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Person Centered Theory

Person Centered Theory

Developed in the 1940s, the person-centered theory is one of the most popular theoretical models in the fields of psychology and counseling. From the very onset of one's experience with this theory, it is clear the emphasis is on the person and not on their diagnosis; the practice involves collecting as much information as possible about the individual and their various components to better understand how to address their needs in a therapeutic setting. By diverging from the model that assumes illness or a general sense of unhealthiness, the person-centered theory begins the therapeutic relationship on a positive note.

Again, following the very nomenclature used, person-centered theory has at its core the belief that the patient is a competent, capable individual who, with time, effort, and support, can move themselves forward past any obstacle they might face. When the individual embraces three key principles of person-centered theory - a successful relationship with a healthy, functioning member of society; support, care, and acceptance from the counselor or psychologist the individual is working with; and clear and precise knowledge about what can be done to overcome obstacles and what the individual must do to achieve these goals - they can continue to move themselves forward, overcoming any negative consequences of their mental health and forming relationships that will support and guide them through their continued positive development.

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