Personal presence in client-centered therapy


Barbara T. Brodley


This paper presents two conceptions of "presence" found in Rogers' writings about client-centered therapy. The first conception is a naturalistic one emphasizing the openness and immediacy of the therapist in the relationship. The second builds on the first, adding an element of spirituality or mysticism. Expressing my rejection of Rogers' second conception, I discuss the phenomena of presence and compare Rogers' spiritual or mystical interpretations to my own naturalistic interpretations of similar experiences. Finally, I describe a small pilot study of presence that shows the concept can be meaningful to clients.