Carl Rogers

Person-Centered Therapy – A Useful Model for Coaching

The counselling model that aligns with my characteristics as a life coach

As a life coach, I am attracted to person-centered therapy as I feel that an important element of counselling (and life coaching) is to recognise that every individual has the capacity to resolve their own issues, have the capacity to define and clarify their own goals and can direct their personal growth toward self-actualisation if the environment and conditions are conducive to exploring such potentialities (Corey et. al., 2021). I feel that the life coaching environment should facilitate such an experience where clients are assisted and given the primary responsibility of moving away from maladjustment to psychological well-being (Corey et. al., 2021).

Carl RogersCarl Rogers was one of the most influential figures in the development of person-centered therapy. He believed that at a person’s core they are trustworthy, resourceful, and able to make positive changes in their lives if they provided the appropriate conditions that foster growth (Rogers 1987a as cited in Corey et. al., 2021). He also maintained that there are three main attributes that therapists should ascribe to, to minimise defensive behaviour, enhance the therapeutic relationship and help foster growth in their client. These are congruence, unconditional positive regard, and accurate empathic understanding. Additionally, by being real, on a person-to-person level, the “role” of the life coach is to be without roles and enhance the quality of the relationship provide an attitude that is encouraging towards the client’s need to become more open to experiences, to trust in themselves, to have an internal source of evaluation, and a willingness to continue to grow is a basic goal and provides a general framework for understanding the direction to take in person-centered therapy. Therefore, the humanistic perspective is characterised as a shared journey and a way of being that reveals the humanness of the client and the life coach as they participate in a growth experience.


Corey, G., Nicholas, L.J., & Bawa, U. (2021). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy (3rd SA ed., Ch. 1 & Ch. 2). Cengage Learning.

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