The Person-Centred Approach (PCA)
of Carl R. ROGERS
This psychological and psychotherapeutic approach is renowned and spread all over the world. It has a high level of philosophical background and is supported by empirical research.
It is based on the postulate of the actualizing tendency. This is the basic energy active in every living being, pushing for growth and fulfilment.
The actualizing tendency can be damaged, hold back, and prevented from its natural action, which causes physical and psychological problems: if a person is not like they are supposed to be and as they want to be. This distortion is the reason for psychological distress.
The role of the psychotherapist is to create a climate which allows the actualizing tendency in the client to come into full being and to be active, so that the client enters again in accordance/harmony with himself.
The creation of this climate is realized by the quality of the therapeutic relationship, which can be understood through the three basic attitudes:
– authenticity (the therapist is present as a real person)
– unconditional positive regard (the person is always accepted as a growing being, not judged for their behaviour)
– empathy (the therapist is always eager to understand the client as completely as possible and to express this understanding).
Becoming a person-centred therapist means to experience the helping position in trainings during four or five years in various sessions and situations. The future therapist learns to know their own reactions face to clients and to influence their own process of being a person, and not to influence the client with their own values, fears, and opinions. Anyway, being a therapist is a life-long learning process…
If you search for more complete information about the person-centred approach, please consult The Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach (ADPCA). We would also encourage you to read any of the books written by Carl Rogers, whose writings are very clear and understandable. We can offer you some of those in our library in various languages.