Person-centered therapy, which is also known as client-centered, non-directive, or Rogerian therapy, is an approach to counseling and psychotherapy that places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a nondirective role.
Two primary goals of person-centered therapy are increased self-esteem and greater openness to experience. Some of the related changes that this form of therapy seeks to foster in clients include closer agreement between the client's idealized and actual selves; better self-understanding; lower levels of defensiveness, guilt, and insecurity; more positive and comfortable relationships with others; and an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur.
Developed in the 1930s by the American psychologist Carl Rogers, client-centered therapy departed from the typically formal, detached role of the therapist emphasized in psychoanalysis and other forms of treatment. Rogers believed that therapy should take place in a supportive environment created by a close personal relationship between client and therapist. Rogers's introduction of the term "client" rather than "patient" expresses his rejection of the traditionally hierarchical relationship between therapist and client and his view of them as equals. In person-centered therapy, the client determines the general direction of therapy, while the therapist seeks to increase the client's insight and self-understanding through informal clarifying questions.
Beginning in the 1960s, person-centered therapy became associated with the human potential movement. This movement, dating back to the beginning of the 1900s, reflected an altered perspective of human nature. Previous psychological theories viewed human beings as inherently selfish and corrupt. For example, Freud's theory focused on sexual and aggressive tendencies as the primary forces driving