Introduction to Person-Centered Therapy


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Introduction to Person-Centered Therapy is a one-hour course presenting an overview of key concepts including background information on Rogerian Theory, principles of the actualizing tendency, the conditions necessary for an effective therapeutic relationship, and some limitations of the person-centered approach.

Module 1: Introduction and Background

The first module of this course provides both an introductory video to the course as a whole, as well as an introduction to person-centered therapy, including background information on the work of Carl Rogers and factors influencing the development of the person-centered approach to therapy, such as the roots of person-centered therapy in humanistic psychology, a summary of some of Rogers’ significant contributions to the profession, and the concept of non-directive therapy.

Module 2: The Actualizing Tendency

In the second module, the actualizing tendency will be explored as a foundational concept underlying the therapeutic process from a person-centered perspective as the basic source of an individual’s motivation to change. The actualizing tendency, and many other aspects of Rogerian theory, were strongly influenced by the positive themes of Abraham Maslow’s work, promoting a more health-focused approach to human nature compared to Freudians. The relationship between self-actualization and self-concept is also discussed, including the humanistic philosophy that people are innately oriented toward growth.

Module 3: Conditions Necessary for an Effective Therapeutic Relationship

The third module reviews the six conditions identified by Carl Rogers as necessary for an effective therapeutic relationship. The six conditions include the relationship, vulnerability, congruence, and three of the most well-known concepts within person-centered therapy: genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathy.

Module 4: Limitations of the Person-Centered Approach

Finally, in the fourth module, limitations and criticisms of the person-centered approach to counseling are examined, particularly with respect to multicultural considerations and the ability to apply person-centered concepts across cultures. Some of these limitations or criticisms include the unstructured and non-directive approach of person-centered practice, and an individualistic emphasis on the self. The course concludes with three (3) quiz questions to review what you have learned.

Courses References

carlrrogers.org. (2015a). Articles by Carl R. Rogers. Carl R. Rogers.org. http://carlrrogers.org/articlesbyCarl.html

carlrrogers.org. (2015b). Books by Carl R. Rogers. Carl R. Rogers.org. http://carlrrogers.org/booksbyCarl.html

Corey, G. (2020). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (10th ed.). Cengage Learning. - 

Amazon Affiliate Link

Creative Caption & Video. (2014, Sep 24). Carl Rogers and Gloria – Counselling 1965 full session – Captioned (video). YouTube. https://youtu.be/ee1bU4XuUyg

Fitch, T., Marshall, J., Matise, M., & McCullough, G. (2020). Introduction to counseling: A condensed text (1st ed.). Routledge. - Amazon Affiliate Link

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