Humanistic and Person-Centered Therapy is a therapeutic approach strongly influenced by Carl Rogers, whose person-centered or client-centered perspective focused on the patient’s ability for self-direction and understanding in personality development.
UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD IS AT THE HEART OF THE THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP. I APPROACH THERAPY WITH THE INHERENT UNDERSTANDING AND BELIEF THAT MY PATIENTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO DIRECT THEIR OWN LIVES AND THE POTENTIAL TO ACHIEVE THEIR OWN GOALS.
[C. COMFORT SHIELDS]
Much like Stolorow’s therapeutic comportment model, Rogers’ approach is nonjudgmental and empathic. Active listening, warmth, acceptance, and the client-therapist relationship are all paramount to the success of humanistic therapy. A main goal of humanistic therapy is to allow patients to develop a stronger and healthier sense of self and to “self-actualise” or “become” one’s potentialities.
Although people have the potential to self-actualise, they sometimes need guidance to do so. Abraham Maslow explained, through his theory called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because society rewards motivation based on esteem, love and other social needs, when people’s lower physiological needs such as food and safety are not provided. These lower level deficiencies can stay with a person and often need to be dealt with in therapy in order to progress to the higher levels of the pyramid.