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The Similarities and Differences Between Client-Centered Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy

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  • Feb. 2012
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The similarities and differences between client-centered and psychodynamic therapies are:

Client-centered therapy: An approach to counseling where the client determines the general direction of therapy, while the therapist seeks to increase the client's insightful self-understanding through informal simplified questions. The client is the focal point of the sessions, the therapist takes a "back seat" to learn about the person, and watch as the client moves toward the achievement of their full potential through creativity. The difference with client-centered therapy than psychodynamic therapy is the client directs their own development and moves at their own pace. The therapist is a source of understanding and encouragement, with the role of listening and accepting in a nonjudgmental manner. Client-centered therapy concentrates on the here and now, reassuring the client that they are responsible for the way they feel and for their actions. There is also a strong emphasis on building a relationship between client and therapist, where empathy and confirmation are given to the client. Client-centered therapy is also beneficial in restoring the client’s self-concept and unlike psychodynamic therapy, overlooks the client’s past. Psychodynamic therapy: Refers to inner motives, conflicts, unconscious forces and it concentrates on the client's previous experiences in order to understand current conflicts or feelings about recent changes. Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes that all adult problems can be traced back to one's childhood, focusing on past problems or events. Bringing an awareness to the under lying emotional world of the client’s in an attempt to better their capacity to relate to others and to value themselves as they really are. The difference with psychodynamic therapy than client-centered therapy is, psychodynamic therapy is a mental functioning theory, and it focuses on the client’s immediate problems. With psychodynamic therapy the client learns to...

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