Critique Person Centred Counselling

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I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me; but you've got to help me. You've got to hold out your hand, even when that's the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of the breathing dead. Only you can call me into aliveness. Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings! Extract from Poem

Please Hear What I am not Saying.
Charles C. Finn
This Critique of Person Centred Counselling offers an insight into The Person Centred Approach developed by Carl Rogers. I will firstly introduce Rogers and his influences. An exploration of Person Centred Counselling will follow examining Philosophical Principals, Key Concepts and the Core Conditions that must be present in the therapeutic relationship. Subsequently, Rogers Seven Stages of Psychological development during the process of therapy will be outlined. Brian Thorne’s Spiritual Dimensions, Eugene Gendlin’s process of Focusing and Fritz Perls’ Gestalt Therapy will also be cited. The strengths and limitations of Rogers’ approach will be evaluated with an overall personal assessment concluding the essay. Carl Ransom Rogers

Born: January 8th 1902 Illinois, Chicago.
Parents: Walter A. Rogers, Engineer.
Julia M. Cushing, housewife and devoted Christian.
Carl was the fourth of their six children. Educated in a religious vicarage, his upbringing was intensely severe and restricted. Rogers had an emotionally starved relationship with his mother, becoming isolated, independent and disciplined. Rogers studied Agriculture, History then Religion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1922, Rogers changed career and enrolled at Columbia University, obtaining an M.A. in 1928 and a Ph.D. in Psychotherapy in 1931. Rogers worked with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and became Director in 1930. His writings include; The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child 1939, Counselling and Psychotherapy: Newer Concepts in Practice 1942. In 1945, he established a Counselling Centre at the University of Chicago, while there he published his major work, Client-Centred Therapy 1951. In 1956 Rogers became first President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists. Around this time he became disillusioned with academia; emphasising testing and treatment. Rogers was selected 'humanist of the year' by the American Humanist Association in1964. He began work in research with the Western Behavioural Sciences Institute, leaving to found the Centre for Studies of the Person in 1968. Rogers' thinking was influenced by the psychologist and philosopher Otto Rank. From him Rogers took the emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and the idea of the therapist as supporter rather than director. A pivotal case with a boy and his mother, further cemented this approach for Rogers. When Rogers left the direction of the session to the mother without attempting to interrupt, he confirmed the power and value of this new methodology. Rogers' last decade was devoted to applying his theories in areas of national social conflict, travelling to Northern Ireland, South Africa and the Soviet Union. Between 1975 and 1980, with his daughter Natalie, Rogers conducted a series of programmes on The Person Centred Approach in the US, Europe, and Japan. Rogers died suddenly on February 4th 1987.

Philosophical Principles
Rogers’ entire theory is built on a single force of life he calls The Actualising Tendency, an intrinsic motivation within each of us to develop our potential to the highest level possible and move towards autonomy. Claringbull (2010:89) describes the actualising tendency as: An implied drive towards fully developing and satisfying all ones emotional and physical needs. Actualisation is a directional onwards and upwards process that is ever present. It can only be suppressed and never destroyed. Ideally,...
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