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Name: Cheryl Hasell.
Course Tutor: Sian Williamson.
Course Code: North 1S.
Year 2- Psychotherapeutic Counselling – Module One.
Essay Title: “Evaluate the claim that Person-Centred Therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients.”
A psychotherapist uses a wide variety of differing theoretical models and concepts to help clients, one such theory is Client-Centred Therapy or Patient-Centred Therapy, as described by Carl Rogers. We will seek to evaluate this model by discussing its origins, theoretical constructs, underlying philosophical influences along with the ideals of those who have criticised this methodology. Finally considering how effective the model is when treating psychological disorders, including physiological symptoms. Carl Rogers is an American and was influenced by modern culture and development, whom had the idea that people are their own judge and jury, continually acting as best authority on their life striving for the “idle”. Rogers suggested that the client is always fully capable of achieving the best possible growth within their life, but that this requires positive conditions; Thus suggesting that under less than positive conditions the client may not grow and flourish to their full potential. He further suggested that this occurs when clients are denied positive regard and acceptance from others, or when either is made conditional of the client behaving in certain ways. This can then mean that the client may then begin to lose touch with what their own experience of life means for them, and that their intrinsic ability to grow in a fulfilling direction may be diminished and they then become accepting of these conditions placed upon them. The client then incorporates these conditions placed upon them into their own life to gain acceptance and positive regard; “I am the sort of person who is never late”, it is easier to become this person in order to receive positive regard than be their own individual and risk losing positive regard. Over time these conditional attributes placed upon the client may then become intrinsic in their own psyche, causing some displacement of their own personal values and opinions. When this stage is reached psychological disturbances can occur as the individuals own “self” can be in conflict with the person they “should” be, the one who is held in positive regard by others. These conflicts will remain for as long as the client is dependent upon positive regard from others for their own self-worth. (Rogers, 2003) The purpose of Rogerian (Client or Person Centred) Counselling is to encourage the client to openly become aware of their feelings, with minimal input by the psychotherapist. The psychotherapist only offers the client three core conditions: Positive regard, Empathic understanding and Congruence; thus offering acceptance, understanding and honesty. This encourages the client to relax and seeks to encourage them in to expressing and sharing their inner most thoughts and feelings. The psychotherapists’ role is to simply reflect these back to the client so that inconsistencies can be explored. This enables the client to grow and develop, having gained acceptance for their own self, in turn ensuring that therapeutic change occurs. Finally, as previously noted, this approached takes the client as their own judge and jury and only ever focuses on the client, never that of the psychotherapist or their ideals and, more importantly, never on an actual diagnosis of the presenting condition/ complaint. Person Centred Therapy is just that, person centred, and the psychotherapist is present to ensure that the client can meet and interact with themselves during the therapy session, to become more in touch with their own self, and their own intrinsic thoughts and feelings. There are many criticisms of Rogers’ theory, many of which are that delivering...
References: Boeree, C. George. 2006. Carl Rogers. Psychology Department
Cain, D. J. (1986) What does it mean to be person centred? Person-Centred review, 1, 251-256
Lietaer, G. (1998). From non-directive to experiential: A paradigm unfolding. In B. Thorne, & E. Lambers (eds.) Person-Centred Therapy: A European Perspective. London: Sage.
O’Leary, E. 1982. The Psychology of Counselling, 2nd edition. Cork: Cork University Press.
Rogers, C.R. Skinner, B.F. 1956. Some issues concerning the control of human behaviour. Science, Volume 124, No. 3231, 1057-1066.
Rogers, C. 2003. Client Centred Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory. New Ed edition. Constable.
Rowan, J. 2005. A Guide To Humanistic Psychology, 3rd edition. AHPP
Sanders, P. 2006.The Person-Centred Counselling Primer: A Steps in Counselling Supplement (Counselling Primers). PCCS Books
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