Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy is a therapeutic modality developed in the 1940s by American psychologist Carl Rogers. Rogers based this modality on the concept of self-actualization—the idea that every person has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change. Thus, principles of Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy can be helpful in teen mental health treatment.
Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, diverges from the traditional model of the therapist as expert. Instead, the goal of Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy is to empower the client. Indeed, in Rogerian therapy, the therapist learns to recognize and trust human potential.
At the heart of Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy is what Rogers described as humans’ natural “actualizing tendency.” In the same way that other living organisms naturally strive toward balance and greater complexity, human beings do the same. According to Rogerian therapy, any form of person-centered therapy needs to optimize this process.
In Person-Centered Humanistic Therapy, clients are offered empathy as opposed to traditional therapeutic distance. Therefore, unconditional regard in Rogerian therapy helps facilitate positive change. Moreover, in humanistic psychology, the therapist follows the client’s lead whenever possible, becoming a guide in their ongoing process of self-actualization.
Sources: SAMHSA Treatment Improvement Protocols, Harvard Medical School, American Psychological Association