Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy
Midterm SWG 598 Bridge I
Introduction As social workers, it is our responsibility to use the most effective method of practice to engage our clients, assess their situation, and help them create goals that will produce positive outcomes. Every client will present a unique set of challenges; therefore, the social worker must be careful in choosing an approach that will meet the client’s needs, compliment the skills of the therapist and are in line with the agency’s mission. According to Robert and Watkins (2009), psychotherapy is a therapeutic interaction between a trained therapist and a client that is used to treat adjustment problems and personal growth issues. The following psychotherapy approaches are three widely used in social work today: client centered therapy, cognitive therapy, and psychodynamic theory. In addition, this essay will explore how each approach is used in the context of engagement, assessment, goals and interventions, termination, interpersonal skills, and ethical issues. The training film “Three Approaches to Psychotherapy” (Shostrom, 1965) was also viewed to observe how different therapist utilized these three approaches.
Client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers is a rational, nondirective approach in which the role of the therapist is not to offer a direct intervention or advice, but to help the client focus on their inner resources to resolve their own problems. In addition, the therapist uses self-awareness in relationship to the client in order to help them feel whole and experience personal growth (Shostrom, 1965a). Client-centered therapy does not explore the unconscious because the therapist wants to keep the client in the “here and now”. Client-centered therapy is unlike other theories in that it is not based on stages of development or specific steps, but
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