Person Centered Group Development

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Person Centered Group Development

Group therapy or psychotherapy in the United States, has a long history that dates back into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time the America was being bombarded by masses of immigrants. Most of these immigrants settled in large cities. Organizations such as Hull House in Chicago were founded to assist them in adjusting to life in the United States. Known as settlement houses, these agencies helped immigrant groups lobby for better housing, working conditions, and recreational facilities. These early social work groups valued group participation, the democratic process, and personal growth (Kaplan, 1998). Eventually these groups began meeting in prisons, mental hospitals, and public assistance agencies; and that is what we now know as the beginning of early group therapy, in which one or more therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. Group therapy varies from the one on one therapeutic relationship between therapist and patient to additional individuals in the session to assist with individual growth and problem solving. There are several different types of therapy groups, Psychodynamic, conceived by Sigmund Freud, focuses on helping individuals become more sensitive to their unconscious needs and motivations as well as the concerns common to all group members. Freud would concentrate on the authority of the group leader to the members and the affection between group members to understand relationships and the affection individuals themselves. In another form of therapy, behavior therapy, individuals are encouraged to become self aware, and to pay attention to events that happen before, during and after problems occur. Techniques are then developed to replace the problem behavior with new more adaptive behavior. (Hales, 1995) There is also the practice of phenomenological therapies. Within this type of therapy you will find psychodrama, developed by Jacob Moreno, which allows members to act out conflict in their lives. It is especially helpful for those who may find it difficult to use words. Finally, there is also Fritz Perls and his Gestalt therapy, in which members take turns and become aware of feelings they had through an empty chair technique. This essay will focus on further discussion psychologist Carl Rogers and his therapeutic approach: the underlying concentration of the person -centered belief is that humans are capable of consciously controlling their behavior and ultimately taking responsibility for their actions. Person-centered therapy was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the early 1940s. It is one of the most inflectional and commonly used models in mental health and psychotherapy (Prochaska, & Norcross, (2007). In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental atmosphere by demonstrating congruence empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their patients while using a non-directive approach. This allows the patients to seek out their own answers to their problems. Carl Rogers assisted his patients taking responsibility for themselves and their lives. He believed that the experience of being understood and valued gives the individual the freedom to grow. Rogerian counseling involves the counselor's entry into the person's unique phenomenological world. In mirroring this world, the counselor does not disagree or point out contradictions (Ward & King.,et al, 2000). Neither does he or she attempt to probe into the unconscious of the patient. Rogers describes counseling as a process of liberating a person and removing obstacles so that normal growth and development can proceed and the person can become more independent and self-directed( Haggbloom,2002). Rather than viewing the therapist as an expert, Rogers believed that the client's own drive toward growth and development is the most vital therapeutic factor. It is the therapist’s job to empathize with the client's feelings and...
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