Evaluate the claim that Person-centred Therapy offers the therapist all the he/she will need to treat clients

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow, Psychology Pages: 7 (2988 words) Published: December 5, 2014
Nikki White CHELM2A 13 “Evaluate the claim that Person-centred Therapy offers the therapist all the he/she will need to treat clients”
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In this essay I will 'evaluate the claim that Person-Centred Therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients'. As this essay is asking me to 'evaluate' the theory of PersonCentred Therapy, I will weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and outline some of the criticisms that have been made regarding Person-Centred Therapy. I will explain the main theoretical constructs of self-actualisation, organismic self, conditions of worth, and self concept. I will discuss the way that Carl Rogers explains and responds to psychological disorders and to what extent Person-Centred Therapy might be useful in treating these disorders. I will conclude this essay with my personal opinion of Person-Centred Therapy and my own experiences of practicing with this method of therapy.

Person-Centred Therapy (PCT) is categorised as a humanistic approach which was developed in the 1950's. The major theorists were Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Fitz Perls and Abraham Maslow. Maslow believed that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, and will continually strive to satisfy those needs. This was known as Maslow's hierarchy of needs or 'Self -actualisation'. (1) A Self Actualised person is thought of as being the best that they can be. They have reached their own personal potential. (2) Maslow's theory was that a person needed to satisfy four lower 'needs' levels to reach the top level of self-actualisation. The lowest level being physiological needs ie: food, warmth, shelter, sleep and sex. They can then move up to the next level of safety needs, before moving on to social needs and then esteem needs, before finally reaching self-actualisation. Once one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfil the next one, and so on. It is possible to reach self-actualisation without all the lower needs to be totally fulfilled. Maslow believed that everyone is born with the potential to self-actualise when given the right environment. (3) Unfortunately, failure to meet lower level needs will disrupt progress. Life experiences including divorce or loss of job for example may cause a person to fluctuate between the levels. They may need to re-evaluate their current situation and although they initially will be satisfying social needs they may then have to look at satisfying the very basic physiological needs of shelter. Like Maslow, Carl Rogers, through years of working with clients, developed the belief that people continue to strive to “become a person” and that this activity never ceases. Early on in his career in the 1940s, Rogers called his approach 'Non-Directive Therapy' or 'Client Centred Therapy'. Carl Rogers was an influential American psychologist who worked as a psychotherapist for most of his life. (1) He developed a warm and caring regard for every client, regardless of their problem or condition. Rogers challenged authoritarian tendencies in both therapy and parenting, and championed the rights of clients to discover their own directions. Rogers believed that we all hold our own knowledge and resources to enable us to promote our own healing and growth. (4)

Nikki White CHELM2A 13 “Evaluate the claim that Person-centred Therapy offers the therapist all the he/she will need to treat clients”
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Much like psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Rogers believed that the therapeutic relationship could lead to insights and lasting changes in a client. While Freud focused on offering interpretations of what he believed were the unconscious conflicts that led to a client's troubles, Rogers believed that the therapist should remain non-directive. That is to say, the therapist should not direct the client, should not pass judgments on the client's feelings, and should not offer suggestions or solutions. Instead, the client should be the one in control. (5) PCT does not offer much in the way...
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