Person-Centred Theory, which can be referred to as Rogerian Theory was built on the work of Carl Rogers in the 1940’s who developed these core principles in the USA. This makes this a younger theory than Psychodynamic Theory. Personal centred theory works on the basis that the speaker is at the centre of the helping relationship. This is based on the theory that the speaker discovers the truths about themselves and can draw upon their inner resources to improve their situation which may consist of their emotional pain or their negative behaviours. The main importance of this theory is for the speaker to take responsibility of the process. This responsibility can be taken as we have an innate capacity to fulfil our potential to grow and become greater than we are according to Carl Rogers. “Actualising Tendency” is what Roger’s calls this.
Another part of the elements to Personal Centre Theory is relating to structured ways of understanding the self, and what is required from the listener. This is based on the theory that our feelings drive our behaviour. We use our behaviour to reinforce understanding of the self. In time this is how we become who we are and how we build our strengths and weaknesses and how we are perceived by others. This is known as “Self-Concept” (Carl Rogers). This self-concept can determine how we become or what we do in our lives. Self-concept also shapes the way we approval or disapproval by others. This is known by from Carl Rogers as “Condition of Worth”. People sometimes feel a strong need to be accepted by others and become too dependent on winning approval.
This in turn makes them become victims because their behaviour in inhibited because of the want to be accepted by others. When this happens, they begin to lose sight of their true self. This is known as “Orgasmic Self” again arisen from Carl Rogers. The Organismic Self realises how it can improve and sends out clues and messages even when a speaker has a poor self-concept. This brings the person being to the centre of the process, in that the listener’s role is to help find the problem. On the subject of what is required from the listener, Rogers teaches that while the listener should not structure or direct the sessions they should at all times seek to fulfil “Three Core Conditions”.
These are Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Empathic Understanding; we look at this more in below in how the theory underpins the counselling skills. This is discussed further down.
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