Why Client-Centered Therapy?
I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m a big Carl Rogers fan. I was fortunate to come across his book, On Becoming a Person (1961), in my early years as a therapist. Rogers’s client-centered psychotherapy has informed my approach more than any other method. I want to share some of my favorite lessons here (#3 is especially meaningful to me), with the hope that this gives you some insight into who I am as a counselor and psychotherapist. I don’t think I can say it any better than Rogers himself. Italics in quotes are his.
- “. . . It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried. It began to occur to me that unless I had a need to demonstrate my own cleverness and learning, I would do better to rely upon the client for the direction of movement in the process” (p.11-12).
- “When I accept myself as I am, then I change. . . . we cannot change, we cannot move away from what we are, until we thoroughly accept what we are” (p. 17).
- “. . . I have come to feel that only one person can know whether what I am doing is honest, thorough, open, and sound, or false and defensive and unsound, and I am that person” (p. 23).
- “What is most personal is most general” (p. 26).
- “Psychotherapy does not supply the motivation for such development or growth. This seems to be inherent in the organism, just as we find a similar tendency in the human animal to develop and mature physically, provided minimally satisfactory conditions are provided. But therapy does play an extremely important part in releasing and facilitating the tendency of the organism toward psychological development or maturity, when this tendency has been blocked” (p. 60).
- On how therapy works: “…As he finds someone else listening acceptantly to his feelings, he little by little becomes able to listen to himself…While he is learning to listen to himself he also becomes more acceptant of himself…And finally as he listens more accurately to the feelings within, and becomes less evaluative and more acceptant toward himself, he also moves toward greater congruence” (p. 63-64).
For me, Rogers’s work is foundational. Every one of us has a drive toward healing, growth, and positive change. Therapy provides a relationship and an environment where you can learn to trust yourself, trust your experience, accept yourself more fully, and ultimately move toward a more authentic you.
To learn more about the therapy process contact me at 713-659-9634.