Person Centered Counseling Techniques

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Person-centered therapy was created by Carl Rogers to help clients make decisions based on their own perceptions, according to Person-Centered-Counseling.com. In person-centered therapy, the therapeutic relationship is vital to the client coming to terms with his situation and making further decisions. Person-centered therapy uses six techniques to strengthen the relationship between the client and counselor.

Active Listening

This person-centered technique includes listening to what the client says and then rephrasing the statement back to the client in order to help explain his emotions to him. While doing this, the counselor should inquire about information that the client reveals in order to bring out the emotions of the statement. Active listening allows the client to feel heard by the therapist. This creates a secure relationship between the counselor and the client.

Non-Directive Counseling

In this person-centered approach the counselor does not bring any new information into the therapeutic relationship. Instead, by asking questions the counselor allows the client to come to terms with his own conclusions. The counselor does not do any interpretation of the conversation but rather lets the client interpret his own thoughts and feelings.

Paraphrasing

At the end of the session, the counselor should paraphrase with the client. This means that the counselor simply restates everything discussed during the session. Once the counselor restates a list of items discussed during the session he should then ask the client what he wants to focus on. This allows the client to have a focus for the following week.

Self-Actualization

An important technique in person-centered therapy is the encouragement of self-actualization. This means that the therapist focuses on the strengths of the client rather than his weaknesses. The therapist would use this technique by encouraging the client in the work that he completed during the session and any other positive decisions made throughout the week.

Unconditional Positive Regard

According to KnappFamilyCounseling.com, this technique means that the therapist accepts the client completely without making any judgments about him. In order for the client-centered technique to work, the client must feel comfortable in the therapeutic relationship. The therapist communicates unconditional positive regard by avoiding advice and listening without interruption.

Empathy

An effective person-centered counseling approach requires the technique of empathy. This means the therapist must have the ability to understand and share the feelings of his client. The therapist can express empathy through eye contact, body posture and sensitivity.

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