DIPLOMA IN COUNSELLING
Person Centred Counselling Theory and Practice
3,000 Word Assignment
Person Centred Theory and Practice Assumes: It is Necessary that Two People are in Psychological Contact.
This assignment introduces some of the Rogerian fundamental principles of person-centred personality theory, thus forming backdrop for the consideration of the three core-conditions required for successful therapeutic alliance. The main thrust of the assignment looks at the first of the six preconditions for personality change, i.e. ‘two persons are in psychological contact’. A number of observations are provided that were demonstrated in a recent seminar presentation that can guide the counsellor towards some recognition of the client’s needs with particular regard to signs and symptoms and tasks required to establish a requirement and facilitate an appropriate pre-therapy stage of the relationship. The seminar showed how a client with physical brain damage was assisted by his counsellor and the technique can be applied with equal effectiveness to those with learning difficulties and those suffering psychopathology, e.g. schizophrenia. The assignment introduces demographics that suggest a strong likelihood of encountering schizophrenic clients, and this is supported with some common manifestations of the illness. Historically therapists have shunned the treatment of certain mental debilitations and it is important therefore that this assignment acknowledges some of the ground-breaking person-centred work carried out since the 1960’s. Thereafter follows some specific references to the method of pretherapy demonstrated in our seminar presentation, which has been specifically fashioned for the person-centred counsellor. This methodology employs a number of client reflection stages and brings the client into contact with their surroundings. This work culminates in a composite of therapeutic functioning upon which the counsellor can begin to build an effective and real relationship with the client. Thus the two become in contact psychologically. The architects of person-centred personality theory posited that people have an intrinsic tendency towards self-fulfilment and that individuals evaluate the self, balanced against the values they hold for themselves or embrace in others. The notion that the self assumes significance is exemplified by Carl Rogers who believed that the emphasis on empirical psychological assessment should be rationalised with greater influence placed on the need ‘to observe acutely, to think carefully and creatively’ (Rogers, 1959, p189). The person-centred approach advocates a climate in which the client gains greater self-awareness, ultimately leading to a more realistic assessment on one’s self and one’s relationships. This schema of transcending rather than yielding to society, of being one’s self, has therefore become a main stay. Within this self-behaviour methodology Maslow (e.g. 1970) developed a Selfactualisation model, which he described as the propensity for the self to
expand in competence and in capabilities that result in either the maintenance of personality equilibrium or an enhancement of the self. This aptitude for balance or capacity for growth is monitored by the organismic valuing function and when judged to be positive promotes a sense of congruence, or integration within the individual (Carver & Scheier, 1996). The model proposes that self-actualisation is not the preserve of the famous, but is achievable through parenthood, sporting attainment, art or science. Thus ‘clear emergence of these needs rests upon some prior satisfaction of the physiological, safety, love and esteem needs’ (Maslow, 1970 p 47). Rogers (1957) suggested that to empower the client to grow towards a fulfilling life it is necessary for client and therapist to meet for a number of sessions and explore the client’s feelings and experiences. Central to the person-centred psychotherapeutic relationship are six...
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