Person Centered Therapy


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Person Centered Therapy

  1. 1. Person-Centered Therapy ~ Carl Rogers ~
  2. 2. Carl Rogers (1902-1987)The Founder of Person-Centered Therapy
  3. 3. “The Quiet Revolutionary” Introduced his revolutionary ideas in the 1940s Ideas were in stark contrast to psychoanalysis and directive approaches Shifted focus of therapy from an emphasis on technique to that of the relationship
  4. 4. Client vs. Patient Introduced the term “client” Believed in the equality of client and therapist
  5. 5. Rogers’ Central Hypothesis“If I can provide a certain type of relationship,the other will discover within himself thecapacity to use that relationship for growth,and change and personal development willoccur.” (Carl Rogers)
  6. 6. Rogers’ Central Ideas Encouraged clients to reflect on their experience Believed it was necessary for nonjudgmental listening and acceptance to promote change
  7. 7. Rogers Focused on Research Stated concepts as testable hypotheses and submitted them to research Recorded his sessions for the purpose of research Defined his theory in operational terms Displayed a questioning stance and a deep openness to change Feared institutionalization would lead to a narrow, rigid, and dogmatic perspective.
  8. 8. Carl Rogers “The therapist, author, and person were the same man.” (Cain, 1987) Had a major impact on the field of psychotherapy
  9. 9. Other Contributions Now over 200 therapeutic approaches of client-centered therapy Innovations in Person-Centered Therapy:  Virginia Axline made contributions to person centered therapy with children and play therapy  Johnson and Greenberg applied the person-centered approach to working with couples and families
  10. 10. Assumptions People are trustworthy by nature They have the capacity to understand and resolve their own problems They are innately resourceful and capable Clients can understand what is making them unhappy
  11. 11. Humanism An alternative to psychoanalytic and behavioral approaches Respect and trust the client Everyone has a natural potential The person-centered approach rests on humanism
  12. 12. Key Concepts Congruence Unconditional Positive Regard Accurate empathic understanding
  13. 13. Therapeutic Goals Greater degree of independence Focus on the person, not the problem Must first get through the masks clients wear to get to the goal
  14. 14. Therapist Function and Role Their role is to be an instrument for change Be present and accessible
  15. 15. Relationship between Therapist and Client Characterized by equality Therapists are transparent, true to themselves, authentic
  16. 16. Assessments Shy away from assessments and tests Shy away from case histories What matters is the client’s self assessment
  17. 17. Incorporating Person-Centered Therapy Across Cultures• In the 1970s Rogers and his associates began forming encounter group workshops which provided participants with multicultural experiences• Trained policymakers, world leaders, and groups in conflict  Northern Ireland- Protestants and Catholics  South African groups of conflict- Whites and Blacks
  18. 18. Person-Centered Therapy Across Cultures• Person-Centered therapy is used in foreign regions including: Australia, Japan, South America and Central America• Models of the therapy have been blended with the techniques of other cultures in these foreign regions• Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
  19. 19. Cautions Toward Using Person- Centered Techniques• Cautions against making assumptions about clients based on their cultural background.• No stereotyping !• A therapist must hold off on judging the client’s cultural background too quickly.
  20. 20. Limitations to Multicultural Counseling• Desire for more structure than is provided by person- centered therapy• The clinician does not tend to offer suggestions• Solutions is not found to be useful in some cultures
  21. 21. Limitations Continued…• The stigma of mental health care• Receiving therapy might be seen as a sign of weakness or as taboo.• Therapy might be a last resort for most
  22. 22. Limitations to Multicultural CounselingDirect vs. Indirect Styles of Communication• Person-centered Therapy is indirect• It is difficult to transfer core elements of the therapy into actual practice in certain cultures.• Direct- African American Cultures• Indirect- Asian Cultures
  23. 23. Limitations to Multicultural CounselingCollectivism vs. Individualism• Person-centered therapy is individual focused• Some ethnic groups and cultures value collectivism more than individualism.• Collective- Native American Cultures• Individual- United States of America
  24. 24. Effective with:  Anxiety disorder  Alcoholism Psychosomatic problems  Agoraphobia Interpersonal difficulties  Depression  Cancer  Marriage and family (Corey)
  25. 25. Why so effective… Belief that the client is the central figure in therapy (Gurman & Messer, 1997) Optimistic and accepting Play therapy effective with children (Hunter, 1993)
  26. 26. Crisis Intervention Unwanted pregnancy Illness Loss of a loved one  Many times used by nurses because they are the first to interact with patients
  27. 27. Problems with Person Centered Therapy Borderline Personality Disorder  Modified versions of Person-Centered therapy may be effective but none exist  Needs to recognize the disorder (not just focus on the person) Schizophrenia – Needs to recognize the disorder (Van Blarikom, 2008)
  28. 28. Criticism Rogers is overly optimistic Concepts covered in therapy must generalize to real life  Creates maladjustment in clients
  29. 29. Criticism… “Empathy only evolves if the therapist is genuinely interested in entering the client’s world and actually is concerned about the client” (Kensit, 2000)
  30. 30. Criticism… “Although Rogers stresses that acceptance is not the same as approval, where do we draw the line? Do we allow sociopathic criminals to spend hours in therapy providing insight into their morbid and inhumane delights without any form of direction or confrontation?” (Kensit, 2000)