Transcript of "An Overview: Person Centered Therapy"
Form A -‐ Peter ‘Max’ Quinn Critical Evaluation Format CN528 Counseling & Development Professor Ciri -‐ November 21, 2011 Theory: Person Centered Therapy KEY Concepts of Person Centered Theory: View of Human Nature / Basic Assumptions Underlying Person Centered Theory / MOST Important concepts: § View of Human Nature § Nonjudgmental listening and acceptance are necessity if students are to change § Encourage students to reflect on their experience § Person Centered Therapy is based on concepts from Humanistic Psychology & Existential Perspective (CH 6) § Place a sense of trust in the students ability to move forward in a constructive manner if conditions fostering growth are present § If one is able to get to the core of a student, one finds a trustworthy, positive center § Students are trustworthy, resourceful, capable of self-‐understanding and self-‐direction, able to make constructive changes, and able to live effective and productive lives § Three Professional attributes that will create a growth-‐promoting climate in which students can move forward and become what they are capable of becoming: § Congruence -‐ Genuineness, or realness -‐ Being fully present § Unconditional positive regard -‐ Acceptance and caring -‐ Value and warmly accept students without placing stipulations on their acceptance -‐ “Ill accept you as you are” -‐ Students are free to have feelings and experiences without risking the loss of their acceptance § Accurate empathetic understanding -‐ Ability to deeply grasp the subjective world of another in the here & now • Empathy -‐ Helps students pay attention and value their experience; see earlier experiences in new ways; modify their perceptions of themselves, others and the world; and increase their confidence in making choices and in pursuing a course of action • Accurate Empathetic Understanding -‐ Sense the students’ feelings as if they were your own without becoming lost in those feelings -‐ Reflect the experiencing of the student, resulting in self-‐understating and clarification of their beliefs and worldview § This will allow students to become less defensive and more open to themselves and their world, and they will behave in pro-‐social and constructive ways § Students will move toward health if the way seems open for them to do so § Actualizing tendency -‐ A directional process of striving toward realization, fulfillment, autonomy, self-‐ determination, and perfection § Place primary responsibly on the student § Students have the capacity for awareness and self-‐directed change in attitudes and behavior § Focus on the constructive side of human nature: What is right with the student, and on the assets the individual brings § Emphasize how the student acts in their world with others, how they can move forward in constructive directions, and how they can successfully encounter obstacles (within and outside) that are blocking their growth § People never arrive at a final state of being self-‐actualized; rather, they are continually involved in the process of actualizing themselves § Basic Assumptions o Students are essentially trustworthy; o They have a vast potential for understanding themselves and resolving their own problems without direct intervention; o They are capable of self-‐directed growth if they are involved in a specific kind of ‘therapeutic’ relationship. o Students capacity for self-‐healing is among the most powerful agents that lead to change o The student is the agent for self-‐change § Four Periods of Development of the Approach 1. Nondirective Counseling § Counselor must create a permissive and nondirective climate § Avoid sharing a great deal about themselves
Focus mainly on reflecting and clarifying the students’ verbal and nonverbal communications with § the aim of helping students become aware of and gain insight into their feelings 1 2. Student (Client)-‐Centered Therapy § Emphasis on the student, rather than on nondirective methods § Focus on the phenomenological world of the student § The best vantage point for understanding how students behave was from their own internal frame of reference § Actualizing tendency is the basic motivational force that leads to student change 3. Necessary & Sufficient conditions of Therapy § “Becoming the self that one truly is” -‐ On Becoming a Person (Rogers, 1961) § “Becoming one’s Experience” -‐ An openness to experience, a trust in one’s experience, an internal locus of evaluation, and the willingness to be in process § Student-‐Centered Teaching = Client-‐Centered Therapy 4. Considerable expansion to Education, Industry, Groups, Conflict Resolution, & the Search for World Peace § Take an interest in how students obtain, possess, share, or surrender power an control over others and themselves -‐ Person-‐Centered Approach § The attitude of the professional -‐ An empathetic understanding of the student’s world -‐ The ability to communicate a nonjudgmental stance to the student = Successful ‘Therapy’ Outcome § Existentialism & Humanism § Both: Share a respect for the student’s subjective experience, the uniqueness and individuality of each student, and trust in the capacity of the student to make positive and constructive conscious choices § Both: Emphasize freedom, choice, values, personal responsibly, autonomy, purpose, and meaning & the importance of genuine encounters o Existentialism § Existentialists are faced with the anxiety of choosing to create an identity in world that lacks intrinsic meaning § There is nothing that we “are,” no internal “nature” we can count on. Faced at every moment with a choice about what to make of this condition o Humanism § Humanists take a somewhat less anxiety-‐evoking position that each of us has a natural potential that we can actualize and through which we can find meaning § Metaphor: An acorn, If provided with the appropriate conditions, will “automatically” grow in positive ways, pushed naturally toward its actualization as an oak. § Help students develop capacities and stimulate constructive change in others § Individuals are empowered, and they are able to use this power for personal and social transformation Therapeutic Process: Most important Therapeutic Goals • Aim toward the student achieving a greater degree of independence and integration • Focus in on the person, not on the person’s presenting problem • Assist students with their growth process so they can better cope with their current and future problems • Provide a climate conducive to helping the individual become a fully functioning person • Help students get behind the “masks” that they wear -‐ Students loose contact with themselves by using facades • The SA Professional does not choose specific goals for the student Functions and Role of the Student Affairs Professional • Rooted in the professionals ways of being and attitudes, not in techniques designed to get the student to “do something” • Attitude of professional, rather than their knowledge, theories, or techniques, facilitate personality change in students • Use themselves as an instrument of change • “Role” is to be without roles • It is the professionals attitude and belief in the inner resources of the student that create the therapeutic climate for growth • Be present and accessible to students and to focus on their immediate experience • Be willing to be real in the relationship with students • By being congruent, accepting, and empathetic, the professional is a catalyst for change • Do not aim to manage, conduct, regulate, or control the student
The students’ role in the Therapeutic Process • Be open to experience • Trust in themselves • Evaluate themselves internally • Be willing to continue growing • Must clarify and define their own goals • Change depends on the students’ perceptions both of their own experience and of the professionals basic attitudes • Explore the full range of their experience, which includes their feelings, beliefs, behaviors, and worldview • Express their fears, anxiety, guilt, shame, hatred, anger, and other emotions that they had deemed too negative to accept and incorporate into their self-‐structure • Become less concerned about meeting others’ expectations, and thus begin to behave in ways that are truer to themselves • With increased freedom, they tend to become more mature psychologically and more actualized Application: Techniques and procedures of the Person Centered Therapy -‐Techniques and methods of the Person Centered Therapy in Student Affairs practice-‐ § Therapeutic Techniques & Procedures o Goals § Aim toward the student achieving a greater degree of independence and integration § Assist students in their growth process so students can better cope with their current and future problems § Provide a climate conducive to helping the student become a fully functioning person § Enable an openness to experience, a trust in themselves, an internal source of evaluation, and a willingness to continue growing § Help students achieve their own goals, rather than what students need to change § Inner resources of the student create the therapeutic climate for growth § Encounter students in a person-‐to-‐person way § An overemphasis on professionalism is bad -‐ Be present and accessible to the student and focus on their immediate experience -‐ Be wiling to be real in relationships with students § By being congruent, accepting, and empathetic is a catalyst for change § Meet students on a moment-‐to-‐moment experiential basis and enter their world o Early Emphasis on Reflection of Feelings • Grasp the world of the student and reflect its understanding o Evolution of Person Centered Methods § Practitioners ability to establish a strong connection with students is the critical factor determining successful outcomes § Practitioner’s presence -‐ Being completely engaged and absorbed in the relationship with the student -‐ Is essential for progress o The Role of Assessment § Identify strengths and liabilities of students § Students self-‐assessment is what truly matters § Involve students as fully as possible in assessment and treatment processes o Application of The Philosophy of the Person Centered Approach § Student is the critical factor in determining personal outcomes • Resourcefulness, participation, evaluation, and perceptions of problems and their resolutions § More learning, more problem solving, and more creativity enable students to become increasingly self-‐directing, able to assume more responsibility for the consequences of their choices, and can learn more than in traditional ways o Application to Crisis Intervention § When a student is in crisis … • Give them the opportunity to fully express themselves -‐ Sensitive listening, hearing, and understanding are essential -‐ This helps to calm and think more clearly and make better decisions
• Offer genuine support, caring, and non-‐possessive warmth can go a long way and motivate students to do something to work through and resolve a crisis • Suggestions, guidance, and even direction may be called for depending on the situation § Stay with students as opposed to getting ahead of them with interpretations o Application to Group Counseling § Act as facilitator rather than leader • Primary function: To create a safe and healing climate -‐ A place where the group members can interact in honest and meaningful ways § Presence of facilitator and support of others helps students to realize that they do not have to experience the struggles of change alone and that groups as collective entities have their own source of transformation § Climate should allow members to become more appreciative and trusting of themselves as they are and are able to more toward self-‐direction and empowerment § Exhibit a deep sense of trust in the group § Avoid making interpretive comments because such are apt to make the group self-‐conscious and slow the process down § Person Centered Expressive Arts Therapy o Principles of Expressive Arts Therapy § Offer students the opportunity to create movement, visual art, journal writing, sound, and music to express their feelings and gain insight § Personal growth and higher states of consciousness are achieved through self-‐awareness, self-‐ understanding, and insight § Self-‐awareness, understanding, and insight are achieved by delving into our feelings of grief, anger, pain, fear, joy, and ecstasy § The expressive arts lead us into the unconscious, thereby enabling us to express previously unknown facets of ourselves and bring to light new information and awareness § A connection exists between our life force -‐ Our inner core, or soul -‐ and the essence of all beings § As we journey inward to discover our essence or wholeness, we discover our relatedness to the out world, and inner and outer become one o Creativity & Offering Stimulating Experiences § Experiences • Individuals have a tremendous capacity for self-‐healing through creativity • When one feels appreciated, trusted, and given support to use individuality to develop a plan, create a project, write a paper, or to be authentic, the challenge is exciting, stimulating, and gives a sense of personal expansion • Carefully planned experiments or experiences designed to involve students in the expressive arts help them focus on the process of creating • A non-‐defensive openness to experience and an internal locus of evaluation that receives but is not overly concerned with the reactions of others is created § What Holds Us Back? • We cheat ourselves out of a fulfilling and joyous source of creativity if we cling to the idea that an artist is the only one who can enter the realm of creativity § Contributions of Natalie Roberts • Expressive and creative arts can be a basis for personal growth -‐ May be the solution for students who are stuck in linear and rigid ways of being -‐Person Centered Therapy from a diversity perspective -‐ § Emphasis on the core conditions can apply to all cultures -‐ Universal qualities § Grounded on the importance of hearing the deeper messages of a student. Empathy, being present, and respecting the values of students are essential attitudes and skills § Practitioner does not assume the role of expert who is going to impose a “right way of being” on the student § Instead, the practitioner is a “fellow explorer” who attempts to understand the students phenomenological world in an interested, accepting and open way and checks with the student to confirm that the perceptions are accurate § Pay attention to the cultural identity that resides within the student! § The practitioner-‐student relationship and the use of the student’s resources are central for multicultural counseling
-‐Evaluation of the approach to use Person Centered Therapy in Student Affairs practice -‐ The Person-‐Centered Therapy in congruence with Student Affairs practice can be a very rewarding experience for the student as it strives for self-‐actualization. The phenomenological standpoint that Student Affairs Practitioners take allows students to actualize themselves in accordance with their perceptions of reality, and truly allows them to make changes in their cognitive thinking in order to pursue their life goals. Person-‐Centered Therapy “rests on the assumption that [students] can understand the factors in their lives that are causing them to be unhappy. They also have the capacity for self-‐direction and constructive personal change.” It is up to the facilitator to induce a climate that is safe and one that allows individuals to have the opportunity to decide for themselves and come to terms with their own personal power. Student Affairs professionals allow students to become more open to experience, achieving self-‐trust, developing an internal source of evaluation, and being wiling to continue to growing. By allowing the student to choose their own goals and values, practitioners can be fully involves as persons in the relationship. -‐Significant contributions of Person-‐Centered Therapy applied to Student Affairs Practice-‐ § Through a practitioner’s attitude of genuine caring, respect, acceptance, support, and understanding, students are able to loosen their defenses and rigid perceptions and move to a higher level of person functioning. When these practitioner attitudes are present, students then have the necessary freedom to explore areas of their life that were either denied to awareness or distorted § Change depends on students perceptions both of their own experience and the practitioners basic attitudes o If the practitioner creates a climate conducive to self-‐exploration, students have the opportunity to explore the full range of their experience, which includes their feelings, beliefs, behavior, and worldview. § It is students who heal themselves, who create their own self-‐growth, and who are the primary agents of change § Provide a supportive self-‐healing within which students self-‐healing capacities are activated § As students experience the practitioner listening in a accepting way to them, they gradually learn how to listen acceptingly to themselves § As students find the practitioner caring for and valuing them, students begin to see worth and value in themselves § As students experience the realness of the practitioner, students drop many of their pretenses and are real with both themselves and the practitioner § A way of being is a shared journey in which practitioner and student reveal their humanness and participate in a growth experience § Basic practice is based on experiencing and communicating attitudes § Increased latitude for practitioners to share their reactions, to confront students in a caring way, and to participate more actively and fully § It is essential for the practitioner to modify their style to accommodate the specific needs of each student -‐Limitations of Person Centered Therapy in Student Affairs practice -‐ § Practitioners do not … o Take a history; o They avoid asking leading and probing questions; o They do not make interpretations of the students behavior; o They do not evaluate the students ideas or plans § Requires a great deal of the practitioner … o Must be grounded, centered, genuine, present, focused, patient, and accepting in a way that involves maturity in order to be effective § Some students want more structure than this approach applies o If they expect a directive practitioner they can be put off by one who does not provide specific structure § It can be difficult to translate the core conditions of the therapy into actual practice in certain cultures o Communication of core conditions must be consistent with the students cultural framework o Students accustomed to indirect communication may not be comfortable with direct expressions of empathy or self-‐ disclosure on the practitioners part § This approach extols a value of an internal locus of evaluation o In collectivist cultures, students are likely to be highly influenced by societal expectations and not simply motivated by their own personal preferences § Some tendency to be very supportive of students without being challenging § Some practitioners experience difficulty in allowing students to decide their own specific goals [in therapy] § Failing to be warm, empathetic, and genuine; imposing an agenda upon the student; or failing to be in touch with the moment-‐to-‐ moment process