Person-centered therapy is just one of over more than 300 different types of psychotherapy treatments available to clients, illustrated by Holmes and Lindley (1989) as ranging from Active Analytical Psychotherapy to Zaraleya Psychoenergetic Technique. Over the years, these varying schools of thought have not always seen eye to eye with emphasis being placed on differences rather than any commonality leading to much heated debate and discussion over which technique is the most effective for both therapist and client.
Recently however, the wide spectrum of practices have attempted to distill their differences down to the core element that the relationship between the client and the therapist is key to any understanding of the practice of psychotherapy. Back in 1987, Smail (1987) summed up this relationship by illustrating that a therapeutic encounter between a client and therapist offered a rare opportunity to ‘pursue the truth about themselves and their lives…without the threat of blame and disapproval and without the risk of offending or hurting the person to whom they are revealing themselves’.
So amongst all the therapies available to the therapist and client, can Person Centered Therapy (PCT), be considered the best framework for both parties to work within? What is Person-centered Therapy – is it a technique? Where does its strengths lie and what are the perceived weaknesses within its approach leveled at it by its critics?
PCT – An overview
PCT was developed by Carl Rogers, an American Psychologist who chose to follow a humanistic approach in contrast to the Freudian route of Psychodynamics or Jung’s analytical psychology. Both he, and Abraham Maslow, another theorist who contributed greatly to Person-Centered counselling, emphasised the uniqueness and positive nature of humans along with being equally