Why the client knows best

Stephen Joseph believes client-centred psychotherapy is a misunderstood approach with profound significance.
THE profession of psychology has traditionally had an uneasy relationship with the profession of psychotherapy. However, times are changing and the British Psychological Society is now in the process of preparing a register of those psychologists who specialise in psychotherapy. Now seems a good time for an overview of person-centred theory – the rationale for the ‘client as expert’ and the implication this has for therapeutic practice, recent trends, and the evidence base for client-centred psychotherapy. Most psychologists will already have briefly come across person-centred theory and client-centred psychotherapy at some point in their careers, perhaps as undergraduates studying personality or abnormal psychology. But person-centred theory and client-centred psychotherapy are often given only superficial coverage, and the full significance of the view that it is the client who knows best is often misunderstood.

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