person-centred counsellingthe approach to COUNSELLING pioneered by Carl ROGERS in the 1930s and 40s, and which regards the client/person as the essential focus of the therapeutic relationship. This may seem to go without saying, but Rogers’ insight was that PSYCHOANALYSIS and other theoretical approaches impose a diagnosis and treatment on the client. He suggested that the client best understands his/her problem and ultimately it is from within that change/healing has to come. The counsellor, then, is seen as a facilitator, is nondirective, and responds to the client with genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard (Rogers’ three core conditions). Only through understanding the client's phenomenological experience (see PHENOMENOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY) can the counsellor be effective in helping him/her to resolve his or her problems and take the right decisions for the future, and it is through experiencing this relationship with the counsellor that the client is enabled to take self-responsibility.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000