5306 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA  206-403-1148

Person-Centered Therapy 


Deep down, everybody is capable of meeting their true potential

Many of us yearn to fulfill our potential, yet doubt and low self-esteem can hinder our progress. These feelings often stem from early life experiences, societal pressures, and personal challenges that leave us with a deep sense of self-mistrust. For this reason, person-centered therapy often serves as a transformative and reparative relationship for many, offering a healing experience that nurtures self-discovery and personal empowerment. Rooted in empathy and unconditional positive regard, this therapeutic approach provides a safe space for individuals to explore and express their deepest thoughts, emotions, and experiences without fear of judgment.

Are you ready to strengthen your identity and build trust in yourself?

Person-centered therapy helps you tap into that drive toward self-realization and rewrite the hesitant and cynical narratives you believe about yourself. It can help you realign your self-image with your reality, allowing you to let go of negative self-perceptions so you better understand yourself and move into a space of self-actualization and growth. 

If you’re looking for counseling in Seattle that emphasizes empathy, support, and non-judgment—where you can explore your feelings and experiences with complete trust and honesty—our skilled person-centered therapists are ready to help. If you have questions about the person-centered therapy process and how it can help, please reach out and contact us. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if person-centered therapy at Thrive for the People is the right fit for you.

What is person-centered therapy?

Person-centered therapy operates on the belief that every individual, irrespective of their circumstances or past experiences, inherently possesses the capacity to understand and confront their own challenges. This approach acknowledges that individuals, when empowered with self-awareness and self-confidence, are capable of making informed decisions and initiating significant changes in their lives, especially within the context of a supportive therapeutic relationship.

Why do I need therapy?

A negative self-image, influenced by life experiences, can hinder your personal growth. It may diminish your confidence in decision-making, obscure your true worth, and impede your ability to fulfill your potential. A negative self-image may stem from:

  • Negative experiences: Past failures, criticism, or rejection can erode confidence and self-belief, leading you to doubt your abilities and potential.

  • External pressures: Societal expectations, cultural norms, or family dynamics may place unrealistic demands or limitations on you, causing you to feel inadequate or unworthy.

  • Self-doubt: Internalized negative beliefs or self-criticism can undermine self-confidence and create barriers to personal growth and fulfillment.

  • Comparison: Constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling like you fall short can diminish your sense of worth and potential.

  • Trauma: Experiencing significant trauma or adversity can impact your sense of self-efficacy and belief in your ability to overcome challenges and succeed.

  • Lack of support: Limited access to supportive relationships or resources may hinder you from realizing your potential and pursuing your goals.

Person-centered therapy offers a supportive space for exploration and reflection, aiming to cultivate a positive self-image that acknowledges and appreciates your inherent value.

Person-centered therapy is non-directive therapy

In person-centered therapy, your therapist won't direct your sessions or your introspection process. You're free to explore what you feel is important, and whatever you choose to talk about in session will be honored. The goal is, ultimately, to build self-trust and self-esteem. Your therapist will empathize with you, listen attentively, and support you as you discover new insights about yourself.

Core concepts of person-centered therapy

Person-centered therapy is based on three major core concepts: congruence, empathy, and unconditional positive regard. These core concepts guide your therapist in every interaction with you while using person-centered therapy so you can feel safe, supported, and accepted.

  1. Congruence: Your therapist will engage in authentic and sincere interactions with you, devoid of any pretense or authoritative demeanor. They will openly share their thoughts and feelings, trusting in your ability to lead each session. This approach stems from a genuine belief in you and your capabilities.
  2. Empathy: Your therapist will approach each session with a mindset of empathy, seeking to understand your experiences without judgment. They will reflect back to you the emotions they sense behind your words, aiming to deepen your self-understanding and ensure you feel truly heard.
  3. Unconditional Positive Regard: Throughout your therapeutic journey, your therapist will demonstrate unwavering respect and appreciation for you. They will create a space free of judgment, where you can freely explore your thoughts and emotions. Their goal will always be to allow you a safe space to explore your feelings and experiences as you see fit.

The goals of person-centered therapy

The goals of person-centered therapy include:

  • Developing trust in yourself and your decisions.

  • Increasing your confidence in your ability to deal with whatever results from the decisions you make

  • Cultivating a receptivity to new experiences

  • Fostering a sense of intrinsic self-value

  • Improving your self-esteem

  • Empowering you to make changes in your life

The benefits of Person-centered therapy

Overall, person-centered therapy is known to increase self-esteem. That increased self-esteem opens doors to personal growth and life improvements, including those in unexpected directions that arise from the explorations in therapy. Person-centered therapy is known to help with emotional healing as well—a better understanding of yourself and your emotions allows you to experience them fully, tease out why they happen, and cope with them in ways that fit your personality and needs. 

Person-centered therapy is particularly useful for self-exploration and acceptance. This can have direct benefits on your relationship with yourself, but can also have direct benefits for your relationships with others. You’ll be more able to approach relationships on your own terms, expressing yourself more effectively and trusting your choices around relationship challenges. 

Is Person-centered therapy effective?

Person-centered therapy has been found to be highly effective, particularly due to the interactions between client and therapist. When you feel that you are being related to with unconditional positive regard, you are able to apply that same positive regard in your relationship with yourself as well. People who hold themselves in high regard, trust themselves, and work to improve their self-esteem are typically more able to make changes in their lives for the better. 

There is evidence that person-centered therapy can be as effective as directive therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of mental health conditions. It is also highly useful for people seeking help with personal growth regardless of a diagnosis. Person-centered therapy rarely centers diagnosis, instead focusing on experiences, feelings, and progress with self-understanding and self-realization.

Person-centered therapy is most useful for:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • PTSD and complex trauma
  • Dealing with feelings of helplessness, powerlessness
  • Moments of indecision or feeling stuck in life
  • Improving your relationships
  • Better understanding your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Increasing your self-esteem and self-worth
  • Helping better understand, and reduce, interpersonal conflicts

Person-Centered Therapy at Thrive for the People

We offer in-person sessions with warm, welcoming person-centered therapists for Seattle residents, and can provide that same trusting, warm space for online sessions for any residents of Washington State. Contact us today to get started.



In-Person and Online Therapy

Our office is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

5306 Ballard Ave NW,
Seattle, WA

Can’t make it into the office? We also offer online therapy for your convenience.

Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit.


We are excited to welcome Maricor Coquia, LMHC, as the newest member of our team. Mari has openings for individual and couples therapy.