By providing the right conditions, person-centered therapy aims to help clients explore their inner world. This technique encourages clients to reflect on their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, feelings and worldview, while also receiving professional assistance to help them deal with current and future challenges. Person-centered Therapy encourages the client and therapist to establish a mutual respect and trust relationship. This is essential for optimal health. Trull (2016) states that the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist determines the end result. Rodgers explains that person-centered care is built on the foundation of congruence, unconditional positivity, empathy, and understanding.
Congruence refers to the ability of client and therapist relationship to be based on authentic, genuine, and real values. Patients must give accurate and honest information to help the therapist improve their well-being. In order to be sincere and provide accurate information, the therapist needs to give guidance. To establish a therapeutic relationship with clients, therapists must be authentic to show their credibility. Congruence allows individuals to speak truthfully about themselves, and communicate their feelings and thoughts without being deceitful. Ineffective treatment can be a result of therapists lying to patients, which could lead to them suffering from health problems. Trettin (1921) says Rodger’s primary goal in patient-centered care is to raise the patient’s self-esteem and decrease discordance between their ideal and real selves, as well as transform them into fully functioning individuals.
Unconditional positive regard refers to the client’s ability to accept themselves and not judge them. This helps clients to see that therapists care about them, and not judge their feelings or actions. Rodgers says that when individuals are able to appreciate their abilities, it is possible for them to develop and realise their potential. Clients should feel comfortable expressing themselves freely without being judged. Kearney (2016) states that patient-centered therapists will maintain a positive outlook on their clients, even when they are disapproving or repulsed by the behavior. Clients can freely communicate their true feelings when unconditionally positive attention is given.
It is missing the third ingredient, the ability to accurately and compassionately understand the feelings and experiences of other people. Rodgers recommends that therapists learn empathy. They must acknowledge that all client experiences are unique and try to understand them from their perspective. To show empathy, the therapist might reflect on client’s experience to help them understand and relate to their problems. Empathy improves clients’ self-reflection and leads to a greater understanding of themselves. Therapists should closely watch the client and have the opportunity to discuss their feelings with the clients. Rodgers emphasizes the importance of empathy during therapy. The ability to be present and valued by others is a key component of therapy. It helps clients gain more self-regard and world perception, improve their decision making and execution skills.