chapter  4
There is a philosophical basis to person-centred therapy
Pages 4

The person-centred approach can be considered as rooted in one or more of a number of philosophical or epistemological paradigms. If it is accepted that there are three dominant metaparadigms underpinning modern Western thought as to the nature of human beings (Modernism, Romanticism and Postmodernism), it is possible to make an argument for the person-centred approach as drawing or having drawn on each. For example, the early development of client-centred therapy was very much in accord with empiricism and positivism. It was clearly about trying to establish what constituted effective therapy and how therapy worked best through a process of constructing and testing hypotheses ± that is the scienti®c method and is a Modernist perspective. However, the actualising tendency and ideas about the existential freedom of the person and the valuing of experiencing are more aligned with Romanticism. Equally, it seems to me (Wilkins 2003: 26±30) there is a case for the person-centred approach as Postmodern at least in as much as knowledge is subjectively de®ned, depending on the nature and approach of the knower. In person-centred terms, there is no objective truth waiting to be revealed but meaning is constructed ± or, more likely, co-constructed.