What is client-centered therapy? How does it differ to psychoanalytic therapy?

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chickflik999 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Client-centered therapy, also known as Humanistic or person-centered therapy, is a type of therapy developed by Carl Rogers.  He developed it because he believed that a more positive and warmer type of therapy was necessary.  While psychoanalytic therapy focuses on unconscious beliefs, client-centered therapy focuses on the way the client views the situation.  This means that the client is doing a lot of the work towards healing, rather than having the therapist help interpret unconscious desires as in psychoanalytic therapy. Client-centered therapy also believes that it is more important to focus on the present and the future than the past, which is usually focused on in psychoanalytic therapy. Rogers believed that the person's current feelings and beliefs about things were more important to the situation than possible unconscious desires. Therefore, the self-concept, or what the client beliefs about themselves, is a major part of client-centered therapy.

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