Person-centered therapy: experience growth

Person-centered therapy: experience growth

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People are inherently kind and free. In each of us there is a desire to do good deeds and to develop their potential, but it is revealed only through a special relationship with other people - confidence and decision. So says one of the founders of humanistic psychology, the eminent American psychologist and psychotherapist Carl Rogers (Carl Rogers). He first drew attention not on the origins of the problems or the behavior of those who came to him for help, and the real feelings of a person in particular - his need for understanding. Rogers formulated based on customer-centered approach to psychotherapy, which since the 1960's of the last century began to become the world's second most popular after psychoanalysis. He insisted: this method is not a scientific theory, but a special life principle. They can take advantage of anyone who wants to understand what causes it to do certain things, and learn to accept the actions and feelings of others.

Just be yourself

For many centuries, religious and secular thinkers have argued that a person born lazy and nelyubopyten, uncontrollable and immoral. From this obvious conclusion: the person must be fully controlled, mechanically forcing to adopt rules of conduct and way of thinking of parents and other mentors. Fearing punishment from childhood we learn to show others only their "positive" side: pleasant facial expression, good words, good mood, self-confidence.

About the Author

Alexander Orlov - Doctor of Psychology, Director of the Institute of Applied Psychology of the State University - Higher School of Economics and author of "Psychology and the essence of man" (Academy, 2002). Weakness, irritation, anger taken to contain and hide. Thus we ourselves are driving yourself in a situation when people take us selectively, half-hearted, and our internal and external values ​​are in conflict, consuming joy of life, health and strength. "I have long believed that my closest colleagues, without swear words just are not able to communicate, - says 26-year-old Nicholas. - It's not my style, but I said nothing - I did not want to seem like a prude or become an outcast. But at some point I realized that is not fully obliged to endure. The next day, I told them to listen to all that I hate. To my amazement, they stopped swearing, at least in my presence. "

Exercise "listen and understand"

Evaluate how well you understand other people. When among home or in a small company of your friends a dispute, suspend debate. Suggest a rule: You can only answer once accurately retell thoughts and feelings, spoken to those who spoke earlier. In this companion must admit that it got it right. It seems simple, but having tried this exercise, you will certainly make sure this is one of the most difficult tasks. Gradually, over and over again trying to understand what is really meant and felt the other person, you will be able to stand on his point of view and your own ideas about the interlocutor change significantly. Differences between people are always removed in the process of understanding.

Person-centered therapy: experience growth


Every day, each of us there are conflicts between our true desires and the demands of society. The outcome of these conflicts depends on how we can be faithful to his deep-seated sense of self, in other words, if we have access to the main source of his power - a positive start, which gives us the ability to creatively transform the world. We can open a positive start and to help others do the same, if we learn to accept non-judgmental of others, sincerely empathize with their feelings and honestly express their own. Rogers believed that every person, regardless of their relationship to psychology, has inherent therapeutic abilities. He described the ideal image of the "fully functioning person" - a free and responsible, realizing their potential to support not imposed beliefs, and on the natural and universal values. Such a person can successfully adapt to external demands of the society, without any change in himself - a free, growing and developing person.

The Three Principles of Carl Rogers

They are the basis of the method of client-centered therapy and allow us to understand that at the moment of communion with us feel and experience other people.

Unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance

The ability to respond to the emotional manifestations of man, his behavior, without evaluating them. This sincere attitude to another as equals and who has the right to be the way it is.


The ability to accurately perceive the feelings of others and empathize with them, to understand and accept them, even if he do otherwise. Empathy is also called "emotional responsiveness".


Genuine, honest and open experience of his own feelings, sincere expression to communicate with another person.

There are no bad people

The refusal to be guided to external norms are not talking about selfishness or asocial: it is only the true inner freedom of choice. Definitely bad, selfish people do not exist - there are only those who show their positive start to distort. Every person is worthy of respect already on the grounds that he - a man, Carl Rogers said. What we believe the manifestation of bad faith, he explained, in fact - only a positive intention, has accepted perverted form. One scientist was asked how Hitler could grow out of the ordinary European boy. He said, this child (and after him and many, many others) is not lucky - in his life did not meet a single person that can accept and understand it.

Stages of

Client-centered approach is called "non-directive": he never directs, no runs, nowhere forces. There are not used the concept of norm and pathology, disease and cure, diagnosis and symptoms. Non-judgmental therapist will take all that will be said by the client. Therapy takes place in the form of a dialogue. He should determine which issues are relevant to him now, and the therapist helps him in the study, and the expression of their feelings, images, fantasies. Listening and responding, he is totally focused on the client: the mere presence of an attentive, understanding the interlocutor helps a person cope with fear and despair, inspires confidence in their abilities. As a result of her treatment the party comes to a sense of freedom and fullness of life with all its joys and difficulties.

Usually sufficient 6-10-hour sessions with a frequency of once or twice a week, but even one meeting can give noticeable results. The cost of the meeting - from 30 to 100 in. e.

Person-centered therapy: experience growth


Most often, bad things we do so that others do not want to make us what we are, suppress and ignore our emotions, trying to remake us in his own way. For example, often teenagers begin to be rude, fight, steal, when they feel themselves with their emotions and desires, and the parents are not interested in trying to call their attention to the part itself - even in the form of anger and hatred. The influence of other people can distort the idea of ​​a harmonious natural, but the basis of the behavior of any person who considers Rogers still is the desire to be understood and accepted.

The diagnosis: people

"I always wanted to be democratic, the mother allowed her daughter to walk late at night, spend the night with friends, - says 35-year-old Anna. - but our relationship remained strained. Only by working with a therapist, I realized that it was this freedom - the source of my mental discomfort. After my parents kept itself in severity. Realizing this, I was able to tell his daughter about her feelings. We discussed what is happening between us, agreed on a number of family rules and now as both a bit grown up, began to treat each other with more respect. "

Exercise "line of my life"

Try to re-live significant moments of his life, to understand and express the feelings they cause. Draw on a piece of paper the stairs, each step of which will be denoted by one of the most important events of your life - from birth to the present day. Ask yourself the question: "At what point am I now?" Mentally, "hike" up the steps, experiencing events marked you and making sure that what you are feeling at the same time experiencing. Ask another question: "How do I realize myself in the context of the entire past life story? What will be the next stage of my life? "Emotions evoked memories you can share with others. And if, say, you want to laugh, cry or bang his fist on the table, do not hold back - in full, genuine experience of the senses is the purpose of the exercise.

Whatever may seem idealistic to the scientists about the positive nature of man, many years of client-centered approach practice confirmed its truth and power. Rogers worked with very different people: children with whom abused adults, former military, psychiatric patients, school teachers ... At one of the seminars after the demonstration of work with clients scholar asked: "What diagnosis would you put" Rogers said, "Man ".

Who needs it

Client-centered approach helps those who are tired of being alone and does not find understanding from other people who lack empathy, involvement and warmth. Therefore, it can be used in almost all areas where we need mutual understanding. The unconditional acceptance of the other, empathy him open to his feelings and contribute to the successful course of the negotiations, and therapy of neuroses, and the resolution of social conflicts.


  • Carl Rogers and his followers. Cogito-Center, 2005.
  • Carl Rogers. A look at psychotherapy. human becoming. Progress, Univers, 1994.
  • Carl Rogers. The art of counseling and therapy. April-Press, Eksmo, 2002.