client-centered or person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and other similar services are deeply embedded into the way we treat mental illness.
In any sort of therapy, Rogerian or otherwise, self-reflection and self-awareness are incredibly important. Therapists of all sorts can utilize the techniques used in client-centered therapy, Rogerian therapy, and other practices to help guide and support clients.
How effective is person-centered therapy?
Person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar types of therapy can be incredibly successful. In any therapy, Rogerian or otherwise, personal commitment to therapy and a good therapist-patient relationship are important keys to success.
In patient-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar therapies, those who struggle with specific challenges or mental illnesses might find conversation challenging.
Still, the vast majority of individuals will likely find some benefit in person-centered therapy, even without the presence of a serious mental illness. Improved self-awareness and self-worth are never bad skills to have.
What is the most important factor related to progress in person-centered therapy?
For many in person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar types of therapy, the ability to identify and understand emotions, habits, and behaviors demonstrate significant progress. Honesty and compassion are also important when it comes to the client-therapist dynamic.
In person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy and similar therapeutic practices, self-awareness is prioritized. The job of a professional in the field of person-centered therapy Rogerian therapy or other types of therapy should work to help clients understand issues on their own; the role is more supportive than authoritative, and this balance is incredibly important.