Understanding Your Clients

With the opioid epidemic worsening, it is critical that we stay aware of the psychological tools that allow us to help those in need.

Person-centered treatment planning provides a framework for providing holistic services to clients. 

Person-centered treatment takes a strength-based approach toward helping our clients achieve their sobriety and mental health goals. Carl Rogers developed this humanistic approach with the intentions of helping others understand they are inherently good and have the ability to reach their full potential. 

Oftentimes, individuals perform at a higher standard when their strengths are acknowledged. Person-centered approaches focus on an individual’s capabilities, preferences, and holistic goals when determining an effective plan of action for those seeking assistance. 

Congruence, Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR), Empathetic Understanding

Congruence, unconditional positive regard (UPR), and accurate empathetic understanding are three core elements entailed in person-centered therapy. 


Congruence entails the therapist being authentic in practice, which gives the client the opportunity to mirror that authenticity and truly express their feelings.

Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR)

UPR consists of therapists maintaining a positive attitude toward their clients while helping the client understand that even though they may not approve of particular actions, the therapist understands that the client is ultimately still a great person. Differentiating the client’s decisions from them as individuals will create an atmosphere of mutual understanding which will encourage clients to fully embrace treatment.

Empathetic Understanding

Empathetic understanding is the foundational element entailed in person-centered therapy. Active listening and understanding will allow clients to feel seen and heard during their sessions.

Dr. Saul McLeod encourages therapists to act as a soundboard and carefully listen to what the client is saying because they are experts on their difficulties. Truly concentrating on the contents of what the client is saying will allow the mental health professional to provide effective treatment plans that meet the needs of those in need.

In order to create a pathway for success for our clients, we must understand our clients as individuals.

McLeod, S. (2019). Person-Centered Therapy. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/client-centred-therapy.html

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