The Person-Centred Approach is one of the founding approaches within the humanistic-existential approach proposed by the American psychologist Carl Ransom Rogers (1902-1987).
This is a non-directive way to stay with a client. For PCA individuals are the centre of their experiential field, that is why they are the main specialists on their own life and they are who can better known what they feel and why. So we have to start from the individuals if we want to understand their unique experience.
Each organism has a basic tendency to actualize, maintain and enhance itself: the directional tendency. In a fully functioning person the value attached to experiences are experienced directly. This persons are open to experiences, without any reason to ignore or deny them. They can fully live each moment in their life with trust in their organism and in its direction. They simply live the responsible freedom to be themselves.
When, on the contrary, the organism can’t trust its own direction, it develops a psychological maladjustment. Under certain conditions, the individuals could trust themselves again, their experience and the world around them.
The therapeutic relationship is one in which a client can experience this facilitating atmosphere. Clients can experience the absence of any threat to the self and they can also feel how the counselor can accept them, exactly as they are. PCA suggests that the way of being of the counselor is more important than any technique and that is why in PCA there aren’t any techniques at all. At the same time it is basic for the clients to feel this atmosphere and counselor’s attitude to reorganize their self-concept.
Rogers explains that good life of a fully functioning person is a process, not a state. It is the direction and not the destination of the organism.
Person-Centred-Approach is effectively applied in psychotherapy, counseling, encounter groups, supervision and education.