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Client/Person-Centered therapy

Client-centered therapy was developed by acclaimed psychologist Carl Rogers. Rogers believed a person’s ideas were not as valid as an individual’s own experience. It pushed the idea that a professional’s insight is equal to the client’s experience. This approach, known in some circles as Rogerian therapy, also allows for these experiences to be at the forefront of a therapy session, promoting the client enjoying a positive overall experience.

What is Person-Centered Therapy?

When people think about therapy, most will imagine themselves unloading their problems and concerns for their therapist to provide answers. However, treatment programs come in many different shapes and forms, and that’s the case with therapy. There are options where the traditional approach is turned on its head, where the patient takes the lead rather than the therapist.

This is exemplified by person-centered therapy.

Also commonly known as client-centered therapy, this form of treatment puts patients in the driving seat of their recovery journey. This non-directive talk therapy approach gives the client the reins during a session. As a result, the therapist acts as a form of support or guide without taking the lead. The main task for person-centered therapists is to cultivate a welcoming, non-judgmental environment for patients to express themselves openly.

A client-centered therapist utilizes empathic understanding and active listening to give patients a platform to explore and express their thoughts, feelings, reactions, and behaviors – all within an environment that is free of criticism and judgment. This supportive therapeutic relationship allows patients to accept themselves, as well as own their actions and decisions.

client centered therapy in mass
How person-centered therapy works
Take the lead with person-centered therapy

Person-Centered Therapy with Atlantic Behavioral Health: Build a Positive Therapeutic Relationship Today

Person-centered therapy is one of many treatment services we offer at Atlantic Behavioral Health in Massachusetts. With this therapy, we have helped many different people in different situations. From those struggling with self-esteem issues to addiction disorders, person-centered therapy has played an important role in their recovery and developing a healthy mindset.

With our assistance, we can help you understand your current situation and gather insights into how past experiences have influenced current beliefs or behaviors. This approach allows you to learn how to control your emotions better, which extends into greater self-awareness to make beneficial life changes.

Our experienced, compassionate therapists will accept you without any bias or prejudice. We also place a focus on collaboration. After we listen carefully to your self-exploration, we will work with you to put together viable solutions and problem-solving strategies. This non-directive therapy ensures you remain at the center when deciding on the path toward greater personal growth.

Each patient is different. That’s why we always put together an individualized treatment plan to achieve the best possible result.

How Person-Centered Therapy Works

There are three core principles that form person-centered therapy. These are:

  • Unconditional positive regard
  • Congruence
  • Empathetic understanding

Here is a closer look at each one and how they all play a role in person-centered theory:

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional positive regard is the idea of being fully open and respectful of the patient. That means the therapist accepts and respects their client – no criticism or judgment allowed. As part of a therapist’s unconditional positive regard, they must also have a genuine interest in consuming the person’s experience, understanding it fully, and giving them an environment that accepts whatever they express.

Another aspect of unconditional positive regard is that a therapist refrains from imparting their own advice about how their client lives their life. In theory, they need to maintain an “I’ll accept you as you are” attitude. This positive attitude has to remain even if, on the inside, they feel negatively about their client’s actions.


Congruence is regarded as one of the most important aspects of a person-centered therapeutic process. As for what congruence means, this is based on a therapist being genuine and authentic in their interactions. While a traditional setting would normally see a therapist put up a “blank screen”, congruence leads to them revealing their personality and how they would act in a normal setting.

By disregarding any type of façade, the therapist and client can build trust. It establishes an environment where both are able to express themselves freely and safely with a full understanding that they won’t be misunderstood or judged.

Empathetic Understanding

Empathic understanding is the other core principle of person-centered therapy. This aspect is all about the therapist being able to consume what they hear from the client, gaining a level of understanding about how the client is feeling. Although it doesn’t involve sympathy, this understanding has to be both sensitive and accurate.

Empathy builds trust among therapists and patients. This is the case when the therapist is able to precisely follow the client’s feelings and then communicate this understanding to them to demonstrate their empathy first-hand.

The Methods Used in Person-Centered Therapy

To get the most out of person-centered therapy, we go beyond only practicing unconditional positive regard, congruence, and empathetic understanding. We also incorporate a number of techniques and approaches to achieve better results.

Clear boundaries are essential for person-centered therapy. This allows for an appropriate, healthy relationship to be established between you and your therapist. As for what boundaries can be used, one must make the length of each session clear. Another is to rule out specific topics of conversation before the therapy session begins.

Client-centered therapists must utilize active listening skills throughout each session. They have to pay close attention to what a client says. Otherwise, they will struggle to help them bring clarity and understanding to the client’s thoughts. Additionally, being able to listen this way makes everything clear to the therapists themselves.

With person-centered therapy, the client is in charge. They are the expert in this case. This is why our therapists allow clients to share their personal experiences. We let them explain, in full, the problem they are experiencing. We also don’t step in to tell them what we feel the problem actually is or how it can be resolved.

Positivity is an important attribute for any professional who operates as a person-centered therapist. A positive tone of voice can be an effective way to encourage a client to be comfortable and openly communicate. Being able to control the conversation also helps. Short breaks and slowing down the conversation’s pace when necessary can make a difference to a session’s overall success.

In some cases, negative emotions can be outwardly expressed by a client. They can be angry at themselves, at others, and even their therapist. This is why a calm demeanor is necessary for any therapist. By being able to remain calm and level-headed, a therapist is in a better position to help a client manage their emotions and get through such negative spells.

Person-centered therapy is an effective treatment method. However, it is also our job to identify when additional assistance is required beyond this therapy. As we are able to provide these additional services, we can provide any extras alongside your client-centered therapy sessions or go in a different direction if we feel that’s more suitable for your requirements.

Take the lead with person-centered therapy

Do You Qualify For Our Treatment Plan?

To see more about how we can help at our supportive medical facility, contact us today for more information about our person-centered approach and other therapies we offer.

Those Who Benefit from Person-Centered Therapy Sessions

There are many different people that are able to benefit from person-centered therapy. This includes those dealing with the following issues:

  • Substance abuse
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Relationship problems
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Eating disorders

Client-centered therapy is also a suitable route for those who are usually averse to standard therapy treatment. For instance, if you are fearful of criticism or judgment, this type of therapy creates a more positive environment. Leading the conversation allows you to control what is discussed, and the therapist’s role stops them from getting actively involved in assessing what is said.

It’s not only those with serious issues like substance abuse and depression that can make use of person-centered therapy. If you are aiming to enhance your problem-solving abilities or self-awareness, this is possible through these types of therapy sessions.

Ultimately, therapy isn’t only about overcoming a difficult situation or period in your life. It’s just as valid if you are attempting to accept yourself or let go of any guilt held over past mistakes.

The Effectiveness of Person-Centered Therapy

In the right situations, person-centered therapy can be an effective treatment option. Taking place in a conducive and safe environment, this therapy has a particular focus on the present. This makes it useful for treating difficult situations like those that have experienced recent traumatic events.

Unlike other treatment options, you are not as dependent on the therapist to receive answers. As it is non-directive, the job of this therapy is to help you to better understand yourself and become more self-aware. You’re not viewed as a sick patient in search of a cure. Instead, you are a client seeking solutions and making proactive changes to better yourself.

It’s true: specific conditions are not diagnosed by client-centered therapists. However, this treatment approach can still be effective in other areas. With our intensive outreach program, we use person-centered counseling to assist with issues like stress management and substance use.

This therapy type is also useful in crisis intervention. Due to it cultivating an accepting, safe space for clients, they are able to better deal with their current stress and receive the support they require.

The Advantages of Person-Centered Therapy

A number of advantages are associated with client-centered therapy. If you are still undecided about going with this treatment method, consider the following points:

Person-centered therapy supplies you with a non-judgmental environment to perform self-exploration. It is a space where you acquire self-actualization and an improved sense of self-awareness. Additionally, you acquire an improved level of self-concept, which is how you see yourself and the reactions you make towards others.

By performing self-exploration, along with reinforcing your own worth, you are able to learn more about yourself. This naturally increases the trust you have in your abilities and decision-making.

You have better self-awareness. You have greater trust in your abilities. These aspects all help you to experience healthier relationships with your family members, friends, colleagues, and anyone else you interact with during your day. Your improved viewpoint can give you a more elevated viewpoint about how others perceive your interactions, both positive and negative.

Client-centered therapy is built on you being able to express your own thoughts and feelings. While this is done in a controlled setting with a therapist, it is something that you can carry on doing out of your sessions.

Are you still holding onto issues that are affecting your current well-being? With client-centered therapy, it is possible to let go of these past mistakes or hurtful experiences. Therapy is able to see you move on, leave these problems in the past, and have a much healthier mindset going forward.

Getting Started with Person-Centered Therapy

Are you ready to begin your journey with person-centered therapy? If so, so long as you qualify, you can start your sessions by joining one of our outpatient programs and visiting our in-person center.

The first session effectively acts as a meet-and-greet. It’s a relaxed way where you and your therapist get to know one another initially. During this first session, your therapist will describe how the therapy works, ask why you decided to participate, and see if you’re happy with them being your therapy partner going forward.

At this stage, you will attend scheduled sessions where you are able to talk about your problems in a safe space. Your therapist will help by guiding you along the way, whether this is by offering strategy suggestions to use going forward or by simply being a non-judgmental person who allows you to share your thoughts without prejudice.

Begin your journey towards a healthier lifestyle and well-being by getting in touch today.

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