Compare and Contrast the Different Ways Person-Centred and Psychodynamic Make Use of the Counselling Relationship

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The process of counselling has at its core the personal progress and growth of the individual. Both the psychodynamic and the person-centred models are accepted to be therapeutic procedures the aim of which is to bring to the client a better insight and a clearer understanding of their life. Although classed as being different they are both efficient approaches if practised with efficacy. There are numerous differences between the two models but despite this, there are many similarities too. The psychodynamic approach represents the traditional way of counselling and it had its origins in the theories formulated by Sigmund Freud. Its main aim is to make the client feel governed by conscience and rationality instead of the unconscious forces: “where the id was, let ego be” (2008, pg.95) It focuses mainly on the theory of psychoanalysis and relates very much on the concept that adult problems have their origins in childhood. On the other hand however, the person-centred model does not want to stigmatize or label the individual. This theory relies more on making the clients feel accepted and valued as they are: ‘the self trying to find meaning and fulfilment in the world’. (2008, pg.170) From the humanistic counselling point of view, every person is an important individual who is valued by society. It is clear that there are major differences between the way representatives of both camps think and act as counsellor. Obviously, they base their practice and conduct on their training and beliefs. A psychodynamic counsellor will always have the preconceived idea that their client’s difficulties hide in the unconscious and that the most important desires and impulses are latent and very well repressed. Therefore, it is their job to direct the counselling relationship towards searching out these memories and fantasies which are at the root of a person’s difficulties. On the other hand, the humanistic counsellor will focus primarily on the present time of the...
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