Conversational psychotherapy as a scientifically based method has been developed in the USA since the 1940s, primarily by Carl Rogers (1902-1987). It became well-known in Germany in the 1960s through Prof. Reinhard Tausch.
The term "client-centered" describes the following psychotherapeutic attitude:
The client and their subjective experience and behaviour is the center of therapy. The psychotherapist adopts a completely non-judgmental attitude.
In client-centered conversational psychotherapy, the patient is not a passive object of treatment by the doctor or therapist. He/she is a sensitive, autonomous person with own values and own meaning. The psychotherapist treats these values with respect and mindfulness. For this reason, psychotherapists still have a habit of calling people "clients" rather than "patients" in their treatment.
The value of client-centered conversational psychotherapy and its techniques are fundamental for therapeutic action. They are deeply rooted in every training form for psychotherapist. Every psychotherapist, no matter with which basic training, applies techniques of conversational psychotherapy. Due to the popularity of conversational psychotherapy in the 1980s and 1990s, the word "talk therapy" has become synonymous with "psychotherapy" in general.
The psychotherapist trusts in the person's ability to heal himself/herself out of their own organism if suitable conditions can be created. In principle, the client is able to take responsibility themselves for their own well-being and further development.
The psychotherapist strives for authenticity by bringing own feelings and attitudes into the therapy process. The therapist uses perceptions and reactions to the client as a form of mirror. Therapy is then a lively dialogue between two equal people.
The psychotherapist encounters the client's world of experience and thoughts with respect and empathy and tries to see the world with their eyes. The therapist thereby brings own knowledge and skills to the session.
Client and therapist strive for a relationship based on trust. The client essentially determines the content and course of the therapy session. He/she talks about what's most important to him/her.
The aim of the collaborative work is to promote self-confidence, self-esteem and self-growth.
This client-centred therapeutic attitude can in principle be combined with various therapeutic methods.