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Carl R. Rogers, Ph. D., renowned American psychologist, developed the theory of client-centered therapy. The wisdom of his ideas has been adopted all over the world and applied to diverse professional endeavors including organizational development, education, parenting, peace work, medicine, and administration. To accommodate the growing adaptations of his personality theory, Rogers introduced the term person-centered approach (PCA).

Rogers’ belief about human development is grounded in the actualizing tendency, the basic hypothesis of the person-centered approach and perhaps the most radical concept in Rogers’ theoretical system. It implies that, in a climate of certain carefully researched conditions, persons can be trusted to move toward psychological health and enhancement without the expertise of another being imposed from the outside. That unwavering faith in each person’s ability to grow and develop positively in the climate of genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard helps build personal power, self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-trust.


Human development consultant and author Peggy Natiello, Ph.D., worked closely with Carl Rogers from 1978-1987 on many person-centered staffs. Dr. Rogers served as her major doctoral advisor and mentored her dissertation on the nature of learning that occurs in person-centered experiences. Her doctoral and post-doctoral research and writing have addressed significant questions about the person-centered approach.

Known for her person-centered group work, Peggy is an international consultant, serves on the graduate faculty at Prescott College, and has written many articles on client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach. Her book, “The Person-Centered Approach: A passionate presence”, was written to clarify and demonstrate the importance of this often misunderstood and quite radical approach to psychotherapy, counseling, education, and group work

Peggy Natiello Ph.D.