The Goals of Therapy

First and foremost, the person-centered approachfocuses on the client's responsibility and capacity to discover ways to morefully encounter reality while simultaneously allowing the client to follow hisor her directional trend, an inherent, innate drive to expand, extend, develop,mature and to activate all capacities. In other words, a drive toself-actualization. Thus, the primary functionof therapy is to provide a climate conducive to helping the individual become afully functioning person.

Second, and perhaps equally important, this approach aims toward a greaterdegree of independence and integration of the individual. The emphasis is on theperson, not on the person's presenting problem. The old cliché says itbest, "Stress the deed, not the doer." Rogers firmly believed thattherapy stretched beyond simply solving a problem. Instead, he thought thattherapy functioned as a means to help individuals in their growth process, sothat they could not only cope better with the current presenting problem(s), butthey could also face future problems.

In 1961, Rogers wrote that people who enter psychotherapy are often asking: "Howcan I discover my real self? How can I become what I deeply wish to become? Howcan I get behind my facades and become myself?" Rogers argued that whenfacades were lost through the therapeutic process that inevitably the individualbecomes actualized. Subsequently, Rogers (1961) described individuals on theactualization path as having:

1. an openness to experience
2. a trust in themselves, referred to as self-trust
3. an internal source of evaluation
4. a willingness to continuegrowing

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