‘Evaluate the claim that Person-Centred Therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients.’
The Person Centred approach is based upon the theory and philosophy of Carl Rogers. This approach in its set-up is familiar to the general public as it is depicted in the media and is often expected therefore that a counselling session would take place in this format. At first glance the counselling process which has derived from the theory of Rogers, in a real therapy situation appears simplistic. To fully answer the question whether this blueprint offers a therapist all they need to treat their clients it is important to have a sound knowledge of the theory, and identify the successes and drawbacks connected with this. In the 1950s Carl Rogers gained praise for publishing ‘Client Centred Therapy’ and for his work on the Person Centred approach. Roger’s work is still praised and forms the basis for many theoretical and practical approaches to counselling. Rogers work was classified as a Humanistic Therapy and fits within the three main forms of psychological therapies today, which are listed below; * Behavioural Therapies
* Psychoanalytical and Psychodynamic Therapies
* Humanistic Therapies
Person Centred counselling was based around three core conditions, devised by Rogers; 1. Unconditional Positive Regard
It is considered essential for all counsellors to display these attributes and to consistently provide these to each client irrespective of circumstance. The Person Centred approach views the client as their own best authority on their own experience, and it views the client as being fully capable of fulfilling their own potential for growth. It recognizes, however, that achieving potential requires favourable conditions and that under adverse conditions, individuals may well not grow and develop in the ways that they otherwise could. In particular, when individuals are denied acceptance and positive regard from others, or when that positive regard is made conditional upon the individual behaving in particular ways they may begin to lose touch with what their own experience means for them, and their innate tendency to grow in a direction consistent with that meaning may be stifled. This does offer a unique perspective for both client and therapist to allow an unlocking of the client’s genuine self. The premise of this theory is that human beings are innately good and given free opportunity they will strive for goodness, further reaffirming the core conditions. If we believe that humans are good, we should always be able to supply unconditional positive regard, congruence and empathy. The role that theory plays in the process and outcome of counselling has been a subject of discussion, for almost as long as counselling has been a profession. While schools of therapy have argued that different theories produce differing and nonequivalent outcomes, this position has been challenged on numerous occasions. Fiedler (1951) first observed that therapists of differing orientations were very similar in their views of the "ideal therapy." Then Sundland and Barker (1962) reported that more experienced therapists tended to be more similar, regardless of their theoretical orientation. In their extensive review of the subject, Gelso and Carter (1985) stated that "most clients will profit about equally (but in different ways) from the different therapies". They go on to suggest that the effect of process and relationship do differ among therapies and that some clients may do better with one approach than with another, based upon these two factors. Finally, Stiles, Shapiro and Elliott (1986) concluded that "(a) common features shared by all psychotherapies underlie or override differences in therapists' verbal techniques and (b) these common features are responsible for the general equivalence in effectiveness (of therapies)”. Process and...
Edward L. Deci, Richard M. Ryan (1985) Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behaviour; Springer Publishing.
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