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An Overview: Person Centered Therapy
An Overview: Person Centered Therapy
An Overview: Person Centered Therapy
An Overview: Person Centered Therapy
An Overview: Person Centered Therapy
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An Overview: Person Centered Therapy


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Person Centered Therapy as it relates to Student Affairs …

Person Centered Therapy as it relates to Student Affairs
Source: Theory & Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy by Gerald Corey

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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  • 1. 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  
  • 2. 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  
  • 3. 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  
  • 4. • 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          
  • 5. -­‐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