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Person-Centered Therapy. Person-Centered Therapy. Carl Rogers Fundamentalist upbringing Trained theology and clinical psychology His therapy was a reaction to directive therapies (e.g., psychoanalysis, behavior therapy)

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Person-Centered Therapy

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person centered therapy1
Person-Centered Therapy
  • Carl Rogers
    • Fundamentalist upbringing
    • Trained theology and clinical psychology
  • His therapy was a reaction to directive therapies (e.g., psychoanalysis, behavior therapy)
  • Based on a philosophy of human nature as an innate striving to better oneself
theory of personality
Theory of Personality
  • Human beings are whole organisms
  • One primary drive – SELF ACTUALIZATION
    • Humans inherently strive to develop optimal capacities to serve and maintain the organism
      • Basic needs
      • Tension reduction
      • Relating to others
      • Cultural engagement
theory of personality1
Theory of Personality
  • Organismic Valuing Process
    • We naturally value those things that help us actualize
  • Self-concept
    • We differentiate experiences that are us vs. those that belong to others
    • Self-experiences form together to yield a unified concept of self.
    • Development of SC leads to need for POSITIVE REGARD
positive regard to conditions of worth
Positive Regard to Conditions of Worth
  • Need for PR, to be loved, prized, valued, becomes the most potent in developing person.
  • Parents and community place CONDITIONS of WORTH on those behaviors that lead to PR.
  • People’s SC then begins to mirror the way people give out PR ----- Self-regard
  • Related to degree of conditionality
    • Experiences consistent with worth are allowed in ones that aren’t are distorted
  • Distortion leads to INCONGRUENCE
    • Discrepancy in Self vs. Experience
  • Leads person to be more “fractured” than whole and distorts what people see as a worthy avenue of actualization
  • Symptoms manifest as people attempt to prevent threatening experiences coming into awareness
person centered therapy2
Person-Centered Therapy
  • Therapy is a permissive, non-directive climate
  • Phenomenological approach: seeing and understanding others from their reference, perception
  • Therapist: creates a growth promoting environment, non directive, not the expert, non controlling, caring, accepting, genuine.
  • Client: remove obstacles that are blocking growth
person centered therapy3
Person-Centered Therapy


  • Work through distortions that create incongruence
  • Lessen the impact of conditions of worth
  • Become more “here and now”
  • Become more actualized
    • Open to experiences
    • Trust themselves
    • Realistic Self-evaluation
    • Continue growing
therapeutic relationship
Therapeutic Relationship
  • Rogers speaks of six conditions that comprise the TR
    • Relationship
    • Vulnerability
      • Motivates and maintains the relationship
    • Genuineness
      • Congruence/No deception of client or self
    • Unconditional Positive Regard
      • Caring – reduces conditions of worth
    • Accurate Empathy
      • Perceive and reflect the clients inner world and perceptions
      • Bracket our own feelings and perceptions
    • Perception of Genuineness
      • Client has to see all these things in the therapist
change processes
Change Processes
  • Consciousness raising
    • Happens through reflection, organization and attention allocation toward emotional experience
      • Surrogate information processes
  • Cartharsis
    • Positive regard leads to safety
    • Therapist “follows the affect.”
therapeutic content
Therapeutic Content
  • Intrapersonal
    • Distortion or denial of experiences
    • Conflict between ideal and real self
  • Fulfillment
    • Self-actualization
person centered therapy4
Person-Centered Therapy


  • Empathy
  • Phenomenological approach
  • Reflection
  • Increase self-understanding
  • Genuine
  • Unconditional positive regard and acceptance
person centered therapy5
Person-Centered Therapy


  • Client is not challenged
  • Too simplistic
  • No interventions/techniques
  • Undirected
  • Not all clients are able to find their own answers
  • Not much research on theory and practice
  • Theory has not evolved much since the 1960’s
motivational interviewing
Motivational Interviewing
  • Client centered and directive
  • Resolve ambivalence
  • Four principles
    • Express empathy
    • Roll w/resistance
    • Develop discrepancy
    • Support self-efficacy
mi basic strategies
MI: Basic Strategies
  • Open questions
  • Affirmation
  • Reflections
    • Parrot
    • Rephrase
    • Meaning
    • Feeling
  • Summary
mi processes of change
MI: Processes of Change
  • Same as Rogers
    • Consciousness raising
    • Catharsis
  • Selective reinforcement of CHANGE Talk
    • Desire
    • Ability
    • Reasons
    • Need
    • Commitment
commitment language pattern b
Commitment Language Pattern B

Amrhein et al., Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 2003 71:862-878