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crystal sage

Person Centred Therapy

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crystal sage

Been exploring this form of therapy for my studies.. and came across this interesting article worth sharing by

Olga Bondarenko

Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

Nizhni Novgorod State University, Russia

Client Centered Therapy in Russia: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


Misunderstanding Client-Centered Therapy in present day Russia

While at the theoretical level Russian psychologists share Rogers’s ideas, there is an enormous gap between theory and practice of Client-Centered Therapy in Russia. Here are some of the key issues:

1. Many of the basic Rogerian terms, such as empathy, unconditional regard and congruence, are misunderstood. Very often empathy is understood as sympathy or pity towards the client. As a result, the therapist is quick “to understand” the client and to agree with him, which makes communication superficial and does not allow for a deeper understanding and the development of real empathy. Unconditional regard is often substituted for by softness, caring and simply positive regard for the client. That prevents the client from expressing negative emotions and makes it difficult to be in touch with one’s own feelings.

Not enough attention is given to congruence. This key aspect of therapeutic contact is not a popular concept with practicing therapists who believe that full focus should be placed on the client. As a result, a therapist is not in contact with himself and has difficulty reflecting on his own emotions and physical responses, which means that the therapeutic process cannot be reflected in its entirety.

2. It is wrong to assume that a client-centered therapist must be friendly and gentle towards the client at all times. Confrontation and conflicts should not be excluded from therapeutic relations. This leads to artificial and idealistic relations with the client and creates the impression that the client can perhaps be successful in therapy but not in real life.

3. There are limitations in applying the Client-Centered Approach. Some therapists believe that Client-Centered Therapy could be used only with the intelligent and educated, who are capable of introspection. Such a misconception places considerable limits on the application of the approach.

4. There is a viewpoint that a Client-Centered Approach is effective only at the beginning of therapy for establishing rapport and trust with the client but it is not sufficient for a long-term therapeutic process and that something more efficient and productive is required. Some therapists believe that “such an approach is adequate only in short-term therapy for dealing with more or less superficial problems.”

5. There is a misconception that it is not necessary for a therapist to be trained in the Client-Centered Approach in order to practice it. Many therapists wrongly believe that they can use the approach without having any special training. Encountering difficulties, they blame the method and invalidate it.

6. Some wrongly associate Client-Centered Therapy with religious orientation.

7. Others feel that Client-Centered Therapy is a product of Carl Rogers’s personality and nobody could practice it with equally good results. There is a view that what works is not so much a special client-centered technology, but Rogers’s personality as a main instrument of therapy.

8. It is an incorrect assumption that the therapist should remain passive, limiting his responses to reflection of what the client is telling him without using therapeutic techniques. As a result, there is no goal, direction or structure to the therapeutic process.

On the whole, at present in Russia there is no deep understanding of Client-Centered Therapy. At the same time, based on superficial knowledge, the majority of practicing psychologists seem to have arrived at the conclusion that it does not work and is “not for us.”


Could this be the reason why it is not as popular as it could be elsewhere in the world these days as well?

That it is simply not being performed/applied correctly?

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crystal sage


It is often said that of all the schools of therapeutic thought, person-centred therapy (PCT) makes the greatest demands on the therapist. This is because a client in PCT must feel that their therapist is utterly trustworthy and dependable as a person.

Psychological skill is not enough in this model: in addition, the client must feel that the therapist is totally accepting of them. And no therapist can fake genuine regard for a client for long.

A person-centred therapist's attitude to the client is one of total acceptance of the client as he or she is at present - not simply of what that person might become.

At the heart of the therapy is the belief that if a person is cared for (even if just by the therapist), then that person begins to feel - at quite a deep level - that he or she is worth caring for.

How PCT works

This type of therapy is good for clients who denigrate themselves and who have poor self-esteem.

PCT encourages them to give up all their developed notions of how they should be and to find parts of themselves that express their real deep feelings and wishes.

In time, clients are able to move away from a concept that they have to keep up appearances and live as others expect them to live. With help, they learn to find and accept their real self. They will also move towards a greater respect and understanding of others.



?? too little empathy? is it a personality issue?

Can A type personalities become PCT's?



Dryden's Handbook of Individual Therapy is now a classic text for trainees in counseling and psychotherapy. This newly updated Fifth Edition presents a comprehensive overview of the key approaches to individual therapy.


I wonder if research has been done on what type of counselling suits each therapist or what methods they should stay clear of???

Can an A type personality show enough congruence.. empathy??? unconditional acceptance?

Healer heal thyself.. seems appropriate here... for various issues... but can all personalities of the therapists be harmonized with those of the clients?

Maybe it really is a matchmaking game?

Just as it is important to have a doctor who has faith in your recovery, his treatments... has an empathic connection... to get the best results..



The "Big Five" personality factors of three groups of psychology students differing in popularity as therapist among their peers were compared (n=33). In agreement with earlier research, popular therapists are "agreeable", "conscientious" and "stable". However, popular therapists are not "surgent/extravert" and especially not "dominant" and "talkative". No support was found for the hypothesis that similarity in "agreeableness" or dissimilarity in "surgency" (the complementarily hypothesis derived from interpersonal theory) predicts therapist popularity. However, similarity between client and therapist in "stability" was predictive of nominations for therapist. On the assumption that therapist popularity predisposes good therapeutic alliances, the results indicate that therapists agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability are relative to success in therapeutic interventions.



Fanaticism and the Depth Psychotherapist


Edited by crystal sage

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crystal sage

interesting old film of Fritz Perl


Fritz Perls Gestalt Prayer Segment


The Gestalt Prayer

Fritz Perls

I do my thing

and you do your thing.

I am not in this world

to live up to your expectations

And you are not in this world

to live up to mine.

You are you and I am I.

And if by chance

we find each other,it's beautiful,

If not, it can't be helped.

..There appear to be many variations

Gestalt Prayer

'Fritz Perls' = Frederick Perls

I do my thing and you do your thing

I am not in this world to

live up to your expectations,

and you are not in this world to

live up to mine.

You are you

and I am I

and if by chance we find each other,

it's beautiful.

On this video it was...

I am I, You are You,

I am not here to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine,

I is I,

and You is You,

....Pay Me!


Also interesting on this old bit of film is that he uses the term Mind!%^&$#@.. twice!

Do you think he coined the term?.. along with his Gestalt Therapy?

Or do you think this term has been around for a while?

Edited by crystal sage

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