Person-centered therapy

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Person-centered therapy
Intervention
MeSHD009629
 
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Person-centered therapy
Intervention
MeSHD009629

Person-centered therapy (PCT) is also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy. PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to develop a sense of self wherein they can realize how their attitudes, feelings and behavior are being negatively affected and make an effort to find their true positive potential.[1] In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their clients while using a non-directive approach. This aids clients in finding their own solutions to their problems.

Although this technique has been criticized by behaviorists for lacking structure and by psychoanalysts for actually providing a conditional relationship [2] it has proven to be an effective and popular treatment.[3][4][5][6]

Contents

History and influences

Person-centered therapy, now considered a founding work in the humanistic school of psychotherapies, began formally with Carl Rogers.[7] "Rogerian" psychotherapy is identified as one of the major school groups, along with psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis (most famously Sigmund Freud), classical Adlerian psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and existential therapy (such as that pioneered by Rollo May).[8]

Rogers affirmed [7] individual personal experience as the basis and standard for living and therapeutic effect. Rogers identified 6 conditions which are needed to produce personality changes in clients: relationship, vulnerability to anxiety (on the part of the client), genuineness (the therapist is truly himself or herself and incorporates some self-disclosure), the client's perception of the therapist's genuineness, the therapist's unconditional positive regard for the client, and accurate empathy.[9] This emphasis contrasts with the dispassionate position which may be intended in other therapies, particularly the more extreme behavioral therapies. Living in the present rather than the past or future, with organismic trust, naturalistic faith in your own thoughts and the accuracy in your feelings, and a responsible acknowledgment of your freedom, with a view toward participating fully in our world, contributing to other peoples' lives, are hallmarks of Roger's Person-centered therapy. Rogers also claims that the therapeutic process is essentially the accomplishments made by the client. The client having already progressed further along in their growth and maturation development, only progresses further with the aid of a psychologically favored environment.[10]

Core concepts

Rogers (1957; 1959) stated [9] that there are six necessary and sufficient conditions required for therapeutic change:

  1. Therapist-Client Psychological Contact: a relationship between client and therapist must exist, and it must be a relationship in which each person's perception of the other is important.
  2. Client in-congruence, or Vulnerability: that in-congruence exists between the client's experience and awareness. Furthermore, the client is vulnerable or anxious which motivates them to stay in the relationship.
  3. Therapist Congruence, or Genuineness: the therapist is congruent within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist is deeply involved him or herself - they are not "acting" - and they can draw on their own experiences (self-disclosure) to facilitate the relationship.
  4. Therapist Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR): the therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval. This facilitates increased self-regard in the client, as they can begin to become aware of experiences in which their view of self-worth was distorted by others.
  5. Therapist Empathic understanding: the therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client's internal frame of reference. Accurate empathy on the part of the therapist helps the client believe the therapist's unconditional love for them.
  6. Client Perception: that the client perceives, to at least a minimal degree, the therapist's UPR and empathic understanding.

Processes

Rogers believed that the most important factor in successful therapy is the therapist's attitude. There are three interrelated attitudes on the part of the therapist:

  1. Congruence - the willingness to relate to clients without hiding behind a professional facade.
  2. Unconditional Positive Regard - therapist accepting client for who he or she is without disapproving feelings, actions or characteristics. It shows the willingness to listen without interrupting, judging or giving advice.
  3. Empathy - understand and appreciate the client's feeling throughout the therapy session.

According to Rogers, a therapist with these three attitudes would allow the client to express their feelings freely without having the feeling that they are being judged. The therapist does not attempt to change the client's way of thinking in order to explore the issues that are most important to them.[11]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Cepeda, Lisa M.; Davenport, Donna S. (2006). "Person-Centered Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: An Integration of Present and Future Awareness". Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training (Educational Publishing Foundation) 43 (1): 1–12.
  2. ^ Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2007). Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis, Sixth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.
  3. ^ Cooper, M., Watson, J. C., & Hoeldampf, D. (2010). Person-centered and experiential therapies work: A review of the research on counseling, psychotherapy and related practices. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
  4. ^ Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, M., Bower, P., Sibbald, B., Farrelly, S., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. I: Clinical effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1383-1388.
  5. ^ Bower, P., Byford, S., Sibbald, B., Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, R., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. II: Cost effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1389-1392.
  6. ^ Shechtman, Z., Pastor, R., 2005. Cognitive-behavioral and humanistic group treatment for children with learning disabilities: A comparison of outcomes and process. Journal of Counseling Psychology 52, 322-336.
  7. ^ a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.138
  8. ^ Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.3
  9. ^ a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p. 142-143
  10. ^ Rogers, Carl (1951). "Client-Centered Therapy" Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press.
  11. ^ "Person-centered therapy" on the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders website

Bibliography

External links