What Is The Person Centered Approach?
The Person-Centered Approach developed from the work of the psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987). He advanced an approach to psychotherapy and counselling that, at the time (1940’s – 1960’s), was considered extremely radical if not revolutionary.
Originally described as non-directive, this therapy moved away from the idea that the therapist was the expert and towards a theory that trusted the innate tendency (known as the actualising tendency) of human beings to find fulfilment of their personal potentials. An important part of this theory is that in a particular psychological environment, the fulfilment of personal potentials includes sociability, the need to be with other human beings and a desire to know and be known by other people. It also includes being open to experience, being trusting and trustworthy, being curious about the world, being creative and compassionate.
The Person-Centered Approach was developed by Carl Rogers
The psychological environment described by Rogers was one where a person felt free from threat, both physically and psychologically. This environment could be achieved when being in a relationship with a person who was deeply understanding (empathic), accepting (having unconditional positive regard) and genuine (congruent).
Although initially developed as an approach to psychotherapy (eventually becoming known as client/person-centred therapy/counselling), Rogers and his colleagues came to believe that their ideas could be transferred to other areas where people were in relationships. For example teaching, management, childcare, patient care, conflict resolution.
Today there are many people who, although not working as psychotherapists and counsellors, use the work of Rogers as guiding principles in their day-to-day work and relationships.
At one level, Rogers’ theory and work is very simple to describe. As many people would attest, both those using the approach and those working as person-therapists/counsellors, it can be very difficult to put into practice because the approach does not use techniques but relies on the personal qualities of the therapist/person to build a non-judgemental and empathic relationship.
Our theme this year - Finding inner strength, connection and opportunity in times of crisis is particularly apt given the challenges all of us are facing. We’re adapting to the Corona-challenge by moving this year’s conference to an e-format via Zoom. We are compressing our agenda into three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 7 - August 9, making it easier to fit into people’s schedules.
These meetings take place weekly on Friday's from 12 noon to 3PM, Pacific Daylight Time. We generally have around 14 people attending from around the US and the world. The purpose is to allow attendees to feel Community and Support as we Encounter with one another. The meeting is open to all CSP members, as well as to others who the members may recommend. An online Zoom meeting.
Antonio Santos is hosting a weekly PCA International Zoom meeting, which is held on alternating Saturday and Sunday mornings at 6AM Pacific Daylight Time. This start time accommodates the needs of attendees who are spread across the globe. The meeting runs for two hours, and is well attended by members of the International PCA Community - CSP and others.