Client-centered therapy

Published: January, 2006

Sixty years ago, the psychologist Carl Rogers introduced a new approach to psychotherapy, designed as a contrast to the behavioral and psychoanalytic theories dominant at the time. Unlike behavior therapy, the Rogers approach does not emphasize action over feeling and thinking, and unlike psychoanalysis, it is not concerned with unconscious wishes and drives. At first he called his method nondirective therapy, later client-centered and person-centered therapy.

The method can be defined partly by what Rogerian therapists don't do, or rarely do: ask questions; make diagnoses; conduct psychological tests; provide interpretations, evaluations, and advice; offer reassurance, praise, or blame; agree or disagree with clients or express opinions of their own; point out contradictions; uncover unconscious wishes; or explore the client's feelings about the therapist.

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