Deutsch: Patientenzentrierte Versorgung / Español: Atención Centrada en el Cliente / Português: Cuidado Centrado no Cliente / Français: Soins Centrés sur le Client / Italiano: Assistenza Centrata sul Cliente

Client-Centered Care in the context of psychology refers to a therapeutic approach that prioritizes the individual needs, preferences, and values of the client in the planning, coordination, and delivery of care. Originating from Carl Rogers' client-centered therapy, also known as person-centered therapy, this approach emphasizes empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness on the part of the therapist to create a supportive environment in which clients can explore their feelings and thoughts without judgment.


Client-centered care is founded on the belief that individuals have the innate capacity for personal growth and self-healing and that the role of the therapist is to facilitate this process rather than direct it. This approach respects the client's perspective and autonomy, encouraging active participation in their own care and decision-making processes. In psychology, client-centered care extends beyond therapy to encompass all interactions with clients, advocating for treatments and interventions that align with the client's unique context, culture, and life experience.

The core principles of client-centered care include empathy, congruence (therapist authenticity), and unconditional positive regard. These principles aim to foster a therapeutic relationship characterized by trust and mutual respect, where clients feel understood and valued.

Application Areas

Client-Centered Care has broad applications across various domains of psychological practice, including:

  • Clinical Psychology: Implementing therapeutic techniques that empower clients in their mental health journey.
  • Counseling: Providing a supportive environment for clients to explore their emotions and challenges.
  • Health Psychology: Tailoring health interventions and advice to fit the individual lifestyles and preferences of clients.
  • Educational Psychology: Designing learning strategies that consider the unique needs and abilities of each student.

Well-Known Examples

Carl Rogers' development of person-centered therapy is a landmark in the field of psychology, highlighting the effectiveness of empathy and respect in facilitating psychological change. Another example is the application of client-centered principles in the design of mental health programs that prioritize client participation and feedback in care decisions.

Treatment and Risks

The client-centered approach enhances the therapeutic alliance and can lead to more effective and personalized care. However, therapists must ensure that the focus on client autonomy does not lead to underestimating the importance of professional guidance, especially in cases involving severe mental health issues or risk of harm.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Person-Centered Therapy
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Individualized Care


Client-Centered Care in psychology emphasizes a holistic and respectful approach to therapy and care, prioritizing the client's individual needs, values, and preferences. By fostering an environment of empathy, acceptance, and authenticity, this approach supports clients in navigating their own path to healing and growth, reinforcing the belief in the inherent capacity of individuals for self-awareness and change.


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