The Evolution of Person-Centered Therapy

Most researchers would agree that Rogers person-centered therapy evolved throughthree developmental phases. The following phases have been excerpted from GeraldCorey's 1995 book, Theory and Practice of Counseling Therapy, Fifth Edition.

PHASE I (1940-50): NONDIRECTIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY: This approachemphasized the counselor's creation of a permissive and noninterventive climate.Acceptance and clarification were the main techniques. Through nondirectivetherapy clients would achieve insight into themselves and into their lifesituation.

PHASE II (1950-57): REFLECTIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY: The counselor/therapist mainlyreflected the feelings of the client and avoided threat in the relationship.Through reflective therapy the client was able to develop a greater degree ofcongruence betweenreal self-concept and ideal self-concept.

PHASE III (1957-70): EXPERIENTIAL THERAPY: The counselor's wide range ofbehavior to express basic attitudes characterizes this phase. Therapy is focusedon the client's experiencing and the expression of the counselor's experiencing.The focus is on the client's use of immediate experiencing and much emphasis isplaced on the phenomenological view, that is, the idea that humans structurethemselves according to their perceptions of reality. Thus, humans are motivatedto actualize themselves in the reality that they perceive. As a result, thecounselor must enter into the client's phenomenal field. This phase has beensubdivided into three stages, referred to as the threesubdivisions of Experiential Therapy.

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