Personal counseling is a form of therapy that allows clients to figure out how their actions and thoughts influence their health. The treatment is client-focused. As a result, clients are responsible for the direction of their therapy under the supervision of experts.
After recognizing that the effectiveness of therapy is contingent on a close relationship between the therapist and the patient, Carl Rogers developed person-centered therapy. Three criteria are necessary for person-centered therapy to be effective. Empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard are three such requirements. Therapists should show clients the utmost respect and refrain from criticizing or telling them what to do.
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Person-centered therapy may be used to help people dealing with depression, identity uncertainty, and alcohol problems. The person-centered approach has several ethical and cultural concerns. Therapist attitude towards a client is one of the moral issues that person-centered therapy faces.
Therapists should not have a negative attitude toward their clients, no matter what their circumstances are. Since person-centered therapy permits clients to choose the treatment strategy to employ, it may be unsuitable for people from cultures that place a premium on consultation. Christian teachings are somewhat compatible with person-centered psychotherapy. Some of its methods and ideas, on the other hand, contradict Christian teachings.
Case Conceptualization of Person-Centered Therapy
Person-centered therapy (PCT) is a type of talk-based psychotherapy that was created by Carl Rogers. The goal of person-centered counseling is to offer clients the opportunity to construct a sense of character, allowing them to understand how their actions, emotions, and mindsets are being influenced (Cooper et al., 2007).
Person-centered therapy places the majority of the healing responsibility on the patient, with the therapist assuming a nondirective role. Other aims for patients in person-centered therapy are “increased openness to experience and self-esteem” (Cooper et al., 2007, p. 46). The therapy’s goal is for clients’ idealized and real selves to become as close as possible in terms of attitude, feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and values. It also strives to increase self-understanding and decrease insecurity.
Rogers felt that therapy should take place in a “secure and encouraging atmosphere,” which he coined the “client-centered framework.” (Cooper et al., 2007, p. 53) As a result, he adopted the term client to illustrate his rejection of the traditionally hierarchical relationship between counselor and client and his vision of them as equals.
According to Rogers, the attitude of a therapist is extremely important in assisting a client. He claimed that congruence, empathy, and unshakable positive regard are three connected attitudes that are essential to person-centered therapy. Person-centered therapy seeks to enhance self-esteem and assist clients in interacting with others.
People who are treated with humanistic therapies show significant long-term improvements, according to research. Furthermore, studies have shown that the effects produced by a patient receiving person-centered therapy are comparable to those seen in patients getting other types of care. The effectiveness of person-centered therapy in treating people with mental illnesses has been proved over a five-year period (Gibbrad & Hanley, 2008). The majority of the clients assessed experienced substantial improvement after treatment.
Rogers initially built person-centered therapy to help children. Therapists have subsequently applied PCT to treat people of all ages. Person-centered therapy is mostly utilized to assist those who are depressed, cognitively handicapped, alcohol-dependent, or anxious (Cooper et al., 2007). It can also be used to cure any personality malady.
Person-centered therapy is beneficial in treating individuals who have low self-esteem or those who are experiencing an identity crisis. The therapy helps clients to develop methods for reconnecting with themselves and achieving self-actualization. As a result, person-centered therapy is the most appropriate treatment for my client because it will help him gain inner locus of control and overcome anxiety and depression (Gibbrad & Hanley, 2008).
My client will be able to take complete responsibility for his therapy plan after the treatment. As a result, he will receive a full cure. One of the ethical concerns that may arise while utilizing person-centered therapy is the therapist’s attitude toward the client. Despite her circumstance, a therapist should treat a client as an individual with respect and dignity.
Therapists should behave in a way that does not undervalue clients (Gibbrad & Hanley, 2008). In addition, they should respect the client’s right to self-direction rather than imposing instructions on them. In other words, clinicians should make every effort to avoid overpowering their patients.
When it came to developing person-centered therapy, Rogers neglected to take into account cultural diversity. One of the multicultural problems that may develop during PCT treatment is a dependency on parents or relatives (MacDougall, 2002). The approach helps clients overcome their difficulties by encouraging self-direction as the ultimate method of assistance.
However, this strategy may not be effective when dealing with clients from different cultures who demand that one consult before making a decision. Furthermore, it might be difficult for the counselor to fulfill cultural expectations while assisting a client in achieving self-actualization. In an emergency scenario, person-centered therapy may be utilized. The treatment is focused on the client.
As a result, it contributes to establishing a calm atmosphere in which clients may struggle with their difficulties. On the other hand, the therapy supports honesty on the part of a therapist (Kensit, 2002). A therapist identifies with the client’s issues and helps them develop coping methods. As a result, person-centered psychotherapy can be beneficial in a crisis since it starts by building rapport between a client and therapist.
Treatment Plans and Interventions. Presenting Problems
John Cater is a black man who says that after his university degree prevents him from pursuing a career as a civil engineer, he becomes morose. John claims that he was accused of orchestrating the strike at the university. Despite not being one of those who organized the protest, he was nevertheless thrown out of school along with six other students.
John obtained employment with a local builder after two months of staying at home. He was dedicated to his job, but he got nothing for it other than expulsion. Financial resources allegedly had been misappropriated. John’s depression worsened as a result of the banishment.
John’s wife left the family after losing her job, and he lost his childhood sweetheart in the process. He attempted to persuade his spouse to stay while attempting to discover methods for continuing the family, but his spouse was adamant about leaving. These events happened quickly enough that John had a hard time comprehending them.
Goals for Counseling
After failing to save his future and rescue his family, John feels dejected. The first aim of seeking psychotherapy is to help him alter his outlook on relationships. Even though John wishes to remarry, he believes that he will not be able to keep a relationship because of his financial problems. The second aim is to assist John in regaining confidence in himself.
After losing his job and wife, John claims that he had low self-esteem. As a result, it is critical to assist him to rebuild his confidence. John has grown irritable and hasty as a result of his circumstances. The third aim of therapy is to help him manage his feelings, which are vital if he wants to get another employment and start a family.
The three aims are intended to help John have a positive and confident existence. The key to solving his problems is in the hands of John. Person-centered therapy will assist John in deciding on the treatment strategy that best reflects his goals. As a result, he will have more control over the treatment path, allowing him to get completely well.
The academic term for congruence is agreement. According to Kensit (2002), “The willingness to relate to clients without hiding behind a professional facade” (p. 347) is known as congruence. Therapists who are able to exhibit consistency in their treatment techniques elicit important emotional reactions from their patients. Congruence will be instrumental in assisting John in achieving his objectives.
As a counselor, I’ll be upfront with John and establish a counseling atmosphere in which we can relate without feeling threatened. Such an ambiance will encourage John to disclose additional problems that he may be hesitant to discuss with other people. I will assist him in drafting a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all of his concerns.
I will assist John in coping with his emotions and generating solutions to avoid anxiety by being open. I’ll help John realize that unpleasant sentiments keep him away from his loved ones and may prevent him from getting a job in the future by asking him to count how many friends he has made, or job applications he has attempted since losing his income and family. This procedure will allow him to recognize that his feelings might be one of the reasons why he wants to live a happy life is frustrated.
Unconditional Positive Approval. Unconditional positive regard entails that the therapist accepts the client “wholly for who he or she is,” without evaluating or restricting, and without condemning any feelings, behaviors, or characteristics (Kensit, 2002, p. 350). Therapists demonstrate unconditional positive regard by listening to clients’ stories without criticizing them or offering advice.
Positive regard creates a non-threatening background that allows clients to freely express sensational, aggressive, or atypical emotions without fear. John’s low self-esteem will be aided by unconditional positive regard. I’ll allow John to present his side of the story uninterrupted. Furthermore, I’ll make sure not to put him down for his behaviors, feelings, or decisions.
John will be more confident in himself and his ability to achieve his goals if he has an unwavering positive attitude. John may believe in himself and trust that he can still achieve his objectives, no matter what adversity he has faced. I’ll assist John in identifying fears and beliefs that contribute to low self-esteem development and how to tackle them. I’ll also aid him in examining issues and perceptions that are most important to his aspirations, as well as advise him on how to work on them.
Empathy is the capacity to feel another’s emotions. Empathy refers to therapists’ attempts to comprehend their clients from the client’s perspective. Empathy serves as a preliminary step that determines whether or not therapy will continue. When assisting John, I might demonstrate empathy by paying attention to his narrative (Blair, 2013).
John’s attitude is that it matters who you’re with and how much time you spend together, which might be affected by Friday night activities. There are no rules in relationships; therefore, my objective is to reach out and help him change his negative opinions about himself. To accomplish this, I’ll utilize the reflection approach, which entails summarizing what John has to say.
This will allow John to believe that I am listening attentively and give him the opportunity to examine his thoughts and feelings. Using empathy, I will assist John in dealing with his relationship attitudes (Walker, 2001). I will ask John to explain his ideas about relationship and assist him in changing his viewpoints. I’ll make every effort to establish a climate that allows John to solve issues on his own.
Spiritual Application. Compatibilities
Person-centered therapy focuses on issues that are frequently addressed in Christian teachings. Person-centered therapy aids individuals in determining their own identities. MacDougall (2002) states that person-oriented treatment helps clients to pursue true integrity, which allows them to comprehend the significance of their lives and follow expected standards.
Christians are meant to live up to their full potential and significance. When individuals do not fulfill this, it leaves them feeling guilty. Person-centered therapy aids clients in focusing on their real conscience and moving forward. Second, Christianity encourages self-emptying. According to Christians, self-emptying is “God’s way of being in the world” (Thorne, 2008, p. 87).
On the other hand, person-centered therapy promotes self-emptying as a method of comprehending oneself and finding answers to problems that individuals confront. Third, person-centered therapy allows for a “gentle bearing in interacting with others” (Jones & Butman, 2011, p. 43). The Bible obviously endorses honesty. A therapist’s role in person-centered therapy is to be genuine at all times.
Furthermore, therapists are expected to care for and love their clients. They are required to treat all clients fairly and professionally. Therapists take their time to listen to customers without attacking or interrupting them in person-centered therapy. It demonstrates the Christian ideals of love.
Between person-centered therapy and spiritual teachings, there are a number of anomalies. First, person-centered therapy assumes that mankind is inherently inclined toward positive change. Nonetheless, this isn’t the case. We were made in God’s image, and we understand that doing good benefits one as a result. However, we consistently commit faults. According to person-centered therapy, an individual can improve his or her life by trying to be excellent (Jones & Butman, 2011).
However, Christianity teaches that the Holy Spirit may only be invoked through man’s perfection. Second, person-centered therapy encourages selfishness, which is antithetical to Christian beliefs. Person-centered therapy emphasizes self-actualization. Self-actualization entails “dismantling personal boundaries, understanding oneself, and reaching one’s full potential” (Thorne, 2008, p. 91). In most cases, self-actualization leads to people failing in their responsibilities to others and becoming selfish.
“It is argued that human nature is inherently good, and that self-actualization leads to goodness,” according to Thorne (2008). The Bible, on the other hand, encourages people to be sacrificial. Another disconnect between person-centered therapy and Christianity is that person-centered therapy employs a phenomenological approach. “Uses subjective experience to determine a client’s notion of truth” (Thorne, 2008 , p. 101) are two examples of this incompatibility.
Acceptance is a state of mind that helps therapists to accept their clients, no matter how they are. As a result, it allows for the relativity of truth. Clients with various moral viewpoints may have different ethical codes, and a counselor must respect all differences. Christianity is extremely concerned about morality, and it refuses to allow for morality to be relative. “In person-centered therapy, however,” Thorne (2008) claims, “unconditional positive regard might be a trap.”
Although Christianity emphasizes the importance of truth, it also encourages people to love one another unconditionally. Christians are obligated to love one other. They are not, however, required to accept everything their coworkers do. According to Christianity, individuals should set personal goals and encourage their loved ones to exercise self-control in their daily lives.
It is anticipated that John will learn to deal with his feelings as time goes on and regain his self-esteem. It is also expected that he will realize how his emotions push him away from others and prevent him from forming new connections that might lead to marriage down the road. He’ll also understand how difficult it is for him to obtain a job without interacting with people.
It will be vital for John to realize that mental illness can result from difficulties. However, one should not focus on his or her past but search for methods to overcome life’s problems. It is intended that John will obtain the confidence to apply for jobs and interact with ladies in search of a suitable partner.
The rehabilitation of John will be difficult in a number of ways, one of which is restoring his self-esteem. He thinks he is worthless and spends the majority of his time alone. It will be challenging to persuade him to start interacting with people who he feels are in a better social position.
The Differentiation Between CBT and Person-Centered Therapy The American Psychological Association’s description of psychotherapy states that it aims to help clients reach personal development and optimum growth (Murdock, 2013). As counselors, we are urged to use a specific theory in order to assist our customers better. Murdock informs us that the theory we pick serves as a route map, guiding our work with clients in a more efficient manner (2013).
Using Person-Centered Therapy, I will utilize Person-Centered Therapy (PCT) to help Jackie recognize her addiction and self-destructive behavior challenges. Carl Rogers is credited with developing Person-Centered Therapy.
According to Carl Rogers, each of us has a basic impulse to achieve our potential, develop and grow like all other living things. People can only develop to their full potential in the right conditions, just as plants need suitable conditions to thrive and produce fruit. He saw that bad behavior was linked with low self-esteem or incongruence between self and experience (Murdock, 2013).
Furthermore, Rogers thought that in order for a person to reach their full potential, they must achieve a level of congruence. Congruence was defined by Murdock as “a feeling of oneself being consistent with one’s experience and free from distortion.” Additionally, recent research continues to back up its effectiveness. For mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, 697 participants benefited from person-centered therapy over five years (Gibbard & Hanley, 2008).
In a study that analyzed three main schools of psychotherapy, students were asked to view the video series The Three Approaches to Psychotherapy Shostrom, 1965). Each therapist interviewed the same client, Gloria, utilizing a distinct method from his/her school of psychotherapy. Carl Rogers utilized client-centered therapy while Fritz Perls used Gestalt therapy and Albert Ellis demonstrated rational emotive therapy in this example of cognitive-behavioral treatment.
Rogers’ theory has had the most favorable reactions in a sample of 97 students, both graduate and undergraduate programs, among other things. As a result, it’s no surprise that more than 200 organizations throughout the world have “dedicated to researching and applying the ideas established by Rogers” given their support (Kirschenbaum & Jourdan).
Carl Rogers, a psychologist, and psychoanalyst was responsible for the development of person-centered therapy. Carl Rogers thought that when someone is unable to view themselves as the individual they believe themselves to be, they are suffering from a deficiency. This is a case study on Melissa Reed, who sees her ideal self as a mother and wife. A woman who is now in her fifth marriage and has a conflict with her two children feels a lack of self-worth. The therapist will try to help Melissa progress at her own speed while maintaining congruency between her real self and the identity she has created.
Treatment must also assist her in developing a sense of self-worth by allowing her to explore all areas of herself that have been denied or distorted as a consequence of her life experiences. Therapists should provide her the opportunity to recognize thoughts she has internalized that have caused feelings of unworthiness, as well as conditions that are unrealistic and need to be met for her to feel valued. Through the goals of therapy, person-centered therapies may help the client develop the following qualities: “increasing self-awareness, identifying values of ‘congruence, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding,’” “self-responsibility,’” “understanding one’s feelings,’” “awareness of one’s own perspective’” (pg. 343).
Creating a Therapeutic Alliance. In working with Melissa using the person-centered therapy approach, I worked to establish a strong therapeutic relationship. Within the first few sessions, Clinton and Ohlschlager (2002) describe four stages for forming a therapeutic alliance: “suspending critical and judgmental talk,” “listening attentively,” “extending empathy toward him or her” and “establishing mechanisms for feedback from clients about treatment progress.