The Comparison Between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

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The Comparison Between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

By | November 2010
Page 1 of 8
The Comparison between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Theory

There are very distinct differences between Psychodynamic and Humanistic Counselling but both ultimately offer the help and guidance to discover why we act the way we do and why we make certain choices in our lives.

Throughout this essay, I will endeavour to explain those major differences and you will see that despite these completely different methods of therapy, depending on what the problem maybe, they can both work very effectively in their own way.

Carl Rogers, born in 1902, was the originator of the Person Centred Approach or Humanistic Theory. His work was influenced by his experience of being a client and a counsellor (Casemore, 2006) and he believed a trusting relationship was essential in helping the client to grow and develop in order that they could cope with difficulties in a more effective manner and to function more effectively.

There is a strong emphasis of the need for counsellors to think of their clients as people rather than impersonal bodies. Characteristics important for effectiveness in the counsellor/client relationship are congruence, where the counsellor must be genuinely themselves, a complete and whole person. Empathic, which is the ability to understand and appreciate the clients perspective. To ‘live’ in their world and accept who they are unconditionally and unconditional positive regard which involves accepting the client completely and in a non-judgemental way.

Rogers believed that all humans have a natural desire for personal growth and potential so that they can take responsibility for their own actions and the way they live their lives. This view is called the Actualising Tendency. He believed that everybody had an inner need to wholeness.

The self-concept is also important in Person Centred Counselling. This relates to the individuals perception or the way in which they see themselves based on life experiences and attitudes from those important...