Theorethical Perspectives

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Carl Rogers person centred approach to counselling

This essay will evaluate the necessity and importance of the development of the core conditions in the humanistic counselling process and critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the person-centred approach in the counselling process. “The Person-Centred Approach focuses on the clients own best authority as it is based on the client’s personal experience in his or her own life here and now. It shows the client as someone who has the ability of fulfilling his or her own potential for changes” (Mearns & Thorne, 2007) I believe that Carl Rogers Person-Centred counselling is reliable. It developed the method of enhancing the relationship formed between a counsellor or therapist and client. Rogers proposes that the development of trust and understanding within this relationship encourages self-realization, and enables the client to acknowledge the problems and issues they are facing.” This approach of encouragement and guidance, helps the client to feel comfortable about disclosing personal and private information to the counsellor, which in turn helps the client on their journey for their solutions” (Mearns & Thorne 2007). Rogers identified certain core conditions which he believed to be necessary if clients are to make progress in counselling. It defines the counsellors qualities and attitudes which if present, will easily change the growth within the client. The most important of these attitudes is the counsellor’s ability to understand the client’s feelings and at the same time show respect for the client and being congruent or genuine. Rogerian therapys main core conditions are Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard and Congruence or genuineness, but he also listed six more conditions in addition to these three. 1. Two persons are in Psychological contact.

2. The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious. 3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist is congruent or integrated in the relationship. 4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client. 5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference and endeavors to communicate this experience to the client. 6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved (The Carl Rogers Reader, 1990).

No other conditions are necessary. If the six conditions exist and continue over a period of time, this is sufficient. The process of constructive personality change will follow. Unconditional positive regard: According to the fourth condition, the client feels that the counsellor values him consistently throughout their relationship, despite the fact that he may not value himself and even if the counsellor does not like or approve of all the client's behavior. An example may be a client telling the counsellor that he is thinking of leaving his wife and kids because he has just discovered he is gay). The counsellor may not like or agree with the client’s decision morally because of his/her own beliefs, whether religious or traditional. In such cases the counsellor has to show empathy, respect the client for who they are at that moment. It is in therapists power to take the matter to supervision later if they wish. Carl Rogers believed that unconditional positive regard is essential for the development of a healthy client counsellor relationship. It was his belief that people need love, acceptance, respect and warmth from others. Realisticly speaking these basic human needs are most often only fulfilled on condition. As a person develops he/she needs love and acceptance from significant others in their environment such as parents and peers. Quite often an individual will either consciously or unconsciously conform to other peoples ideals and expectations in...
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