HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING1Counseling in Health Psychology“Humanistic Psychotherapies and Counseling”Submitted ByAamnaHaneefRoll No: 05MS Health PsychologySession: 2012 – 2014Instructor‟s NameDr. AminaMuazzamDate of Submission3thApril, 2013Department of Applied PsychologyLahore College for Women University
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING2Table of ContentsHumanistic Psychotherapies and CounselingOriginsThe phenomenological traditionThe existential traditionSelf-actualizationSocial influencePersonal Construct Theory (PCT)Eastern philosophyEgalitarianismCommon assumptions of Humanistic Theories and TherapiesThe Core Conditions-Conditions necessary for therapeutic changeGenuinenessEmpathyUnconditional Positive RegardVariety of conceptsExperienceRealityThe Organism‟s Actualizing TendencyThe Non-Directive AttitudeThe internal frame of referenceThe Self, Concept of Self, and Self-Structure
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING3SymbolizationPsychological Adjustment or MaladjustmentThe Fully Functioning PersonTheory of DysfunctionPersonality developmentFunction of PsycheInner conflict and anxietyClient-centered Therapy and CounselingThe clientThe client-centered counselorThe stages of CounselingPerson-centered Therapy and PostmodernismOther Humanistic TherapiesGestalt therapyTransactional Analysis (TA)Motivational Interviewing TheoryBody centered therapiesExpressive art therapiesBlends, integrations and in-betweenersDoes humanistic Psychotherapy work?StrengthsLimitationsCritical Evaluation
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING4References
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING5Humanistic Psychotherapy and CounselingIn the late 1940s and 1950s and perhaps reaching a peak in the 1960s, a movement beganto psychology in the US that challenged the determinism and psychodynamic psychology and themechanism of behavioral psychology (Schaffer, 1978). This was what came to be known as the„third force‟ in psychology-humanistic psychology.Arguably, it is out of the humanistic school of psychology that many of the „alternative‟counseling and therapy styles have arisen. A number of reasons for this development may beadvanced. First the humanistic school is an intensely optimistic one: it offers the individual thechance to take control of his or her life and does not posit the need to spend years of soulsearching in order to do that. Secondly, historically, the humanistic school has developed alongother changes in attitudes towards schooling and health care both in the US and UK. It seemsalmost inevitable that the humanistic approach would gradually find more popular acceptanceamongst the „new age‟ forms of therapy. Thirdly, the methods used in humanistic approach arerelatively easy to learn and to put into practice. There is not a huge body of knowledge to absorb– as is the case with the psychodynamic approach, not are there very particular skills to belearned – as in cognitive behavioral approach.The humanistic approach to counseling is, essentially, an optimistic one. Humanisticpsychology (as opposed to, for instance, psychodynamic psychology – and many religions)concentrates on the positive aspects of the human being. Whilst that it is sometimes refreshing, italso has its own problems, especially when attempting to account for very disturbed behaviorand very serious mental illness (Burnard, 2005). McLeod (2007) demonstrated that Humanisticpsychology expanded its influence throughout the 1970s and the 1980s. Its impact can beunderstood in terms of three major areas:
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING61. It offered a new set of values for approaching an understanding of human nature and thehuman condition.2. It offered an expanded horizon of methods of inquiry in the study of human behavior.3. It offered a broader range of more effective methods in the professional practice ofpsychotherapyOriginsThis begins to sound almost religious, and it is one of the characteristics of humanisticpsychology which distinguishes it very sharply from secular humanism that it has a place for thespiritual. This is because its origins are complex. There are different origins of humanisticpsychology as it exists today (Rowan, 1998).The phenomenological traditionComing from Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), this approach says that it is possible tocleanse our perceptions and see things as they are. But we can only do this by a rigorousexamination of our assumption, first of all becoming aware of them and then learning how to setthem aside or bracket them 9Jennings, 1992). Hussrel took from Franz Brentano (1838-1917) thenotion of intentionality. This says that consciousness is always directed toward the real world inorder to interpret it in a meaningful manner. Consciousness is always consciousness ofsomething. So in humanistic psychology we do not talk about behavior, we talk about action.The difference is that the action is always intentional. Simon du Plock tells us that Hussrel usedthe word „intentionally‟ to refer to the creativity in our acts, not a static directedness (du Plock1996:42 as cited in Rowan, 1998).The person-centered approach also leans heavily on phenomenology. Carl Rogers madeuse of phenomenological notions of noema and noesis as „the primary means with which to
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING7maintain unconditional positive regard‟ (Spinalli 1990). Du Plock again makes the point thatRogers found this set of concepts a very useful one (du Plock 1996 as cited in Rowan, 1998).Gestalt therapy in particular, which is one of the humanistic disciplines, lays great stress on itsphenomenological roots. „Phenomenology . . . is the philosophical approach which is at the veryheart of Gestalt‟ (Clarkson 1989 as cited in Rowan, 1998).Ronald Laing (1965) pointed to the close connection between phenomenology andexistentialism, and so did Merleau-Ponty (1908-61), who said „the world is not what I think, butthat which I live‟. This is one of the most characteristic beliefs of humanistic psychology(Rowan, 1998).The existential traditionComing from Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55), this tradition lays stress on the inescapabledilemmas of human condition-death, the inner struggle over anxiety, the need for authenticliving. Rollo May (1909-94) is one of those with humanistic psychology who has written a greatdeal about existentialism, and has claimed that William James (1842-1910) was an existentialthinker who in fact influenced Hussrel. Existential laid great stress on choice, and Jean-PaulSartre (1905-80) actually said that we are our choices. He made autonomy and authenticitycentral, and regarded the individual as „free and alone, without assistance and without excuse‟(Sartre 1964:139). We are condemned to be free. This is a bare and bleak doctrine, which giveslittle comfort or reassurance (Rowan, 1998).From Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) comes the central idea of authenticity. If we denythis, and try to erect fantastic stories about our existence, we become inauthentic and cannot takeresponsibility for our own lives. One of the main things we have to accept about our existence isthat it will end. Our being-there is being-toward-death. To accept this is to enter into a relation of
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING8care with oneself and the world. And to do this is to be authentic. So authenticity is acombination of self-respect (we are not just part of an undifferentiated world) and self-enactment-we express our care in the world in a visible way (Rowan, 1998).Again in Gestalt therapy which has stayed more strictly close to this existential position.Fritz Perls claimed that Gestalt therapy was one of three existential therapies, the other two beingFrankl‟s logo therapy and Binwanger‟sDasien therapy (Perls, 1969 as cited in Rowan, 1998).Martin Buber (1878-1965) is another representative of the existential position who hashad much influence upon humanistic psychology. He says, „there is genuine relation onlybetween genuine persons . . . Men need, and it is granted to them, to confirm one another in theirindividual being by means of genuine meetings‟. The encounter group, one of the innovations ofhumanistic psychology, is founded on this idea of genuine meetings (Rowan, 1992).Another humanistic psychotherapist strongly influenced by existentialism is JamesBugental, who actually calls his approach Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy‟. Muchinfluenced by existentialism is Alvin Mahrer, another theorist who reworked the wholehumanistic-existential connection in a very exciting way. He continually quotes Binswanger, andto a lesser extent Boss, and also Lating and May. But he is not a slavish follower; he disagreeswith the standard existential position, for example , that one person can never really knowanother. He shows that it is indeed possible for one person to get inside another person‟s skin, toknow from the inside what it is like to be that other person (Mahrer, 1996).Self-actualizationThis refers to the theory of Abraham Maslow (1908-70) that there is a hierarchy of needs,ranging from lower needs like food and security up to higher needs like self-esteem and self-actualization. Ernesto Spinelli (1989) has said that „The notion of authenticity bears striking
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING9similarity to Maslow‟s ideas concerning self-actualization‟. Self-actualization is all about beingthat self which I truly am (Rowan, 1998). Self-actualization is not a static state. It is an ongoingprocess in which one‟s capacities are fully, creatively, and joyfully utilized. Most commonly,self-actualizing people see life clearly. They are less emotional and more objective, less likely toallow hopes, fears, or ego defenses to distort their observations. Maslow found that all self-actualizing people are dedicated to a vocation or a cause.Social influenceR.D. Laing proposed that psychiatric illness was largely the consequence of socialconditions, such as family dynamics, pathological communication, intolerable social pressures,or failure to conform to the dominant model of social reality in force. He pioneered the runningof therapeutic communities where patients could "go with" their illness experience, without theintervention of drugs, ECT, psychosurgery, etc. He was greatly influenced by Existentialphilosophy and Phenomenology. The great store he placed on subjective experience, and thespecial qualities of the "I -Thou" relationship in the therapeutic alliance, place him squarelywithin any Humanistic-Existential approach to psychology.Personal Construct Theory (PCT)George Kelly was an American clinical psychologist, and founder of Personal ConstructTheory (PCT). PCT incorporates both a theory of personality and an approach to therapy. Kellydefined a personal construct as the way in which an individual construes, interprets or givesmeaning to some aspect of the world. Constructs are bipolar, and they develop by beingvalidated and invalidated by experience, a point that can be exploited in therapy. Kellys theoryhas a cognitive orientation, but is humanistic by virtue of its ability to describe an individualspersonality ideographically, i.e. by using their own set of constructs, and not by some set of
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING10normative types or traits. Some of the key concepts of PCT include: personal constructs,repertory grid, fixed-role therapy, laddering, etc.Eastern philosophyThe four Eastern philosophies which have had the most influence on humanisticpsychology have been: Zen Bhuddism, with its emphasis on letting go; Taoism, particularly in itsideas of centering and the yin-yang polar unity of opposites; Sufism, particularly with itsemphasis on regaining one‟s naturalness and acquiring creative vision; and Tantra, particularly inits emphasis on the importance of the body as a spiritual energy system (Rowan, 1998).EgalitarianismAs a corollary of their belief in the actualizing tendency, the humanistic therapies take anegalitarian attitude towards their clients. This is evident straight away in the choice of the term„client; to describe those who take therapy; traditionally both psychoanalysis and psychiatry use„patient‟, placing the work firmly within a medical model. A patient is by definition sick,suffering or in a position of deficit. Client is borrowed from commercial transactions andintended to indicate a fair exchange between peers of money for services; indeed, somehumanistic practitioners draw up a therapeutic contract outlining the expectations andresponsibilities of each party (Stewaart and Joines, 1987 as cited in Totton, n.d.).Common assumptions of Humanistic Theories and TherapiesSue and Sue (2012) have given the common assumptions of Humanistic Theories andTherapies as following:1. View of the personPeople have an innate tendency toward self-actualization or developing to their fullestpotential. All humans are born with the natural inclination toward self-growth. Humanistic
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING11therapies are optimistic in terms of the potential for individuals to make changes and to developtheir own resources. People strive to make sense of their experiences and must be viewedholistically. People are social beings who are best understood in terms of their relationships withothers. It is through a social relationship, the therapist=client relationship, that constructivechange can occur.2. Freedom to chooseIndividuals can become more fully self-aware. This awareness allows for more freedomin making choices about how to live their lives. Because of the potential for self-growth,therapists do not direct or try to persuade the client, but instead provide an environmentconductive to clients finding their own direction. Humanistic therapists believe individuals havethe right and the capacity to decide what is best for them. Therefore, humanistic therapists adopta collaborative relationship in which clients are offered great freedom to make their own choicesabout life3. Focus on subjective realityThe emphasis is on the subjective experiences of the individual. Everyone interpretsevents in an individual manner and it is the subjective experience that is the important focus fortherapy. It is the task of the therapists to understand the subjective world of the client.4. Therapist qualitiesBecause clients have the potential for self-growth, therapists demonstrate qualities thatwill enhance this process. These characteristics include being nonjudgmental and demonstratingempathy, genuineness, and acceptance. These qualities furnish the environment in which client‟sself-exploration can occur. In addition, therapists monitor their own reactions to the client tomake sure that personal biases or beliefs are not interfering with the therapy.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING125. EmotionsEmphasis is placed on emotion rather than cognition. The humanistic therapies focus onthe importance of emotional and experience dimensions of human functioning and attempt totake clients to deeper levels of feeling and thinking.6. Freedom-choice-ResponsibilityThese aspects are inevitably intertwined. If one makes a choice, there are consequences,good or bad that follow. A specific choice often precludes other choices. Clients need tounderstand that with all behaviors, they are making choices. It is within this framework thatclient realize the importance of actively choosing rather than reacting to their experiences. Oncethis realization occurs, other paths become available to them. Thus the existential questions of“how are you living?” and “are you becoming the person you wish to be?” are addressed.7. MeaningClients need to comprehend their behaviors and lives in terms of the larger meanings andpatterns of their lives. Only by doing so can they gain a greater sense of clarity and direction intheir lives.The Core Conditions-Conditions necessary for therapeutic changeRogers discussed therapeutic conditions that he regards as necessary and sufficient fortherapeutic change (Flasher &Foglen.d.), which are outlined as,GenuinenessThe genuine therapist presents himself in an open manner. He behaves in a way that iscongruent (consistent and genuine) with real feelings. For example, if a client comments to thetherapist, “You look tired today”, the therapist may say, “Yes you‟re right, I am a little tiredtoday”. In this response, the therapist validates the client‟s (correct) perceptions.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING13Presenting a congruent response is challenging when how the therapist feel toward aclient is not congruent with how we think we should feel toward the client. For example, thetherapist may feel irritated with the client who has not followed through with exercises or comeslate to sessions. Yet the therapist strives to respond respectfully and therapeutically. If thetherapist is not careful, what the client may experience is a mixed message based upon the realfeelings, “leaking out”. The therapist‟s behavior may be polite on the surface but containundertones of anger or resentment. Another example of incongruence may occur when thetherapist is not aware of how angry or annoyed s/he actually with the client (Flasher &Foglen.d.).In either case above, the therapist focuses on presenting a positive and warm response tothe client. However, the client may perceive both levels of the therapist‟s response: the politesurface behaviors and the angry, irritated undertones. The incongruence between the two levelsof communication will likely cause discomfort in the client, and the client may respondnegatively. The therapist unaware of the client‟s perceptions may view the client asuncooperative, unappreciative, or difficult. In order to work with this challenging situation, thetherapist first needs to become aware of any tendency toward an incongruent response, and workthrough the negative feelings toward the client rather than just trying to conceal them. Thetherapist may also choose to express feelings to the client in a non-threatening manner using, “Imessages” (e.g. “When you do . . . I feel . . . “). Thus trying to conceal negative feelings oftendoes not work and can impair the therapist‟s working relationship with the client.Working through negative feelings toward a client involves trying to better understandthe client‟s viewpoint (empathy). The therapist may want to ask himself/herself some questions,such as “What stops the client from coming on time?” or “What is the client afraid of?”. Usuallyif the therapist can better understands the client‟s fears, behaviors and life circumstances, the
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING14therapist will feel more emphatic and less annoyed with the client. The point is that the therapistneeds to reflect his/her own behavior toward the client and not simply blame the client. Bytaking these steps the therapist will be better able to develop or return to a stance ofunconditional positive regard toward the client. It is important to note that Rogers‟ (1957)concept of therapist‟s genuineness has sometimes been misunderstood as a license for therapiststo talk about themselves to engage in excessive self-disclosure. This was not Roger‟s intention,he was primarily concerned with the idea that therapists should not feign interest or caring at thisfaçade is likely to be detected by clients and damage the therapeutic relationship (Flasher&Foglen.d.).EmpathyEmpathy involves “being with” the person and his experiences on a moment-to-momentbasis. It involves a personal encounter, not simply an objective appraisal of the person‟sproblems. For example, in order for the therapist to experience and how empathy, they mustunderstand not only the communication disorder (stuttering), but how the communicationdisorder is affecting the person‟s self-image and life. Although one can never truly feel what theclient is experiencing, he can only try to get a sense of what the client must cope with almostevery time he tries to talk (Flasher &Foglen.d.).In striving to be emphatic, therapists should take care not to go overboard. Sometimesexcessive efforts to appear friendly, caring and emphatic, especially in the early stages of theworking relationship, can appear phony and disingenuous to the client. This is different kind ofincongruence than discussed above in this case the therapist is trying to appear warmer am moreemphatic than s/he truly feels. The therapist may have good intentions, for instance, to help the
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING15client feel understood and valued, but a saccharine (i.e. too sweet and overly caring) presentationmay be viewed negatively by clients.Emphatic understanding responses are the observable responses which communicateemphatic understanding to the client. they are responses intended to express and check thetherapist‟s emphatic understanding experience of the client. Examples of common typesemphatic understanding responses could include; literal responses, restatements, summaries,statements which point toward the felt experience toward the client but do not name or describethe experience, interpretive or inferential guesses concerning what the client is attempting toexpress, metaphors, questions that strive to express understandings of ambiguous experience ofthe client, gestures of the therapist‟s face, hands, body, vocal gestures etc(Michra, 2004).Unconditional Positive RegardUnconditional positive regard allows clients to experience a non-judgmental environmentin therapy, which may encourage them to be more honest with the therapists, such as when theycannot (or will not) perform therapy tasks with maximum involvement or effort. In humanistictherapy there is an emphasis on providing a positive relationship rather than on therapeutictechniques. As the person expresses himself, however the therapist is alert for statementspertaining to the self (e.g. “I haven‟t felt like doing my exercise lately” or “I don‟t understandhow these exercises will help”). The therapist also attends to the person‟s nonverbalcommunications that are incongruent with verbal communications (e.g. smiling while discussinga negative feeling or personal loss).In order to help both the client and therapist understand the client‟s feelings, the therapistmay provide reflections that paraphrase the statements or, when needed, point out discrepanciesin the communications. To provide a simple reflection, the therapist should let the person know
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING16she/he has been heard and that the therapist is interested in hearing more. The therapist‟sreflections, however, not simply mimic or parrot the client‟s last words. For example, a patientmay mention symptoms that suggest penetration of food or liquid into the larynx (e.g. episodesof coughing or choking), and they deny that they are a problem. The therapist may reflect onboth of these statements and then ask about the person‟s feelings. The patient may be feelingembarrassment or have fear around meal times. For example, the therapist might say, “you saythat you are doing some coughing and choking while eating but that it‟s not really a problem foryou. Are you sometimes a little embarrassed about coughing choking, or are you a little afraidthat you won‟t be able to continue eating regular food?” While it is important not to force aparticular interpretation on a client to assume what he is feeling, the therapist can ask questionssuch as whish express empathy for the client‟s probable experiences. Providing an environmentwhere all of the client‟s feelings and experiences are respected and validated is central tohumanistic therapy and can maximize disclosure in therapy sessions (Flasher &Foglen.d.).Variety of conceptsVarious terms and concepts appear in the presentation of Rogers‟s theory of personalityand behavior that often have a unique and distinctive meaning in this orientation.ExperienceIn Roger‟s theory, the term experience refers to the private world of the individual. Atany moment, some experience is conscious; for example, we feel pressure of the keys against ourfingers as we type. Some experiences may be difficult to bring into awareness, such as the idea,“I am an aggressive person”. People‟s actual awareness of their total experiential field may belimited, but each individual is the only one who can know it completely.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING17RealityFor psychological purposes, reality is basically the private world of individual‟sperceptions, although for social purposes, reality consists of those perceptions that have a highdegree of consensus among local communities of individuals. Two people will agree on realitythat a particular person is politician. One sees her as a good woman who wants to help peopleand, on the basis of this reality, votes for her. The other person‟s reality is that the politicianappropriates money to win favor, so this person votes against her. In therapy, changes in feelingsand perceptions will result changes in reality as perceived. This is particularly fundamental as theclient is more and more able to accept “the self that I am now”.The Organism‟s Actualizing TendencyAccording to Rogers, humans have an instinctive need to grow and develop in a positivedirection. As the acorn follows its biological blueprint and develops into a mature tree, so dohumans follow their blueprints. However, before this natural tendency can operate, it must beliberated by a loving and permissive environment. If the environment is nurturing, then theorganism will reach its full potential. The growth process of self-actualization is characterized byincreasing complexity, congruence and autonomy.The Non-Directive AttitudeNon-directive refers to an attitude toward the client and toward therapeutic work with theclient. The belief in the actualizing tendency and the valuing of and respect for the clientstimulate feelings of sensitivity towards the clients directions, interests and self-maintainingprocesses. But the non-directive attitude does not refer to an avoidance of giving specificdirection such as support, information, guidance, answers, etc., to clients. Rather, thenondirective attitude is an inner experience of freedom from assuming what might be good or
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING18helpful for clients. It also includes being free of impulses to express ones helping instinct in theform of giving direction or interpretations. This involves an acceptance of the outsidersignorance and helplessness in finding and effecting solutions to other peoples problems.The internal frame of referenceThis is the perceptual field of the individual. It is the way the world appears to us fromour own unique vantage point, given the whole continuum of learning and experiences we haveaccumulated along with the meanings attached to experience and feelings. From the client-centered point of view, apprehending this internal frame provides the fullest understanding ofwhy people behave as they do. It is to be distinguished from external judgments of behavior,attitudes and personality.The Self, Concept of Self, and Self-StructureThese terms refer to the organized, consistent, conceptual gestalt composed onperceptions of the characteristics of the “I” or “me” and the perceptions of the relationships ofthe “I” or “me” to others and to various aspects of life, together with the values attached to theseperceptions. It is a gestalt available to awareness although not necessarily in awareness. It is afluid and changing process, but in my given moment it……is at least partially definable inoperational terms (Meador and Rogers, 1984).SymbolizationThis is the process by which the individual becomes aware or conscious of an experience.There is a tendency to deny symbolization to experience at variance with the concept of self; forexample, people who think of themselves as truthful will tend to resist the symbolization of anact of lying. Ambiguous experiences tend to be symbolized in ways that are consistent with self-
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING19concept. A speaker lacking in self-confidence may symbolize a silent audience as unimpressed,whereas one who is confident may symbolize such a group as attentive and interested.Psychological Adjustment or MaladjustmentCongruence, or its absence, between an individual‟s sensory and visceral experiences andhis or her concept of self-defines whether a person is psychologically adjusted or maladjusted. Aself-concept that includes elements of weakness or imperfection facilitates the symbolization offailure experiences. The need to deny or distort such experiences does not exist and thereforefosters a condition of psychological adjustment. If a person who has always seen herself ashonest tells a white lie to her daughter, she may experience discomfort and vulnerability. For thatmoment there is incongruence between her self-concept and her behavior - “I guess sometimes Itake the easy way out and tell a lie” – may restore the person to congruence and free the personto consider whether she wants to change her behavior or her self-concept. A state ofpsychological adjustment means that the organism is open to his or her organismic experiencingas trustworthy and admissible to awareness.The Fully Functioning PersonRogers defined those who can readily assimilate organismic experiencing and who arecapable of symbolizing these ongoing experiences in awareness as “fully functioning” persons,able to experience all of their feelings, afraid of none of them, allowing awareness to flow freelyin and through their experiences. Seeman (1984) has been involved in a long-term researchprogram to clarify and describe the qualities of such optimally functioning individuals. Theseempirical studies highlight the possession of a positive self-concept, greater physiologicalresponsiveness, and an efficient use of the environment.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING20Theory of DysfunctionAccording to Rogers (1959), dysfunction is caused by incongruence between self-conceptand experience. A state of incongruence exists when the self-concept differs from the actualexperience of the organism. When the organismic valuing process and externally imposedconditions of worth are in agreement, organismic experiencing is accurately perceived andassimilated. Therefore, these experiences are selectively perceived, distorted or simply denied inorder to make them consistent with self-worth. This leads to progressively greater estrangementfrom oneself, so that the person can no longer live as an integrated whole, but is insteadinternally dividedPersonality DevelopmentIn ”A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed inthe Clint-Centered Framework”, Rogers (1959) set forth his hypotheses about how peopledevelop and change. He “believed this was his most scholarly, complete and well-developedtheoretical formulation, was very proud of it, and was always puzzled that hardly anyone everseemed to know or care about its existence” (Kirschenbaum and Henderson, 1989).Function of the PsycheRogers‟ view of human nature was an expression of his view of the nature of theuniverse. Although he acknowledged the universal tendency toward deterioration and chaos, hetended to believe in a stronger creative force involving formation and evolution toward greatercomplexity and order (Rogers, 1980). Rogers did not see the core of human motivation asnegative, that is hostile, antisocial, destructive or evil; nor as neutral, capable of being shapedinto any form; nor as perfected in itself and corrupted only by an evil society. Rogers consideredhumans, at their most essential level, to be trustworthy.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING21Note Rogers‟s choice of the word tendency rather than drive. However, although the tendencycan be thwarted, the only way to destroy it is to destroy the organism. To pursue the actualizingtendency, the infant is equipped with the capacity to perceive and to symbolize accurately inawareness moment-to-moment sensory experience of the phenomena in the environment andvisceral experience of the phenomena within oneself.The infant‟s actualizing tendency interacts with perception in the organismic valuingprocess, whereby one immediately experiences each object of perception in terms of the degreeto which it is actualizing. In other words, through the organismic valuing process, a personperceives each object of perception either of fulfilling a need, as being unrelated to fulfillment ofa need, or as thwarting fulfillment of a need.The organismic valuing process is characterized by internal locus of evaluation in whichthe infant‟s preferences reflect the input of inner visceral and sensory perception and theassignment of value based on one‟s own innate actualizing tendency. This process involvesflexibility rather than rigidity. For example, a nipple in the infant‟s mouth, valuing it as alwayspositive or always negative. Also innate in infants is the capacity of behavior.The mechanism of feedback calls upon three innate conceptual capabilities of the self-actualizing tendency. Feedback also relies on the innate conceptual tendency to organizeperceptions. Perhaps the most important application of these conceptual capabilities is theformation of the self-concept because self-concept is the domain of self-awareness.As objects ofperception, the self-concept as a whole and each of its contents becomes subject to evaluation.Once evaluation is made, it becomes part of self-conception.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING22Inner conflict and AnxietyInner conflicts results when individuals are torn between doing what comes naturally andwhat others expect. When individuals accept the values of others in order to gain positive regard,those values are internalized and become part of the personality. If the individual then behaves orthinks in ways that are inconsistent with those introjected values, the self-concept is violated andthe person loses self-esteem and suffers anxiety. The mother who spanked man 30 years ago formasturbatory activity has long been gone from this world and yet the adult-child gets nervouswhen he thinks of sex.Individuals defend against anxiety and threats to self-esteem by developing a more rigidself-concept that will be less open to new and possibly disturbing experiences. They begin todistort reality through the use of defense mechanisms, such as denial, projection, and reactionformations. By putting, tight reins on emotions, they can live their lives in a stable but unfulfilledstate. In order for therapy to be effective, there must be a weakening of these defenses to thepoint where the individual can sense the incongruity between the self-concept and theexperiencing self. It is this identity crisis and the ensuing anxiety that may motivate the person toseek help and engage in the counseling process.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING23Client-centered Therapy and CounselingFirst called nondirective therapy, later client-centered and currently person-centeredtherapy, this therapeutic approach, developed by Carl Rogers, takes a positive view ofindividuals, believing that they tend to move toward becoming fully functioning. Additionally,Rogers‟s views of humanity and therapy have been affected by existentialist‟s writers. Bothexistentialist and person-centered therapy stresses the importance of freedom, choice, individualvalues and self-responsibility (Sharf, 2000).Client-centered therapy is effective has been amply demonstrated by decades of research.Furthermore, recent research has shown that the most significant variables in the effectiveness oftherapy are aspects of the therapeutic relationship and the therapist‟s personal development- notthe discipline they practice nor what techniques they employ. The therapists focus more attentionto these variables in any discipline (Michra, 2004).Practitioners of client centered therapy simply mirror and reflect back what the client orpatient expresses. The first part of this mistaken view is that it is „no‟ simple matter to hold amirror so that the other sees and engages with him/herself in new and clearer ways. „Mirror‟ usedmetaphorically, is a tricky term. The good therapist is an artist whose portrait or part-sketch ofthe other, via reflection, is a characterization not a photograph, at best a likeness powerfullyrecognized by the client but going beyond his/her exact words and often beyond previous clearor articulated perception. Reflection in this sense may have get force and valueClient-centered therapy is not inhibiting or restrictive to the natural personality of thetherapist. It is true that the person who has strong tendencies to control others or todominate others is not likely to take on client-centered therapy as this way of working.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING24Within the framework of client centered therapy there is great freedom for individualpersonalities.Individuality is also expressed in the extent of personal openness and the qualitiesbrought out in self-disclosure when they are in answer to personal questions by the clientor when they are an expression of congruence.The natural personality of the therapist is enhanced and developed by the practice ofclient-centered therapy itself. The development of attitudinal conditions in relation toclients also develops those qualities tohimself and is thereby, self-therapeutic and self-fostering of his own individuality (Michra, 2004).It is equally mistaken to take Rogers as the only person-centered theorist of note. Thedevelopment of person-centered theory did not stop with the death of Rogers in 1987 and evenbefore that time many other people had made significant contributions to it. Areas in which theseadvances have been made include (Wilkins, 20003):The classic client-centered approach which has been illuminated, refined, interpreted orexpanded upon by Schlien (1984), Bozarth (1990), Brodley (1990) and Mearns (1996).Additions to the person-centered family of therapies (perhaps most importantly„experiential therapy‟ growing from the work of Gendlin 1978).Spiritual aspects and implications of person-centered counseling have been explored.Cross cultural relevance has been queried (Holdstock 1990, 1993) and demonstrated(Morotomi 1998).Application to the arena of creative therapies has been explored and explained by Rogers(1985), Silverstone (1994) and Wilkins (1994).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING25Relevance in the board area of gender and sexuality has been examined Natielo (1980,1999), Galgut (1999) and Warner (1999).Theoretical concepts have been re-argued and re-evaluated by practitioners belonging toa variety of what Warner (1998, 1999) sees as the tribes which constitute the person-centered nation.The clientThe client is expected to learn to deal with conflicts, to order and direct the forces of hisor her life, to come to grip with problems, and to “overbalance the regressive and self-destructiveforces” (Rogers, 1951) which are the source of difficulty. Most succinctly stated, the client‟s jobto cure himself/herself through a constructive relationship with the counselor, from whom he orshe is able to gain support, encouragement and understanding (Belkin.1988).The premise underlying this conception is that clients, in order to grow, must exerciseoptions for choice; they must exercise their conscious and intentional abilities to choose asRogers (1969), explained:In the therapeutic relationship some of the most compelling subjective experiences arethose in which the client feels within himself the power of naked choice. He is free- tobecome himself or to hide behind a façade; to move forward or to retrogress; to behave inways which are destructive of self and others, or in ways which are enhancing; quiteliterally free to live or die, in both the physiological and psychological meaning of thoseterms . . . . We could say that in the optimum of therapy the person rightfully experiencesthe most complete and absolute freedom. He wills or chooses to follow the course of actionwhich is most economical in relation to all the internal and external stimuli, because it isthat behavior which will be most deeply satisfying.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING26What clients are actually engaged in as they undergo counseling is a process of self-exploration, which leads to the eventual understanding of and coming to grips with one‟sessential freedom. The client‟s task within the counseling context is to explore his/her feelingsand behavior, to discover, with a sense of wonder, new aspects of self, and to blend these newaspects into the image of self that holds together the range of his/her perceptions.The client may not, however, be immediately capable of this difficult task. Because ofprevious experiences with a counselor or therapist, or because of erroneous preconceptions aboutcounseling, the client may regard the counseling experience as, “one where he will be labeled,looked upon as abnormal, hurt, treated with little respect [or] look upon the counselor as anextension of the authority which has referred him for help” (Rogers, 1951). He or she may feelthreatened by the counseling setting, self-conscious, ashamed. In such a case, it is the counselor‟sjob to communicate to the client the non-judgmental, warm, an accepting reality of the situation.This type of communication will help clients begin to help themselves (Belkin.1988).The client-centered counselorThe primary job of the counselor is to develop a facilitative relationship with the client.This is accomplished not by formal techniques and procedures, but rather by the counselor‟s totalattitude toward the client and toward the counseling interaction (Belkin.1988).The counselor must, an experience along with him or her manifold feelings andperceptions. As Rogers described it, the counselor‟s task is to assume “the internal frame ofreference of the client, to perceive the world as the client sees it, to perceive the client as he isseen by himself, to lay aside all perceptions from the external frame of reference while doing so,and to communicate something of the empathic understanding to the client” (Rogers, 1951). Bydoing so, the counselor helps the client overcome his or her frightening or negative feelings
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING27about the counseling situation, engenders a feeling of trust and rapport with the client, and helpsthe client begin to reorganize and restructure his or her own subjective world wherever it isincongruent (defined as the discrepancy between the individual‟s experience and his or herdistorted perception of the experience).Rogers emphasized above all else the need for open communication, for dialogue, as theprerequisite for all counseling (and for all interpersonal relationships. Rogers establishes that thecounselor establishes communication not so much through what he or she is. It is the personalqualities of the counselor that make him effective or ineffective. Three of the most importantqualities that Rogers considered essential for the client-centered counselor are genuineness,empathy and unconditional positive regard. This trinity of traits has become the signature of theRogerian counselor, and the bulk of Roger‟s research during the 1950s and 1960s was designedto operationally define and evaluate these conditions and to test their validity as counselingvariables.The stages of CounselingRogers (1958) examined the process of development by which personality changes takeplace. He concluded that, in successful counseling, the client moves from fixity tochangeableness, from rigid structure to flow, from stasis to process (Rogers, 1958). At the firststage internal communication is blocked, there is no communication of self or personalmeanings, no recognition of problem, and no individual desire to change. At this stage, the clientis closed, “and communicative relationships are construed as dangerous . . . there is no desire tochange” (Belkin.1988).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING28When the client feels himself to be fully accepted as he or she is (and for what he or sheis), the second stage follows naturally. The second stage is characterized by a number of factors,both positive and negative.Expression begins to flow in regard to nonself topics . . . problems are perceived as externalto self . . .there is no sense of personal responsibity in problems . . .feelings are described asunowned, or sometimes as past objects . . .feelings may be exhibited, but are not recognizedas such or owned . . .experiencing is bound by the structure of the past . . .personalconstructs are rigid, and unrecognized as being constructs, but are thought of as facts . . .differentiation of personal meanings and feelings are very limited . . . contradictions maybe expressed, but with little recognition of them as contradictions.(Rogers, 1958)The third and fourth stages involve further loosening of symbolic expressions in regard tofeelings, constructs and self. These stages constitute an important moving forward in the process.In the fifth stage, feelings are expressed freely as being in the present and are very close to beingexperienced.The sixth stage continues the process of growth, self-discovery and a self-acceptance,congruence and responsibility. This is a crucial stage, the client has become very close to organicbeing that is always in the process of growth, he or she is in touch with the flow of feelings; hisor her construction of experiences is free flowing and repeatedly being tested against referentsand evidence within and without; experience is differentiated and thus internal communication isexact.The client often enters the seventh and the last stage without need of the counselor‟s help.He or she is now a continually changing person, experiencing with freshness and immediacy
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING29each new situation, responding with real and accepted feelings, and showing “a growing andcontinuing sense of acceptant ownership of these changing feelings, a basic trust in his ownprocess” (Rogers, 1958).The seven-stage conceptualization represents Rogers‟s clearest, most explicit descriptionof the stages of personal growth, although these stages are implicit throughout his writings(Belkin.1988).The process in the client is facilitated by the empathy, congruence and acceptance of thecounselor. For example, sensitive empathetic listening on the part of the counselor enables himor her to reflect back to the client personal feelings and meanings implicit in stage 1 statements.The acceptance and genuineness of counselor encourages the growth of trust in the client, andincreased risk taking regarding the expression of thoughts and feelings that would previously hadbeen censored and suppressed. Then, as this more frightening material is exposed, the fact thatthe counselor is able to accept emotions that had long buried and denied helps the client to acceptthem in turn. The willingness of the counselor to accept the existence of contradictions in theway the client experiences the world gives the client permission to accept himself or herself asboth hostile and warm, or needy and powerful, and thus to move towards a more differentiated,more complex sense of self (McLeod. 2009).The main goal of client-centered counseling is congruence, the concordance between theclient‟s perception of the experience and the reality of those experiences. In one respect,congruence is the ability to accept reality. This requires a critical reorientation of the sense ofself in interaction with the environment. The client must come to understand herself or himselfand care about herself or himself in a different way than when counseling began (Belkin.1988).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING30Rogers (1959) described specifically some of the changes he expected successful counseling toproduce:The person comes to see himself differently.He accepts and his feelings more fully.He becomes more self-confident and self-directing.He becomes more the person he would like to be.He becomes more flexible and less rigid in his perceptions.He adopts more realistic goals for himself.He behaves in a more mature fashion.He changes his maladaptive behavior, even such a long established one as chronicalcoholism.He became more acceptant of others.He becomes more open to the evidence, both to what is going on outside of himself, andto what is going on inside himself.He changes his basic personality characteristics in constructive ways.Person-centered Therapy and PostmodernismHumanistic psychology is seen to have its roots in a twentieth century, American view ofhuman nature, and phenomenology draws principally on the work of Hussel and Heidegger whowere products of nineteenth-century Europe. For some it leads to the assumption that the person-centered approach is somehow „frozen‟, a product of a time long gone and an outdatedphilosophy. Leaving aside the absurdity of the underlying assumption that belief has a use-bydate (where would that leave the bulk of philosophical and metaphysical thought?), it is
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING31nevertheless worth considering person-centered theory in the light of the major epistemologicaltrends of the later twentieth/early twenty first centuries, and specifically postmodernism.Jones (pp. 19-20) places Rogers firmly in the modernist school in that „person-centeredtheory asserts that it has discovered generalizable truths about our psychological make-up‟.O‟Hara (1995: 47) on the other hand refers to Rogers as ‟the unwitting postmodernist pioneer‟,with some of the most puzzling philosophical questions of this century‟. It may be that, as in somany other areas, it is not possible to squeeze Rogers and person-centerd theory into a camp. Onthe one hand, Rogers was trained in the scientific method and was pioneering, even revolutionaryin applying that to understanding the psychotherapeutic process; on the other hand, he apparentlybecame dissatisfied with positivism as a way of achieving a comprehension of the humancondition. As O‟Hara indicates, this is clearly so in the 1950 when Rogers (1959: 251) wrote:There is a widespread feeling in our group that the logical positivism in which we wereprofessionally reared is not necessarily the final philosophical word in an area in which thephenomenon of subjectivity plays such a vital and central part … is there some view,possibly developing out of an existentialist orientation, which might … find more room forthe existing subjective person …?In 1968, Rogers wrote „I like to create hypotheses and I like to test them against hardreality‟- surely the statement of a positivist and far from the postmodern position O‟Haraattributes to him. By 1985 (Krischenbaum and Handerson, 1990a: 281) Rogers is arguing „theneed for a new science‟. He writes of his pleasant surprise at reading of new models of sciencethat are more appropriate to a human science, mentioning the work of Reason and Rowan(1981), Douglass and Mouastakas (1985) and Mearns and McLeeod (1984) among others. The
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING32latter paper he regarded as important because of its emphasis on the collaborative nature ofresearch.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING33Other Humanistic TherapiesGestalt therapyLike several humanistic approaches, Gestalt originated in a work of the disaffectedpsychoanalyst, Fritz Perls (though recently more emphasis has been placed on the importance ofother early gestaltits, notably Fritz‟ wife Laura Perls and his student Isadore From). It is fromGestalt that the humanistic therapies take one of their most widely used slogans, „be in the hereand now‟ (cf. Perls, Hefferline and Goodman, 1973). Gestalt seeks to enable a spontaneous,contactful, responsive attitude to life, uninhibited by internalized commands or taboos or by rigiddefensive strategies.The originators of Gestalt drew upon Gestalt psychology for their theoretical base, alsoborrowing the name. Gestalt psychology (Goldstein, 1995) considers human perception andaction to be a series of meaningful organizations of sense data (in German „gestalt‟ means „formor shape‟) and responses to this organization. Human beings make meaning out of theirenvironment, always and already an active perception: we pull out part of the perceptual field as„figure‟ and allow the rest to sink back as „ground‟. What is figure and what is ground is a matterof what is more interesting to a particular person at a particular moment: for someone dying ofthirst, the glass of water in the bottom left corner will become the immediate center of attention.Perls himself used taking in nourishment as his most consistent model of the relation betweenorganism and the environment (Perls, 1969); and metaphors of tasting, biting, chewing,swallowing and digesting, and pushing out permeate Gestalt theory.Gestalt therapy regards the lively, fluid creation, completion and replacement of gestaltsas the natural human state, and therefore pays attention to processes that take us out of contactwith what is immediately present what are called, „contact boundary disturbances‟ (Latner,
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING341992). Whatever patterns are recognized in people‟s process, there is continuous effort to avoidcreating the sort of hypostatize entities („the unconscious‟, „character structures‟, „ego states‟)which are so common in many forms of therapy, and to stick with the concrete and immediate.The practice of Gestalt therapy is centered on bringing the client back into contact with theirhere- and-now experience, using judo like techniques to interrupt their avoidance patterns.Gestaltists invite their clients to enter into practical explorations of their own process: „gestalttherapy brings self-realization through here-and-now experiment in directed awareness‟ (Yontef,1975).Many of these experiments focus on bodily experience; Barry Stevens (1970)characterizes this as „learning how to decontrol my body‟. We can get a flavor of the gestaltattitude from Stevens‟ suggestions to the client experiencing bodily pain or tension:See if you can explore it – gently, not pushing it around, like getting friendly with it – andsee if you can discover what wants to happen there and let it happen. See if somemovements grow out of the pain or tension. It may be some very small movement that youcan be aware of that is not visible to me. It may be a large movement that I can see. Let itdo whatever it wants to do.(Stevens, 1977)The style of gestalt therapy varies enormously between practitioners, with some workingin a confrontational and even abrasive way (following the tradition of Fritz Perls himself), andothers working much more gently and relationally. Several different emphases have of coursedeveloped over the last half-century. Classical Gestalt focuses on exploring local experiencethrough a series of „experiment‟ with one‟s perceptions, awareness and impulses, for example:
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING35Try for a few minutes to make up sentences stating what you are at this moment aware of.Begin each sentence with the words „now‟ or „at this moment‟ or „here and now‟.(PerlsHefferline and Goodman, 1971)This and the other experiments are of course intended for the reader/client; but workingas a therapist requires a similar state of being.Alongside this sort of intrapersonal emphasis, there was always an intense awareness ofthe importance of the interpersonal aspects of contact; and Gestalt as a „two body therapy‟ wasdeveloped more strongly in the 60s and 70s (Polster and Polster, 1974). Currently, there is atendency to stress the importance of field theory (Parlett, 1997, 2005), based on theinseparability of figure and ground, organism and environment so that „the “somebody” that I ambeing is a field event‟ (Philippson, 2002). Each of these elements was already present inGestalt‟s initial formulations; but different schools and theorists focus on different themes.a) The empty chairThis technique allows a past or present problem with another individual to be dealt within the therapy session by having the client imagine that the other person is sitting in this otherchair. The client is asked to speak aloud, in the present tense, as if the other person is actuallythere. After the client makes the statements, he or she is asked to switch the chairs, assume theother person‟s identity, and then give a response. In doing so, the client brings a problem withanother into the present and become more aware of their feelings and the feelings of the otherperson. This technique is also used for processing internal conflict, where two sides of a differentperspective can be asked to interact with one another (Sue & Sue, 2012).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING36b) Use of languageGestalt therapy focuses on how individuals may reduce responsibility or awarenessthrough the use of language. Clients may be asked to change their typical way of responding tosituations. Instead of showing, “You never know how others will react”, an individual might say,“I don‟t know how you will react” or by changing from “I can‟t” to “I won‟t” or from “I should”to “I choose”. An awareness of how language can increase or decrease the perception of personalresponsibility can lead to more active involvement in life choices (Sue & Sue, 2012).c) ExaggerationIn the classic training film, three approaches to psychotherapy, Fritz Perls, cofounder ofGestalt therapy, asked the client, Gloria, to exaggerate nonverbal responses, including her sighand the movement of her leg. She was asked to repeat these. With her sigh, Gloria, becameaware of an emotional feeling. The request to repeat or exaggerate a behavior allows the client tobecome aware of the unconscious emotions (Sue & Sue, 2012).Other techniques are integration and loosening, stay with it, dream work, guided fantasyand body awareness work (Guindon, 2011).Transactional Analysis (TA)While Gestalt tries to avoid structures and systems wherever possible, TransactionalAnalysis finds them very useful, and indeed almost specializes in creating punchy andmemorable systematizations , starting out from Eric Berne‟s famous description of the three „egostates‟ of parent, adult and child (Berne, 1968 , and Stewart and Joines, 1987). Like Perls, Bernetrained originally as a psychoanalyst; and the Parent / Adult / Child system (PAC) is in a sense –though only in a sense – a version of Freud‟s superego, ego and id (Totton, n.d.).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING37However typically of the TA approach, PAC is very much and operational tool ratherthan a metapsychological entity. Berne defined an ego-state as „a system of feelingsaccompanied by a related set of behavior patterns‟ (Berne, 1968 he refers to „ego-states‟, but thecontemporary usage is hyphenated); and TA is not hugely interested in the existential status ofego-states, or in concepts like the unconsciousness, but rather in the usefulness of learning torecognize different ego-states in oneself and in others.When I am behaving, thinking and feeling as I did when I was a child, I am said tobe in my Child ego-state.When I am behaving, thinking and feeling in ways I copied from parents or parent-figures, I am said to be in my Parent ego-state.When I am behaving, thinking and feeling in ways which are a direct here-and-nowresponse to events around me, using all the abilities I have as a grown-up, I am said to be inmy Adult ego-state.(Stewart and Joines, 1987)There are several difficulties one might raise here. A major part of the TA therapist‟s jobto educate the client in recognizing their own shifts between ego-states, and the advantages anddrawbacks of each state in different situations. TA has also extensively explored what it calls„crossed transactions‟, the interpersonal difficulties which arise when people are communicatingfrom different ego-states, for example parent to child and vice versa (Berne, 1968, Stewart andJoines, 1987)TA has coined a number of other interesting and useful concepts, perhaps most notablythe „life script‟.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING38Script theory is based on the belief that people make conscious life plans in childhood orearly adolescence which influence and make predictable the rest of their lives. Personswhose lives are based on such decisions are said to have scripts.(Steiner, 1990)Generally a life script is based on inadequate or outdated information, and the more rigidly it isfollowed, the less good the results are likely to be. Situations like suicide, drug addiction andpsychosis all result from scripts, and hence, in TA‟s view are all capable of being changed(Totton, n.d.).Like „script‟, many TA terms have become part of the common currency of humanistictherapies, often without much grasp of their precise technical meaning. Other examples include„strokes‟ (defined as „units of recognition‟-all the ways in which people acknowledge eachother‟s existence verbally and non-verbally); the „rescue triangle‟ or „drama triangle‟ (Steiner,1990); and, of course, the famous „game‟. A game in TA is „a recurring set of transactions oftenrepetitious, superficially plausible, with a concealed motivation; or. More colloquially, a series ofmoves with a snare or “gimmick”‟ (Berne, 1968). The games that a person chooses to play derivefrom life script. Berne (1968) and other TA theorists have identified many different games, oftenwith self-explanatory names like „Why Don‟t You __ Yes But‟, „Let‟s You and Him Fight‟ and„See What You Made Me Do‟ (Totton, n.d.).It is apparent from this outline that TA is inventive, imaginative, observant, eloquent anfun. Many of its formulations are instantly recognizable and clearly relevant to the sorts ofdifficulties that bring people to therapy. What is less apparent – and this may or may not be seenas important – is how far TA theory is a valid set of general theorems, and how far it consists ofa series of spectacular improvisations (Totton, n.d.).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING39Motivational Interviewing TheoryMotivational Interviewing is best described as a direct client-centered approach.Although this might seem to be a contradictory description, the key assumption of MET andmotivational interviewing clearly fit within the client-centered model. For example, theresponsibility and capacity for change is assumed to lie within the client: change can only occurwhen the client decides to make a change. Given a strong belief that resources and motivation forchange reside within the individual, the therapist focuses on the client‟s own perceptions, goalsand values throughout the therapy. The client is considered autonomous, with the capacity forself-direction. These views along with the emphatic, non-judgmental attitude of the therapist fitinto the client-centered model. The directive aspect of the motivational interviewing involves thetherapist working to increase the client‟s motivation to change. In contrast to the traditionalclient-centered approach, the therapist uses empathy and other supportive responses to reinforceself-motivational statements, rather than supportive, noncontingent techniques in a global,noncontingent manner. Using questioning the therapist attempts to enhance motivation forchange by consideration of the discrepancy between client‟s behavior (e.g. drug abuse) and moreadaptive goals. Another contrast with traditional client-centered approaches is that MET has aspecific direction for the treatment, using strategies that direct the client toward specific goalsrather than simply following the lead of the client. The therapist actively brings discrepancies toclient‟s attention, thus creating motivation for behavior change (Sue & Sue, 2012).Body centered therapiesThe first body centered therapy was Wilhelm Reich‟s orgonomy, developed to its furthestpoint in USA in the 1950s. Although Reich was a psychoanalyst who, unlike Eric Berne or FritzPerls, never actually renounced his roots, Reichian therapy was largely assimilated to the
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING40humanistic world after Reich was expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Associationand finally settled in the US after World War II (Sharaf, 1983). Reich continued to get in troublein America as he had with the analysts and with the authorities in Nazi Germany andScandinavia; he died in prison in 1956, having been goaled for contempt of court he wasforbidden to continue his work with subtle energy devices (Sharaf, 1983 as in cited Totton, n.d.).Although orthodox Reichianorgonomy continues to be practiced, Reich‟s work has alsogiven birth to a number of more widely known neo- or post-Reichian schools, most of themfunctioning within a more or less humanistic framework of ideas and techniques.AleanderLowen‟s Bioenergetics (Lowen, 1994) is a partial exception, in that it draws strongly onanalytic concepts; but simply working with the body, and in particular with touch, is enough toexclude any therapy from participating in the analytic communion. Dance movement therapy(DMT) is a distinct set of approaches to working with the body, which includes bothpsychoanalytic and humanistic methodologies of various different kinds (Berstein, 1979).There are now a number of approaches to body psychotherapy often under the rubric of„somatic therapy‟) with roots in traditions other than Reichian work, all of them gererallyspeaking part of the humanistic world. Gestalt therapy has a strong bodily focus; like all truebody psychotherapies, it integrates this into wholistic approach which utilizes verbal as well asphysical techniques, and psychological as well as somatic models (Totton, n.d.).Expressive art therapiesAnother tribe of humanistic therapies are those which use one form or another of art astheir central tool. DMT overlaps with this category; other members are humanistic forms of arttherapy proper, utilizing painting, drawing, clay and so on (Dalley and Case, 2006); those whowork with voice and with music (Bunt and Hoskyns, 2002), and some forms of drama therapy,
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING41psychodrama and so on (Jones, 2007; Karp et al., 1998). Again some versions of these arehumanistic, others are not. Some, like the person-centered therapy of Carl Rogers‟s daughterNatalie Rogers (1993), are direct descendants of a specific humanistic school (Totton, n.d.).Blends, integrations and in-betweenersIn keeping with the tendency to spontaneity of humanistic therapy, there are many groupsor individual practitioners working with a combination of some or all of the above approaches,often also including a psychodynamic input and sometimes a cognitive behavioral one. Whenthere has been an attempt to order and synthesize these various elements, the approach isgenerally termed „integrative‟; when therapy is seen more as a matter of choosing the best toolfor a particular situation, the approach is often called „eclectic‟ (Norcross, 2005;Lazarus,2005a incited Totton, n.d.). The psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas argues eloquently for the value of aneclectic approach, which he terms „pluralistic‟:If one has more ways of seeing mental life and human behavior then, in my view, it followslogically that one is going to be more effective . . . If your preconscious stores multiplemodels of the mind and behavior, to be activated by work with a particular patient in aparticular moment, then you will find that you are either consciously or unconsciouslyenvisioning the patient through one or another of these lenses.(Bollas, 2007, p. 7)]
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING42Does humanistic Psychotherapy work?Humanistic therapies may not be included in reviews of psychotherapy research, orconsidered in criteria for evidence-based practice. There are many reasons for this. This criterionused for inclusion in reviews favor positivist or natural science research methods over humanscience or qualitative methods that may be used for the purposes for exploring and understandingclients‟ subjective realities. Many studies use single group designs so are not usually included inmeta-analyses. Some of the research that as not originally incorporated into the literature in the1950s when it came out is still overlooked. Literature has been published in German is notincluded in the American literature, or in British publications such as the reviews by Roth andFonagy (1996). Some of the literature uses new labels (e.g. process-experiential therapy oremotionally focused). As a result, humanistic therapies are sometimes dismissed as lacking inempirical support. In order to counteract with some of these trends, Cian and Seeman (2001)have collated the research on humanistic therapy in a handbook on humanistic research andpractice.Robert Elliot (2001: 57-81) conducted the largest meta-analyses of humanistic therapyoutcome research to date. He analyzed 99 therapy conditions in 86 studies involving over 5000clients. Studies reviewed covered client- centered therapy, „non-directive‟ therapies, task focusedprocess-experiential therapies, emotionally focused therapy for couples, Gestalt therapy,encounter sensitivity groups and other experiential/humanistic therapies. He concluded thefollowing:1. Clients who participate in humanistic therapies show on average, large amounts of chargeover time.
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING432. Post-therapy gains in humanistic therapies are stable; they are maintained over early (<12months) and late (12 months) follow ups.3. In randomized clinical trials with untreated control clients, clients who participate inhumansistic therapies generally show substantially more change than comparableuntreated clients.4. In randomized clinical trials with comparative treatment control clients, clients inhumanistic therapies generally show amounts of change equivalent to clients in non-humanistic therapies, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).(Elliot, 2001)The results are comparable with other findings listed that different types ofpsychotherapy, including humanistic psychotherapy are effective. This summary does notaddress the question of where humanistic therapies may be particularly effective, or the types ofquestions that might be asked by humanistic therapist-researchers that would not be asked byother modalities (Ford, 2007).StrengthsShifted the focus of behavior to the individual / whole person rather than the unconsciousmind, genes, observable behavior etc.Humanistic psychology satisfies most peoples idea of what being human means because itvalues personal ideals and self-fulfillment.Qualitative data gives genuine insight and more holistic information into behavior.Highlights the value of more individualistic and idiographic methods of study (McLeod,2007).
HUMANISTIC PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COUNSELING44LimitationsIgnores biology (e.g. testosterone).Unscientific – subjective concepts.E.g. cannot objectively measure self-actualization.Humanism ignores the unconscious mind.Behaviorism – human and animal behavior can be compared.Qualitative data is difficult to compare.Ethnocentric (biased towards Western culture).Their belief in free will is in opposition to the deterministic laws of science (McLeod, 2007).Critical EvaluationThe humanistic approach has been applied to relatively few areas of psychologycompared to the other approaches. Therefore, its contributions are limited to areas such astherapy, abnormality, motivation and personality.A possible reason for this lack of impact on academic psychology perhaps lies with thefact that humanism deliberately adopts a non-scientific approach to studying humans. Forexample their belief in free-will is in direct opposition to the deterministic laws of science. Also,the areas investigated by humanism, such as consciousness and emotion are very difficult toscientifically study. The outcome of such scientific limitations means that there is a lack ofempirical evidence to support the key theories of the approach.However, the flip side to this is that humanism can gain a better insight into anindividual‟s behavior through the use of qualitative methods, such as unstructured interviews.The approach also helped proved a more holistic view of human behavior, in contract to thereductionist position of science (McLeod, 2007).
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