"Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense; and he can only build bridges to other islands
if he first of all willing to be himself and permetted to be himself"
In 1951 Carl Ransom Rogers published his book “Client-Centered-Therapy”. In the preface, Rogers, using a few and simple words, describes the pathos and the satisfaction that one can feel in a therapist’s room. He underlines that each client has his unique and personal experience. He describes how a client has to fight, anxious and deathly afraid at the same time to be himself. He experiences himself in the relationships with his clients, while he sensitively trying to deeply feel their experience exactly as the client does: with their meanings and their emotions. He recognizes his own human fallibility that expresses itself in the occasional failure to see the client’s life as it appears to him. He can also see that this failure affects the growth process that is taking place. He tells what a privilege it is for him to witness the emergence of a self, a person and about his great delight in forming important part of facilitation of this process. He believes that the life can express itself in a therapeutic process with its endless evolutionary power, if favorable conditions take place.
This picture that Rogers gave us of the therapeutic relationship in my opinion is the most intense and realistic way of expressing the experience of a Client-Centred Therapy.
The encounter group is an instrument for the personal growth that helps to develop and improve both communicative skills and relationships through a process in which each member can directly experience and experiment. Each person can improve self-awareness and their way to be in relationships through being part of a group and interacting with other members. The therapist (or other group members) may facilitate the natural expression of the process that takes place. It isn’t a thematic group, but each time it can take its peculiar direction.