Also known as client-centred therapy, the person-centred approach is a humanistic approach to therapy that deals with ways in which individuals perceive themselves consciously, rather than how a counsellor can interpreter their unconscious thoughts or ideas.
The core purpose of person-centred therapy is to facilitate our ability to self-actualise: it ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by certain life experiences, particularly those the experiences which affect our sense of value.
An important part of the self-actualising theory is that in a particular psychological environment, the fulfilment of personal potentials includes; sociability (the need to be with other people, and a desire to know and be known by others); being open to experience; being trusting and trustworthy; and being curious, creative and compassionate.
In this approach, the therapist aims to understand your experience from your perspective. It facilitates your personal growth and relationships by allowing you to explore and utilise your strengths and personal identity.
The person-centred approach can also help you to:
- find closer agreement between an idealised self and actual self
- achieve better self-understanding and awareness
- release feelings of defensiveness, insecurity, and guilt
- have a greater ability to trust oneself
- develop healthier relationships
- see improvement in self-expression
- achieve a healthy sense of change overall
Person-centred counselling can help with a range of personal issues, and many people find it an appealing type of therapy as it allows them to keep control over the content and pace of the sessions. This approach is said to be particularly effective in helping with depression, anxiety, stress, and grief.