The Person-Centred approach to counselling is in the humanistic branch of talking therapies. It was developed primarily by Carl Rogers and offered an alternative to the movements of 'psychoanalysis' (developed by Freud) and 'behaviourism' (developed by Skinner, and a lot of rats). A key difference of humanistic approaches is that they place their emphasis on, and believe in, the human capacity for growth, choice and creativity.
This was the first approach to counselling to be developed out of substantial clinical research evidence (rather than simply an intellectual theory of how humans work). The extensive research suggested that a therapist can be of most help to a client by allowing and facilitating them to find their own solutions to their problems. This positions the client as the 'expert', even though they may very well not feel like it when they enter counselling.
Sometimes this 'non-directive' approach can feel unusual, especially as we are often used to handing over power to or trusting experts and letting them direct us. Yet it was found that over even a short space of time a client's inner resources can organise and flourish in the environment of empathic understanding, acceptance and congruence (or realness) offered by the person-centred counsellor.
Through the work, clients become better able to understand themselves, even accept themselves, make different choices and grow to become the person that they want to be.
I know it to be a beautiful, empowering and refreshingly genuine approach to engaging with another. This can be a welcome change to the often non-genuine, disempowering and coolly professional engagement we are accustomed to.