Person-centered Therapy

Unconditional Positive Regard

Person-centered Therapy

Perhaps I could say that Person-centered Therapy, or Rogerian Therapy is the method that persuaded me the most as a psychologist. It gives the client plenty of space to talk and to be listened to, without immediate interventions. This therapy was the fore front of the humanistic psychology movement, and still influences many therapeutic techniques and the mental health field in general. It is based on Rogers’s belief that every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfil his or her own potential and self-actualization. He linked it to the way that other living organisms strive toward balance, order, and greater complexity.

Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self-directed behaviour; these resources can be tapped if a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided.(Rogers, 1951, p. 487)

The person-centered therapist learns to recognize and trust human potential, providing clients with empathy and Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR) to help facilitate change — something I value highly and use in my therapeutic approach. UPR  is where parents, significant others (and the humanist therapist) accepts and loves the person for what he or she is.  And most importantly, positive regard is not withdrawn if the person does something wrong or makes a mistake.

When being in this role, I will avoid directing the course of therapy by following the client’s lead whenever possible. Instead, I will offer support, guidance, and UPR so that the client can discover personalized solutions within themselves.

This type of approach might be suitable for some clients who were previously treated with CBT or other directive type of therapies and found out that this was not their “cup of tea”.