Good Friday Commemoration

Good Friday

The Intersection of Person-Centered Therapy and Christian Spirituality: A Good Friday Reflection

As we gather in our sacred space this Good Friday, I find myself contemplating the profound connection between the therapeutic approach known as person-centered therapy and our Christian spirituality. I am Fr Richard Healey, and today, I want to share with you some insights that have been on my heart.

Embracing Unconditional Positive Regard

In the realm of person-centered therapy, a concept that often comes to the forefront is ‘unconditional positive regard.’ This is the therapist’s practice of accepting and supporting a person no matter what they say or do. It’s a non-judgmental embrace of the individual’s intrinsic value. As Christians, isn’t this what we see reflected in the life and teachings of Jesus? He met people where they were, offering love and acceptance that knew no bounds. In my own journey, striving to embody this unconditional positive regard has been both challenging and transformative.

The Essence of Compassionate Congruence

Another pillar of person-centered therapy is ‘compassionate congruence.’ This is the therapist’s genuine and transparent presence with a client, without any facade. It’s about being real and authentic. Jesus, in His interactions, was the epitome of this congruence. He did not wear masks; He was who He was, and His heart was open for all to see. As I reflect on His example, I am reminded of the call to be genuine in my relationships and in my ministry.

The Power of Empathy

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is a cornerstone of both person-centered therapy and the way of Christ. Jesus showed us what it means to truly empathize with humanity, to feel our joys and sorrows as His own. In my own life, practicing empathy has allowed me to connect with others on a deeper level, to be a presence of comfort and understanding in times of need.

The Symbolism of the Cross and the Love of Jesus

On this solemn day, as we reflect on the symbolism of the cross, we are reminded of the ultimate act of love. The cross is not just a symbol of suffering; it is a profound testament to the love that Jesus has for each of us. It is a love that is willing to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. As I meditate on the cross, I am overwhelmed by the depth of Jesus’ love and the sacrifice He made for our salvation.

The Perfect Counselor

In person-centered therapy, the counselor strives to create a safe space for healing and growth. Jesus, as the perfect counselor, offers us a sanctuary for our souls. He invites us to lay down our burdens at the foot of the cross, to find rest and peace in His presence. As we navigate the complexities of life, let us turn to Him for guidance, for He understands our struggles and carries us through our darkest hours.


As we observe Good Friday, let us draw near to the heart of Jesus, our perfect counselor. Let us learn from His example of unconditional positive regard, compassionate congruence, and empathy. May the symbolism of the cross remind us of the boundless love that has been poured out for us. And may we carry these reflections into our daily lives, becoming beacons of Christ’s love in a world that so desperately needs it.

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