Person-Centred Therapy: Myths and Realities

by Professor Mick Cooper

Myth: Person-centred therapy is “just the basics” – everyone does it, it’s just that some therapists go on to do more advanced things, like psychodynamic therapy or cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Reality: Developing one’s capacity to engage with another human being at a level of interpersonal depth is a life-time’s achievement. Few “purely” person-centred therapists, even after many years, would claim that they have reached the end of that road, so the chances of getting there after a few years’ study are pretty remote. Moreover, skills and ideas from other therapeutic approaches – like psychodynamic therapy or cognitive-behav