by his very "non-directiveness!" In other words, clients look to therapists for guidance, and will find it even when the therapist is trying not to guide. So he changed the name to client-centred. He still felt that the client was the one who should say what is wrong, find ways of improving and determining the conclusion of therapy. His therapy was still very "client-centred" even while he acknowledged the impact of the therapist.
One of the phrases that Rogers used to describe his therapy is "supportive, not reconstructive," and he uses the analogy of learning to ride a bicycle to explain: When you help a child to learn to ride a bike, you can't just tell them how. They have to try its for themselves. And you can't hold them up the whole time either. There comes a point when you have to let them go. If they fall, they fall, but if you hang on, they never learn. In client-centred counselling, the quality of the relationship between the counsellor and the client is itself a technique. Rogers believed that the counsellor should create a therapeutic condition for the client which emphasises empathy, positive regard, and congruence.
Empathy refers to the counsellors’ ability to feel with the client and convey this understanding back to the client. When the client perceives the counsellor as being understanding and appreciative of his or her predicament, then only will the client proceed with his or her self-exploration.
Respect or Positive Regard where the client will feel safe when the counsellor genuinely and positively accepts the client as a person regardless of what the client is telling the counsellor. Such positive regard will make the client feel valued regardless of how bad or negative his or her self is.
Congruency refers to the counsellor’s genuine behaviour and non-verbal language that is free from pretension.
Some of the methods to promote the therapeutic relationship include extensive use of silence, acceptance, immediacy, active and passive listening, reflection of feelings and thoughts, clarification, summarization, confrontation, and leads. Reflection is the mirroring of emotional communication: If the client says "I feel like crap!" the therapist may reflect this back to the client by saying something like "So, life's getting you down, hey?" By doing this, the therapist is communicating to the client that he is indeed listening and cares enough to understand.
Often, people in distress say things that they do not mean because it feels good to say them. Carl Rogers relates the case of a woman who came to see him. She said. "I hate men!" He made her reflect by saying "You hate all men?" Well, she said, maybe not all. She did not hate her father or her brother. Even with those men she "hated," she discovered that the great majority of them she didn't feel as strongly as the word hate implies. In fact, ultimately, she realised that she didn't trust many men, and that she was afraid of being hurt by them the way she had been by one particular man. Reflection must be used carefully, however. Many beginning therapists use it without thinking (or feeling), and just repeat every other phrase that comes out of the client's mouth. They sound like parrots with psychology degrees! Reflection must come from the heart – it must be genuine and congruent.