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What is Client-centered Therapy and How is it Used?

Azmin Taraporewala Mar 20, 2020
"What is client-centered therapy?" you ask. Client-centered therapy -- also referred to as person-centered therapy -- is an approach that finds its originate roots in the field of psychology.
Client-centered therapy -- also known as Rogerian psychotherapy -- has derived its identity from Dr. Carl Rogers. This approach was developed during the 1940s. Client-centered therapy is a sub-field of psychological counseling that allows the consultant or the patient to play an important role in the progression of the therapy.
The client has a reservoir of emotions and experiences to narrate and explicate to the counselor, and this is possible, when the discrepancies with regard to communication are divulged, giving the client the liberty to speak his mind. Rogers was the one who displaced the term patient for client.
Rogers asserted that the client and the therapist are equals, and they share a relationship that has its foundation laid on commanding respect and not claiming authoritative ranks.
Rogers confers to being a complete humanist. With respect to his doctrine, he proposes that people are essentially good and have an innate tendency to aggregate their efforts to stir their potential and work towards a higher purpose in life. He believed that the human psyche aims to reach the apotheosis of self-actualization.
Client-centered therapy primarily started out as a non-directive approach. Rogers opined that a therapist must not guide the client, instead anchor the client's progress. However, it was found that clients looked up to the therapist for guidance coupled with anchorage.

What Is Client-centered Therapy

Client-centered therapy is one of the most popular therapies of psychology that stems from psychotherapy wherein it is essential that the client enunciates his feelings and emotions, and does not carry a baggage of sulk and feel weighed down.
For this, an amicable environment has to be created by building a strong rapport between the client and the therapist. A majority of sessions consist of the client indulging in verbal communication. The therapist is all ears for the client and serves to be a patient listener.
The therapist gradually locomotes into deciphering his stream of thought, and in the successive course, conducts inquiries in the form of substantial questions. The rationale behind asking questions when the client is verbalizing his experiences is to ensure that his interpretation is directly proportional to his actual incidents.
The therapist must infer all that the client is saying in a way that it ought to be interpreted. Moreover, the therapist must be free of bias, or any forceful propositions. Through this process, the therapist aids the client to sail through traumatic times and escalate to enjoyable moments.

Techniques Involved

Client-centered therapy concentrates on client's side of the story. It is not an approach where the therapist sows the seed of thought and asks the client to respond accordingly. The client is free to say and do what comes to his or her mind, without any qualms.
The client need not be embarrassed about his articulations. The client-centered technique that the therapist predominantly adheres to is termed as free association. This is a technique where the client is free to simply speak without displaying any restrictive behavior.
This process could be extremely stretchy, however, it has the ability to spell comfort in the clients mind. These sessions help the client to reevaluate and reinvent himself with regard to his self-esteem and self-confidence.
In response to the clients narrations of experiences, the therapist has all the liberty to share his feelings and incidences that will induce the client to think positive. This is a technique, where the therapist practices congruence. The counselor must weigh his words before he utters them.
He should not say anything that plants negativity in his mind and leads him to obtuse ideologies. The therapist accepts the client as an individual with his unique attributes without any retributions obstructing his procedures. The crux of the therapy lies in the therapist fostering unconditional positive response.
Client-centered therapy also relies on a technique used in all sessions devoted to psychotherapy. This technique is maintaining eye contact with the client. It is very important for the client to realize that the therapist is thoroughly involved in the session and is interested in the experience that is narrated by him.
Another technique employed is called the technique of reflection. In this technique, the therapist apart from asking questions, communicates and clears all the doubts cropping up in his mind, in association with the clients experience. It shows that the therapist is soaked in his experiences and is paying attention to all that the client has to say.
Another technique involved in this approach is empathizing with the client. Punctuating sentences with phrases suggesting empathy, such as 'I understand'; 'I believe what you say'; 'I understand what you have gone through' are sincere phrases that make the client feel that there is someone, who is concerned about his condition and understands his anguish.
Through the successful progression of the therapy, the client is able to understand the self better, program his mind with optimistic thoughts, explore his aptitude, and channel his attitude correctly. Acknowledging his true self, identifying his potential, and working toward realizing his goals would tutelage him to feel complete.
With multiple sessions that centripetally foster motivation and understanding, the client is comfortable in verbalizing his conscience lucidly.
Thus, the client is sure to recoup and find solace in his new-found life. It also involves the use of therapeutic communication. After all this, self-esteem should be on the rise and self-confidence must escalate in order to deem the therapy successful.
The client must get rid of guilt and self-pity after the therapy has been terminated for good. Client-centered therapy, indeed, is the navigator that leads you to captain your life in the right direction.