Client Centered Approach

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The client centred therapy was developed by Carl Rogers in 1942 and was based on his personal experience with clients. He believed that everyone is capable of solving their own problems if the right conditions are provided. He proposed that the therapist’s role was to listen to clients, be empathic with them, and accept them for who they were rather than offer deep interpretations of unconscious material or mechanistically change behaviors. He emphasized the real relationship between the therapist and the client rather than the transference relationship, and suggested that therapists should be open and genuine with their clients. He summed this up in six conditions that he thought were necessary for successful therapy. These conditions were:

1. The relationship between the client and therapist
2. Client’s incongruence or vulnerability to anxiety- that motivates them to stay in the relationship 3. Therapist’s congruence or genuineness- not acting, self-disclosure, listening, awareness of own feelings, openness 4. Therapist’s unconditional positive regard for the client 5. Therapist’s empathetic understanding- accurate, both active and passive aspects of empathy. 6. Client’s perception of therapist UPR and empathetic understanding Three of these conditions are dominating; they are empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence. C. Rogers called these conditions “core conditions”. Empathy

It is extremely important that the counsellor is able to empathize with his client and see the world through his eyes and be able to share the same feelings. Carl Rogers says in his book A therapist view of psychotherapy on becoming a person (1961):”Acceptance does not mean much until it involves understanding. It is only as I understand the feelings and thoughts which seem so horrible to you, or so weak, or so sentimental, or so bizarre – It is only as I see them as you see them, and accept them and you, that you feel really free to explore all hidden nooks and frightening crannies of your inner and often buried experience”. Unconditional positive regard

UPS is unconditional acceptance, caring and a non-possessive love. It is important for the client to feel accepted and not being judged. Many people go through life being afraid of manifesting their feelings and attitudes as they might be different from others. Their emotions are being suppressed and they become victims of conditions of worth, where they are being forced by society, family, work environment etc into following certain rules. They might no longer be able to think freely and they start feeling trapped. If the counsellor is able to provide UPS then the client will become relaxed and stop being afraid of being judged. He will be able to find himself again and start trusting his own feelings and gradually help himself.


By congruence we understand genuineness, freedom to show are feelings and manifest are opinions without pretence or having a facade. It is believed that as much as the client needs to be able to accept their own feeling and acknowledge their fears and barriers, the same thing applies to the counsellor. It is only when the counsellor is prepared to observe his own feelings and accept them, that he will be able to help the client in most efficient way. Carl Rogers describes this as:”I have come to recognise that being trustworthy does not demand that I be rigidly consistent but that I am dependably real. The term “congruent” is one I have used to describe the way I would like to be. By this I mean that whatever feeling or attitude I am experiencing would matched my awareness of that attitude. When this is true, then I am a unified or integrated person in that moment, and hence I can be whatever deeply I am.”

Carl Rogers also believed in actualising tendency, which is based on everyone’s inner ability to grow, develop their personality and move toward self actualisation. Self actualisation is everyone’s need to become best he can...
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