Core Theoretical Perspectives in Counselling

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In this essay I'm going to describe and evaluate the three core theoretical perspectives in counselling, personal centred, cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic I will look at the general theory, the view of the person in therapy, the blocks to functioning of the person in therapy and the goals and techniques of each theory. I will compare and contrast the three approaches looking at the similarities and differences between the three counselling perspectives and how the counsellor in each theory differ in their techniques to counselling their clients. The person centred counsellor needs according to Carl Rogers to have three core conditions which are unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence towards their clients however there are six “necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change” that Rogers thought needed in order to get the most out of person centred counselling and if these conditions continued over a period of time then no other conditions are necessary. Personal centred counselling sees the individual as a whole, as an organism that is motivated towards achieving its potential. This is called the "actualising tendency” In an aim to move away from the doctor-patient relationship and into a more equal and relaxed relationship Rogers called his patients clients this is very different from the psychodynamic theory which is very much based on the doctor-patient relationship? The person in personal centred counselling is viewed as acting to fulfil two primarily needs. The first is the need for self-actualisation. The second is a need to be loved and valued by others. Maslow's view of the person is essentially positive and optimistic and like Rogers he believed individuals to be unique and with the right experiences could grow to their full potential and proposed a hierarchy of needs (see appendix 1) which he believed responsible for human motivation. The clients in personal centred counselling have the power to control their own growth. A client seeking person centred therapy might have incongruence caused by conditions of worth by their caregivers as a child, making a client anxious or depressed, in this theory of the client having some unresolved childhood process, it could be compared to psychodynamics theory of childhood experiences affect the adult we become, although in person cantered therapy they do not go looking for the experience as deeply as they would in psychodynamics, they allow the client to choose what is best for themselves. Unlike cognitive behavioural therapy which work on a here and now process with their patients. Personal centred counselling is really all about the client becoming their own counsellor, and the counsellor leading the client to their own decisions therefore the client reaching their full potential learning to become the best they can be, the relationship is the therapy in personal centred counselling. The objectives in personal centred counselling are helping the client to self-actualisation by creating the right conditions so organism values and positive self-regard can be achieved. And that everyone can reach self-actuality by moving through Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Personal centred counselling more so than psychodynamics and cognitive behavioural therapy is very much about the relationship between client and counsellor. The Psychodynamic theory is really where it all started, with Freud although today counselling theories have moved on considerably Freud's theories are very much still the backbone of the psychodynamic theory. The psychodynamic counselling theory is one which places emphasis on the past as well as the present experiences and tries to link the past with the present, believing that behaviour was deeply influence by unconscious thoughts, impulses and desires. The counsellor is trying to reach the unconscious mind with the patient were memories that are painful, dramatic or too shameful and often unacceptable to us so we...
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