‘’Evaluate the Claim That Person-Centered Therapy Offers the Therapist All That He/She Will Need to Treat Clients’’

Topics: Abraham Maslow, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychotherapy Pages: 7 (2436 words) Published: June 10, 2012
Adriaana Nye Module 1 – Essay 2396 words Course code:

‘’Evaluate the claim that Person-centered therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients’’

This essay is intended to explore the statement that Person-centered therapy offers therapists all they need to treat clients. In order to do this I intend to further explore the opinions of other individuals practicing and researching counseling therapies.

My first thoughts are that if the Person centered approach was sufficient, there might not have been such a great variety of other approaches such as Cognitive therapy, Existential therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral therapy, Psychotherapy etc. Hence, we are embarking a course on Psychotherapy. A large part of therapy is set in taking individuality into consideration as clients may not respond to certain types of therapy, and therapists themselves may find that they excel more in other approaches and deliver treatment more successfully as a result. Having said that, I believe that each individual approach offers valuable contribution to the world of therapy and should definitely have a place in ones therapeutic toolbox regardless of the approach we choose to master. For instance, depending on the situation and direction of the issue at hand, one might make use of a multi-model to treat a client. In addition to my personal view, Chrysalis suggests that continuous use of the Rogerian Core Conditions, (Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard / UPR, and Congruence) can become frustrating to both client and therapist, and Carl Rogers himself, said that this treatment can only be successful if these conditions are met 100%. This may be difficult if the therapist can not bypass their prejudice beliefs, or perhaps find they relate to the matter on deep personal level.

The basics of the Person Centered approach is that it is non-directive and allows the clients to freely explore and deal with their feelings as it comes into context. Most important in the use of this approach are the core conditions; Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Congruence. Also important for this approach is practicing active listening by using techniques such as paraphrasing, reflecting and clarifying the clients thoughts and feelings back to them so that they might see a different perspective and therefore clarity. This also helps the therapist understand where the client is coming from. As therapists, we should be careful not to come across uncaring machine that turns statements into questions in a similar way as the computer program ELIZA developed by Joseph Weizenbaum of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rogers recommended that a Rogerian therapist repeat or paraphrase a client's thoughts, in order to insure comprehension. It is mostly a valuable technique, but can also seem that therapy is sometimes reduced to the sterile technique of "echoing" what a client says. Rogers however, intended for this to help the client relax and realize that he can express his inner feelings without feeling judgments. This way the therapist can examine the inconsistencies, the appropriate feelings can be explored, and good feelings encouraged to strengthen the inner-self and esteem. Through this, the person’s self-actualization can develop and make them less defensive and subservient.

Self-Actualizing / Actualizing is a concept that Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow very much had in common to a certain degree. Maslow’s theory about the development of mankind is that behavior arises from the way we continually strive to satisfy needs. Maslow pointed out that an unsatisfied need that is lowest down the hierarchy is the one that will need satisfying most, and once satisfied, the next level will seek fulfillment. His hierarchy sets out physiological needs, safety needs, love/social needs, esteem needs, and once those are satisfied, one might then self actualize. He also explains that our hierarchy of needs...
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