Counseling Techniques: Improving Relationships with Others, Ourselves, Our Families, and Our Environment

By Rosemary A. Thompson | Go to book overview

Chapter10

Person-Centered Techniques and Psychoeducational Counseling Approaches

Perspective for the Therapist: On relationships

The degree to which I can create relationships which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself.

Carl Rogers, A Way of Being, 1980, p. 16
(Reprinted with permission)

Three conditions constitute a growth-promoting climate, whether speaking of the relationship between therapist and client, parent and child, leader and group, teacher and student, administrator and staff, or employer and employee. The first condition is genuineness-realness or congruence. The more the therapist is authentic in the therapeutic relationship (i.e., putting up no professional front or personal façade), the greater the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner. The second condition is a climate for change with unconditional positive regard. It means that when the therapist is experiencing a positive, nonjudgmental, accepting attitude toward whatever the client is at that moment, therapeutic movement or change is more likely. Finally, the third condition is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that are being experienced by the client and communicates this acceptant understanding to the client (Rogers, 1986). A set of central values that are implicit or explicit in Rogers' theoretical writings are central to the person-centered approach:
1. Human nature is basically constructive.
2. Human nature is basically social.

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