In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their patients while using a non-directive approach. This aids patients in finding their own solutions to their problems.

PCT can be used to treat any number of conditions that would be addressed with psychotherapy, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders.

PCT is predominantly used by psychologists and counselors in psychotherapy. The therapist's role is that of a facilitator and to provide a comfortable environment, rather than to drive and direct the patient toward recovery.

While in session, therapists encourage patients to discuss their experiences and express their feelings. Therapists then empathically repeat emotionally significant statements back to their patients. The purpose is to allow patients to arrive at solutions to their problems by examining their own thoughts. Patients can then decide for themselves in what ways they need to change.

Although this technique has been criticized by behaviorists for lacking structure and by psychoanalysts for actually providing a conditional relationship it has proven to be a vastly effective and popular treatment.

PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s.

Person centered therapy (PCT) is also known as person-centered psychotherapy, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy. 

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Review Date: 
February 15, 2012