Unit 9: Person-Centered Therapy Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 9: Person-Centered Therapy Deck (13):

Describe differences and similarities between existentialism and person centred therapy/humanism

They share a respect for the client subjective experience and a trust in the capacity of the client to make positive and constructive choices. They have in common and emphasis on concepts such as freedom, choice, values, personal responsibility, autonomy, purpose, and meaning.

They differ in that existentialists take the position that we are faced with the anxiety of choosing to create an identity in a world that lacks intrinsic meeting. The humanists, in contrast, take the somewhat less anxiety evoking position that each of us has a natural potential that we can actualize and through which we can find meaning


What is the actualizing tendency in person centred therapy?

A directional process of striving toward realization, fulfillment, autonomy, self-determination, and perfection. This growth force within us provide an internal source of healing, but it does not imply a movement away from relationships, interdependence, connection, or socialization.


Describe Rogers view of human nature, and differentiate his perspective from the existential point of view. How does his view of human nature affect his view of the therapists role in therapy?

A basic sense of trust in the clients ability to move forward in a constructive manner if conditions fostering growth are present. He believed that if one is able to get to the core of the individual, one finds a trustworthy, positive center. Maintains that people are trustworthy, resourceful, capable of self understanding and self direction, able to make constructive changes, and able to live effective and productive lives.

Similar to existential therapy, both respect clients subjective experience and a trust in the capacity of the client to make positive and constructive conscious choices. Both also emphasize freedom, choice, values, personal responsibility, autonomy, purpose, and meaning. However, existentialists focus on anxiety and creating an identity when faced with meaninglessness, whereas person-centered therapy focusses on the constructive side of human nature, on what is right with the person, and on the assets the individual brings to therapy.

When therapists are able to experience and communicate their realness, caring, and nonjudgmental understanding, significant changes in the clients are most likely to occur. Places authority in the client and the belief that they can move in a more positive direction and become what they are capable of being. The therapist attributes that create a growth-promoting climate are congruence or genuineness or realness, unconditional positive regard or acceptance and caring, and accurate empathic understanding or an ability to deeply grasp the subjective world of another person. If therapists communicate these attitudes, those being helped will become less defensive and more open to themselves and their world, and they will behave in prosocial and constructive ways.

Clients are believed to have an actualizing tendency where they strive toward realization, fulfillment, autonomy, self-determination, and perfection.This positive view of human nature has a significant implications for the practice of therapy. Because of the belief that the individual has an inherent capacity to move away from maladjustment and toward psychological health, the therapist places the primary responsibility on the client. Rejects the role of therapist as authority who knows Best and a passive client who follows directions. Therapy is rooted in the clients capacity for awareness and self directed change in attitude and behaviour.


Describe the therapeutic goals of person-centered therapy

Assisting clients in their growth process so that they can better cope with problems they are now facing and with future problems.

Provide a climate conducive to helping the individual become a fully functioning person. Help client remove masks/facades developed through socialization.

Encouraging the characteristics of becoming increasingly actualized: an openness to experience, a trust in themselves, an internal source of evaluation, and a willingness to continue growing


What is the therapists function and role in person-centered therapy?

The therapist role is rooted in their ways of being and attitudes, not in techniques designed to get the clients to do something. The attitude of the therapist, rather than their knowledge, theories, or techniques, facilitates personality change in the client. Therapist use themselves as an instrument of change. The therapists attitude and belief in the inner resources of the client create the therapeutic climate for growth

The therapists function is to be present and accessible to clients and to focus on their immediate experience so that clients have the necessary freedom to explore areas of their life that were either denied to awareness or distorted. By being congruent, accepting, and empathic, the therapist is a catalyst for change.


Describe the clients experience compared be in person-centered therapy

If the therapist create a climate conducive to self exploration, clients have the opportunity to explore the full range of their experience including their feelings, believes, behavior, and worldview. Client comes to counsellor in a state of incongruence – a discrepancy between their self perception and their experience in reality.

While clients may come to therapy hoping they will be guided by the therapist to find their way, they sion learn that they can be responsible for themselves in the relationship and that they can learn to be freer by using the relationship to gain greater self understanding. As counselling progresses, clients are able to explore a wider range of beliefs and feelings, express their fears, anxiety, guilt, shame, hatred, anger, and other emotions deemed too negative to accept and incorporate into their self structure. Because they are not as threatened, feel safer, and are less vulnerable, they become more realistic, perceive others with greater accuracy, and become better able to understand and accept others. Truer to themselves, empower themselves to direct their own lives. More in contact with experiences at the present moment and less bound by the past.

Client is the primary agent of change and the therapy relationship provides a support structure within which clients self healing capacities are activated


What are the three core therapist conditions in person-centered therapy that facilitate growth in the client?

Congruence, unconditional positive regard and acceptance, accurate empathic understanding


Describe the core therapist condition of congruence/genuineness in person-centered therapy

Congruence implies that therapists are real – they are genuine, integrated, and authentic during the therapy hour. They are without false front, their inner experience and outer expression of that experience match, and they can openly express feelings, thoughts, reactions, and attitudes that are present in the relationship with the client.

Through authenticity the therapist serves as a model of a human being struggling toward greater realness. Therapist do not need to be fully authentic, if they are congruent in their relationship with clients, trust will be generated and the process of therapy will get underway


Describe the core therapist condition of unconditional positive regard and acceptance in person-centered therapy

Deep and genuine caring for the client as a person. The caring is unconditional – it is not contaminated by evaluation or judgement of the clients feelings, thoughts, and behaviour as good or bad. Therapists caring is non-possessive – if it stems from their own need to be liked and appreciated, constructive change in the client is inhibited. Therapists value and warmly accept clients without placing stipulations on their acceptance. Therapists communicate through their behaviour that they value their clients as they are and that clients are free to have feelings and experiences without risking the loss of their therapists acceptance. Acceptance is the recognition of clients right to have their own beliefs and feelings – it is not the approval of all behavior.

The greater the degree of caring, prizing, accepting, and valuing of the client in a non-possessive way, the greater the chance that therapy will be successful


Describe The core therapist condition of accurate empathic understanding in person-centered therapy

To understand clients experience and feelings sensitively and accurately as they are revealed in the moment-to-moment interaction during the therapy session. Sensing the clients subjective experience, particularly in the here-and-now. The aim is to encourage clients to get closer to themselves, to feel more deeply and intensely, and to recognize and resolve incongruity that exists within them.

Empathic understanding implies that the therapist will sense clients feelings as if they were his or her own without becoming lost in those feelings – part of empathic understanding is the therapists ability to reflect the experiencing of clients. Therapist encourages and enables clients to become more reflective themselves. Therapist empathy results in client self-understanding and clarification of their beliefs and worldviews.

Way for therapists to hear the meanings expressed by their clients that often lie at the edge of their awareness, understands the meaning and feeling of a client experiencing. Empathy is the most powerful determinant of client progress in therapy when it is interpersonal, cognitive, and affective

Empathy helps clients: pay attention and value their experiencing, 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


Define a “non-directive approach“ to counseling. Identify the potential limitations of this approach and the implications for counselling diverse populations

It is a reaction against the directive and traditional psychoanalytic approach is to individual therapy. Emphasizes the counsellors creation of a permissive nondirective climate and challenges the basic assumption that the counsellor knows best. Challenges validity of commonly accepted therapeutic procedures such as advice, suggestions, direction, persuasion, teaching, diagnosis, and interpretation. Diagnostic concepts and procedures are seen as in accurate, prejudicial, and often misused.
Nondirective counsellors avoided sharing a great deal about themselves with clients and instead focussed mainly on reflecting and clarifying the clients verbal and nonverbal communications with the aim of gaining insight into the feelings expressed by clients. Client is the authority of change and counsellors create a climate to provide growth.

The emphasis on the core conditions makes the person-centered approach useful in understanding diverse world views because therapy is grounded on the importance of hearing the deeper messages of a client. Empathy, being present, and respecting the values of clients are essential attitudes and skills in counselling culturally diverse clients.

Limitations: many clients who seek counselling want more structure than is provided by this approach. Some clients seek professional help to deal with a crisis, to alleviate psychosomatic symptoms, or to learn coping skills in dealing with every day problems. They expect a directive counsellor and can be put off by one who does not provide sufficient structure.
It is difficult to translate the court conditions into actual practice in certain cultures. For example, clients accustomed to indirect Communication may not be comfortable with Direct expression of empathy or self disclosure on the therapists part.
Thirdly, the approach extols the value of an internal locus of evaluation, but some ethnic groups value collectivism more than individualism. In these cultures, clients are likely to be highly influenced by societal expectations and not simply motivated by their own personal preference since it is often viewed as being selfish to think about personal growth than concern with the group.


How has person-centered therapy contributed to the practice of psychotherapy generally?

Substantial research evidence supports the effectiveness of the client-centered approach. Rogers provided a powerful and radical alternative to psychoanalysis and to the directive approaches that were practiced. Shifted therapeutic focus from an emphasis on technique and reliance on therapist authority to that of relationship. Notions regarding empathy, and egalitarianism, the primacy of the therapeutic relationship, and the value of research are commonly accepted by many practitioners and have been incorporated into other theoretical orientations

Emphasis on research: an essential contribution to the field of psychotherapy was Rogers willingness to state his concepts as testable hypotheses and submit them to research – presented a challenge to psychology to design new models of scientific investigation capable of dealing with the inner, subjective experiences of the person

The importance of empathy: demonstrated that therapist empathy plays a vital role in facilitating constructive change in the client and supported by research. Most other counselling approaches have incorporated the importance of the therapists attitude and behaviour in creating a therapeutic relationship that is conducive to the use of their techniques.

Innovations: the development of innovative and sophisticated methods to work with an increasingly difficult, diverse, and complex range of individuals, couples, families, and groups.


Rogers asserted that certain therapeutic conditions are necessary and sufficient for therapy to change. Identify these core conditions and explain how they facilitate client growth. What would a cognitive-behavioral therapist say about the necessity and sufficiency of these conditions?

Congruence – genuineness or realness

Unconditional positive regard – acceptance and caring

Accurate empathic understanding – an ability to deeply grasp the subjective world of another person

These conditions create a growth-promoting climate in which individuals can move forward and become what they are capable of becoming. Helps clients become less defensive and more open to themselves and their world

While cognitive-behavioral therapists value the importance of the therapeutic relationship as an instrument of change, they would not see this relationship as necessary and sufficient for change. They would see changes in the clients thoughts and behaviours as the more important ingredients for change.