Person-centered Therapy: The Basics


When Carl Rogers came onto the counseling scene with person-centered therapy in the middle of the 20th century, he made a big splash, as the two principal options for therapy at that time were psychodynamic and behavioral. This course traces the components of his wide contribution to counseling and other interpersonal endeavors through a look at the core components in both his theory of personality and his theory of therapy. The primacy of the therapist-counselor relationship and the conditions necessary to achieve a solid alliance (such as Rogers’ famous qualities of congruence, empathy, and unconditional positive regard) are covered, along with the requirements for both therapist and client if the therapy would be successful; in this context we also look at goal formulation in person-centered therapy. We trace how Rogers’s personal development paralleled his development of theory in four stages, the last one broadening out person-centered approaches to many other contexts, including international peace and conflict resolution. As Rogers’s work became well known, other therapists took up the baton, continuing to develop person-centered approaches integrated with other modalities; we examine the chief contributions of those theorists. As few, if any, therapeutic approaches have not been influenced by Rogers’s thinking, this course is a “must-do” for anyone unsure of just how Rogers’s work has impacted the general field of therapy.



Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to: Name the four stages of theory development through which Rogers passed; recognize the 19 propositions which comprise the basis of Rogers's theory of personality and behavior; explain at least six of the core concepts of person-centered therapy as proposed by Rogers; explain the typical goals for person-centered therapy; discuss the importance of the therapeutic alliance for person-centered therapy: the six conditions pertaining to the roles of counselor and client and the main concepts of the therapist-client relationship; identify the facilitative conditions for a solid therapeutic alliance, including congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathy; name at least five major applications of person-centered therapy to contexts other than strict one-on-one counseling; recall the chief updates to person-centered therapy as proposed by theorists following Rogers; identify the main limitations and strengths of person-centered therapy.




Level: 1

Duration (hrs): 3

Author: Dr Meg Carbonatto

CE Approvals:

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