Case Study Gloria

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The purpose of this assignment is to review the case study of the therapeutic session of Dr Carl Rogers and his client, Gloria. I will give a brief account of the presenting problem and some theory of Person Centred Therapy to enable me to observe and analyse the techniques used as a strategy to self actualisation. Using transcripts, I will identify some of these skills and observe how effective they were by observing Gloria. I will discuss my opinion of the counselling session and evaluate Dr Rogers’ strengths and weaknesses. In closing I will provide my thoughts as to how he could have improved the therapy. Initially, Gloria, a recently divorced woman, presented a problem with regards to "having men to the house” and “making love” with them. She admits that she has lied to her nine year old daughter, Pammy, about having sex since the divorce but that she is not comfortable with this deceit. She “so badly” wants her daughter to accept and trust her. Specifically, Gloria wanted to know if she should be truthful with her daughter or if such honesty could cause her daughter emotional harm. Her wish is that she can feel comfortable with herself even if it is against her own morals and upbringing. In the course of the session she comes to the conclusion that she would like to work on accepting herself. Towards the end she suddenly changes direction and discloses how nice it is to talk to him and that wants his approval. She displays transference when she wishes that she could be so open with her own father and is using him, Dr Rogers, as a substitute. Although he does not respond to the statement, he does verbalise his closeness to her in this moment, meaning the “here and now”. Whilst reading the short vignette about the session, I visualised myself sitting with Gloria and feeling her conflicts. I felt that I could relate to Gloria. Given the times that the therapy took place, I respected Gloria’s honesty and her acceptance of her libido as natural. I saw her as quite a worldly woman who was indeed, quite capable of addressing her problems and finding acceptable solutions. It was clear that she had previously given a lot of thought as to her moral upbringing and had already given herself much more freedom than previous generations. It was evident in that she had already observed that her body did not agree with her morals. I felt her frustration of her wanting to tell Pammy the truth and her despair that nobody could give her the answers except herself. I felt that her talking and him clarifying, reflecting and summarizing elucidated her problems so that she could put some order to them and in doing so, empower herself to find the inner peace that she is looking for. Using the examples of transcripts, I will attempt to site the various skills used by Dr Rogers. These include the Person Centred Skills of congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding of the client. Dr Rogers coined the term of “unconditional positive regard”, which “involves showing complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what that person says or does” (Cherry, n.d.). Congruence implies that the counsellor is authentic and genuine and that he is present and transparent to the client and therefore there is no need for her to speculate about what the counsellor is ‘really like’ (Mulhauser, n.d.). “Empathic understanding is a means that the counsellor accurately understands the client’s thoughts, feelings, and meanings from the client’s own perspective” (Mulhauser, n.d.). In the framework of counselling Dr Rogers informed Gloria of the time frame. “We have half an hour together an' I really don't know what we will be able to make of it but, uh, I hope we can make something of it.” In the following dialogue Dr Rogers displays congruency by disclosing that he does not have the answers and thereby dispelling the myth that he is the “all knowing expert”. In his transparency he asks her for acknowledgement that he is understood....
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