1Person-centered therapy (PCT) was established by Carl Rogers after almost forty years ofresearch. The approach began as a nondirective, client-centered therapy in opposition to analytical theories. However, Rogers’s approach based on empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard was eventually dismissed due to lack of evidence and technique. With increased interest in the person-centered approach more therapists have accepted Rogers’s core conditions as necessary if not also sufficient for change. Therefore, while Rogers’s original hypothesis stated no technique was necessary, many person-centered practitioners have implemented techniques and methods into the therapeutic process. Numerous articles have stressed the importance of the core conditions of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard as being the only factors needed to facilitate change within the therapeutic process. Yet pluralistic methods have been used with counselors claiming that not all clients willrespond to the original intended method of person-centered therapy. FormationThe formation of person-centered therapy has been identified by four distinct periods in history beginning in the 1940s and continuing thru the 1980s (Corey, 2013). Before Carl Rogers began developing the person-centered approach, psychoanalysis was the most accepted therapeutic technique (Farber, 2007). Psychoanalysis, as Rogers believed, was less concerned with the patient’s growth, but rather with interpretation and diagnosis during the therapeutic process (Farber, 2007; Lee, 2011). The analytical approach placed too much emphasis on the role of the therapist as an expert asking directive questions to produce a specific outcome from the client (Anderson, 2001). Critical of therapies that were “directive”, Rogers sought to developan environment that did not depend upon the therapist’s advice or interpretations (Lee, 2011).
2Breaking away from Freudian psychoanalysis, Rogers began forming the humanistic movement which focused on the relationship of the client and counselor to facilitate change (Corey, 2013).According to Quinn (2015) in 1942, Rogers began hypothesizing a therapeutic approach called “nondirective therapy.” The new approach was rooted in humanistic philosophy where thecounselor would focus on the client rather than the problem (Elliott & Freire, 2007). Rogers’s departure from traditional psychoanalysis became revolutionary as he moved away from a medical model. The innovative nondirective approach challenged previously accepted ideas and methods such as the theory of the counselor knowing best (Corey, 2013). Nondirective therapy emerged upon Rogers’s hypothesis that the client understood himself and could be his own agent for change with the trust of the counselor (Quinn, 2015).