What is Client Centered Therapy?
Client Centered Therapy is a non-directive form of talk-therapy that can also be referred to as Person Centered Therapy. This means that the client forms the path of therapy with the therapist there as a supportive guide. The client-centered therapist refrains from asking questions, making diagnoses, providing reassurance, or assigning blame.This places the client in the important role of helping themselves while emphasizing the importance of the individual in seeking help, being in control of their own treatment and future, and overcoming their difficulties. It builds upon a person’s strengths and helps them to see that they have the tools inside them to make the changes and overcome their struggles, with just a little help to use them. The relationship between client and therapist plays an important role in Client Centered Therapy as it must be supportive and trusting in order to engage in this process and help the client.
How Does Client Centered Therapy Work?
First the therapist works to create an environment that is comfortable, non-judgemental, and empathetic. The therapist will help the client to process through difficulties and emotions without forcing them to go in certain directions, in other words, by being non-directive. They do this by being empathetic and showing unconditional positive regard for feelings. They will also show genuineness by sharing their feelings honestly, and modeling the process for the client. Through this process and supportive reflection, and therapist guides a client through their emotions and difficulties, helping them lead themselves to their own strengths and answers.
What Can Client Centered Therapy Help With?
Client Centered Therapy can help with any condition or disorder that talk therapy would be used for. The core principle of Client Centered Therapy is that people are inclined to move toward healing and growth and therefore there are no wrong uses for it. However, there are some factors that lead towards more success and growth in Client Centered Therapy. The relationship between therapist and client is perhaps the most important factor in success. The therapist must be self-aware, genuine, empathetic, and congruent in order to model and assist a client whose emotions and self-image may be incongruent with how they live or their life experiences.The therapist must show unconditional positive regard; meaning, that the client’s experiences should be accepted whether negative or positive without conditions or judgement. The therapist must be empathetic to the client’s feelings at all times and the client must feel that all of these traits are present and genuine. With these factors, Client Centered Therapy has been proven to effectively help many issues. Some examples of what Client Centered Therapy can effectively treat are:
- Panic Disorder (with or without Agoraphobia)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Marital Discord
- Behavioral Issues
- Conduct Disorder
How Do I Get Started?
The best place to start is to meet with a mental health professional. They can help determine if this is the right course for you and answer questions about the process.
If you have questions, and would like to speak to one of our mental health professionals, contact us today.