According to Rogers, a counsellor with the following three attitudes would allow the client to express their feelings freely without having the feeling that they are being judged. The counsellor does not attempt to change the client's way of thinking in order to explore the issues that are most important to them.
The first condition is empathy which means showing a shared understanding of feeling. A counsellor should sense the feelings that the client is experiencing and communicate this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the counsellor is so much inside the private world of the other that they can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening can be rare. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy.
The second condition is unconditional positive regard. When the counsellor is experiencing a positive, acceptant attitude toward the client, therapeutic change is more likely to occur. Through providing unconditional positive regard, counsellors seek to help their clients accept and take responsibility for themselves. Humanistic counsellors believe that by showing the client unconditional positive regard and acceptance, the counsellor is providing the best possible conditions for personal growth to the client.
The third condition is congruence meaning being genuine and honest. The more the counsellor is themselves in the relationship, not putting on a professional front. the greater is the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner. This means that the counsellor is being open with the feelings and attitudes they are experiencing at that time. Once the client is treated as an equal communication will start. If the therapist comes across as an authority or an expert the client will start to tailor their answers to suit.