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  • Writer's pictureSasha Raskin, MA

A Guide on Humanistic and Client Centered Therapy

Person-centered, humanistic, Rogerian and non-directive, these are just some of the popular names of a client centered therapy definition. It is a counseling technique which will require the person to highly participate on the treatment process while the therapist is only offering nondirective assistance. In a humanistic therapy, it is the client who will identify the direction, and the course of the therapy and the therapist will explain the response of the client in order to acknowledge a profound understanding.

A Guide on Humanistic and Client Centered Therapy

An Overview of the Humanistic Therapy

When a person is going into a client centered therapy, they will enter a state called incongruence. This means that they have a different perception about themselves and the reality. Possessing a precise self-concept would be an essential factor in a humanistic therapy. For instance, there were times that a person will provide his assistance for other people but will often neglect his owns needs. Upon the completion of the therapy, the client will be reaching a state of congruence where there will be a balance between reality and self-concept. This will allow people to view themselves for who they truly are.

In this type of therapy, the attitude of the therapist is considered more essential than the skill. Based on the client centered therapy definition, there are three attitudes that will signify the success of the treatment.


Authenticity is the key attribute in this type of counseling. The therapist needs to show a high level of authenticity in everything they do or say. In a Humanistic therapy, the client can easily recognize if the therapist is speaking something but his body is saying something else. When a client started to notice an incoherent body language, they will feel uncomfortable and will be hesitant to express their emotion. A therapist on a client centered therapy needs to be highly aware about his body and vocal language.

UPR (Unconditional Positive Regard)

UPR is an attribute of Humanistic Therapy that refers to the care, respect and acceptance of the therapist towards their clients. UPR does not inherently mean that the therapist will be compelled to agree with the things that the client does or says. But it is necessary for them to recognize the effort that the client is showing and make sure to demonstrate it as opposed to the natural way of disagreeing with him. This will prompt your client to express their feeling without the fear of receiving judgment.


Empathy is also crucial to show the client that you understand them. You should not compare empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is more of feeling sorry whereas empathy is showing a profound understanding and will allow the client to open up during the humanistic therapy.

The client centered therapy has been proven useful for people who want to overcome some problem such as personality disorder, stress, anxiety, alcohol addiction, and eating disorder. It may also improve the client’s self-awareness, self-reliance, and self-esteem.

Sasha Raskin, a therapist in Boulder, provides individual and family therapy / counseling in Boulder, Colorado, and worldwide via video and phone calls, drawing from over ten years of clinical experience. Schedule your free 20-minute phone consultation with Sasha Raskin

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