Rogerian therapy is otherwise known as person-centered therapy. It’s humanistic, and it began with Carl Rogers. He developed person-centered therapy and it’s known as Rogerian therapy because of his last name. One of the most important things to know about person-centered therapy is that it’s not about the therapist, but instead, about the client. It’s advantageous to work with a person-centered therapist because they care about you and how you feel. There’s no ego involved in these therapy sessions. Your person-centered therapist cares about you as a human being and wants to see you thrive. They understand that you’re committed to your mental health, and therapy is meaningful to you. A person-centered therapist wants the best for you, the client, and is an excellent listener. They’re not there to judge you but listen to your needs.
Unconditional positive regard
In Rogerian therapy or person-centered therapy, the client — whatever they say, whether it’s positive things about themselves or they’re saying something that the therapist disagrees with fundamentally — is not judged. The therapist has unconditional positive regard for their client. The therapy session is a positive space, and the client feels free to say whatever they feel like they need to reveal because they will not be judged. It’s a good thing because it opens up a dialogue where a client can be themselves, and they aren’t afraid to say how they feel or what they’re thinking.
In Rogerian therapy, the therapist is extremely empathetic. They’re in tune with the client’s feelings and want to validate them. They show empathy and understanding of how the client feels, but let the client come to their conclusions. It’s all about how the client views things. The reason it’s called person-centered therapy is that the client directs the session. The therapist merely is going with the flow. They are there to support a client in getting to where they want to be. Rather than analyzing their client’s statements, the therapist may repeat what a client says or gives them space to elaborate further, allowing the client to solidify and expand on their emotions while feeling heard and validated.
One of the tenants of person-centered therapy or Rogerian therapy is the idea of self-actualization, where the goal is that the client comes to understand and accept themselves. They start to feel more confident that they can maintain meaningful relationships and have compassion for others. It happens because the therapist is modeling empathy for them. Abraham Maslow talks about self-actualization in his hierarchy of needs, and in that hierarchy, getting to self-actualization is the final stage of that hierarchy. Once a person comes to terms with who they are, they’re able to face the world confidently.
Rogerian therapy relies on the genuineness
In Rogerian therapy, it’s essential that the therapist is genuine. They are modeling their authentic and real feelings for the client and showing the client how to develop the skill of being candid and honest. If they show the client that they’re able to be honest, the hope is that a client will demonstrate the same skill in their own lives and interpersonal relationships. After seeing their therapist express themselves honestly, the client is inspired model the same behavior. The client is less judgmental of others, and as a result less critical of themselves.
Finding a Rogerian therapist
Whether you’re working with a therapist online or in your local area, you can find a Rogerian therapist who cares about you. Online therapy is an excellent place to figure out how you feel about yourself and come to self-actualization. Don’t be afraid to explore your inner workings and consider person-centered therapy as a form of treatment.