Client Centered Therapy
Client centered therapy also known as person centered therapy is a non-directive form of talk therapy. Client centered therapy is the approach developed by Carl Rogers. This technique relies on the therapist using three key characteristics: genuineness, unconditional positive regard and empathetic understanding. According to Rogers, by creating a safe environment using these three factors, clients feel free to express themselves without fear of judgment or rejection.
a. Basic Concepts
* The Person: The foundation as grounded in active, self-regulating organisms.
1. Actualizing tendency ??“ An innate human predisposition toward growth and fulfilling one??™s potential.
2. Formative tendency ??“ An overall inclination toward greater order, complexity, and interrelatedness common to all nature, including human beings.
* The Therapist- trusts the person??™s inner resources for growth and self-realization regardless of client??™s environment and or impairments. Provide a judgment free environment for the client with unconditional positive regard. Refrains from giving advice.( Non directive role)
* The Relationship has a climate of acceptance and understanding which creates safety and freedom for the client and therapist. The therapy is controlled by the client meaning the client is the narrator of meanings, goals and intentions.
* The Core Conditions
a. Congruence- the therapist is open and honest, always stating exactly what he/she means. This is evident in a genuine regard for the client rather than a stiff professional manner.
b. Unconditional positive regard ??“ accept the client for who they are. Showing complete acceptance and support of the client no matter what the client says or does.
c. Empathic understanding of the clients internal frame of reference ??“ therapist shows a genuine understanding and concern for the clients thoughts and feelings and accepts them without judgement.
2. Other Systems
Self actualization ??“ a basic human drive toward growth, completeness, and fulfillment.
a. Precursers initially called non directive therapy
c. Current Status
a. Theory Of Personality ??“ based on 19 basic prepositions
1) All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the center.
2) The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual
3) The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field
4) A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
5) As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organised, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts.
6) The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
7) The best vantage point for understanding behaviour is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
8) Behavior is basically the goal directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
9) Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism.
10) Values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values interjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly.
11) As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self-structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self.
12) Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
13) In some instances, behavior may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behavior may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behavior is not “owned” by the individual.
14) Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self.
15) Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self-structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
16) Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self-structure is organized to maintain itself.
17) Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self-structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self-revised to assimilate and include such experiences.
18) When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all his sensory and visceral experiences, then he is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals.
19) As the individual perceives and accepts into his self-structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolized – with a continuing organismic valuing process.
b. Variety of Concepts
* Experience ??“Sensing or awareness of self and the world whether narrowly and rigidly or openly and flexibly. Experience is unique for each person.
* Reality- an individual??™s private world but more generally a group of perceptions or facts with substantial consensus about their meaning.
* The organism??™s Reacting as an Organized Whole
* The Organisms Actualizing Tendency
* The Internal Flame Reference ??“ A view or perception of both the world and self as seen by the individual, as distinguished from the viewpoint of an observer psychotherapist, or other person.
* The Self, Concept of Self, and Self- Structure ??“ One??™s own definition of who one is: including one??™s attributes, emotions, abilities, character faults, and so on.
* Symbolization ??“ A process of allowing a life event or experience into one??™s consciousness or awareness and interpreting it in terms of the self-concept it may be straightforward, distorted, or prohibited altogether.
* Psychological Adjustment and Maladjustment-The “maladjusted person” is the polar opposite of the fully functioning individual. The maladjusted individual is defensive, maintains rather than enhances his/her life, lives according to a preconceived plan, feels manipulated rather than free, and is common and conforming rather than creative (Maddi, 1996). The fully functioning person, in contrast, is completely defense-free, open to experience, creative and able to live “the good life”.
* Organismic Valuing Process-Making individual judgments or assessments of the desirability of an action or choice on the basis of ones own sensory evidence and life experience.
* The Fully Functioning Person – The fully functioning person, in contrast, is completely defense-free, open to experience, creative and able to live “the good life”.
* Empathic ??“ convey an appreciation and understanding of the clients point of view
* Unconditional positive Regard ??“ accept the client without judgment
* Congruence- openness to the client
* Relationship Therapeutic Conditions ??“ increase Self Esteem and expand openness to life experiences
c. Process of Psychotherapy
d. Mechanisms of Psychotherapy
6. Applications ??“ Rogers originally developed the person centered therapy in a children clinic while he was working there; however person-centered therapy was not intended for a specific age group or subpopulation but has been used to treat a broad range of people. Rogers worked extensively with people with schizophrenia later ih his career. His therapy has also been applied to persons suffering from depression, anxiety, alcohol disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and personality disorders. Some therapists argue that person centered therapy is not effective with non-verbal or poorly educated individuals: others maintain that it can be successfully adapted to any type of person. The person centered approach can be used in individual, group or family therapy. With young children, it is often employed as play therapy.
Who can we help
* Play Therapy
* Client Centered Group Process
* Classroom Teaching
* The Intensive Group
* Peace and Conflict Resolution
* Common Factors
* Evidence for Core Conditions??™
* Evidence for the Self ??“ Determining Client
* Empirically Support Treatments
8. Mental Health
???Patient??? versus ???client???. Rogers obviously rejected the authoritarian relationship being espoused in the traditional therapy set up. He proposed to refer to the ???patient??? as ???client???. In doing so, he pushed the idea that that the therapist and the client should be viewed as equals in client centered therapy. He believed that the therapist is there to give the client some insights. However, he emphasized that the client is responsible in determining the therapy??™s general direction
Training??? versus ???attitude???. Rogers claimed that the success of a client centered therapy wasn??™t entirely dependent on the therapist??™s training or skill. He underscored that the therapist??™s attitude was more critical in the process. He focused on three attitudes, namely: empathy, congruence, and non-conditional positive regard. He likewise expounded on the interrelationships of those attitudes. He maintained that a therapist should value a client??™s viewpoint. He should also maintain an open mind and avoid being judgmental.
???Goals???. Rogers identified the chief goals of a client centered therapy. He explained the value of a therapist aiming to increase a client??™s self-esteem. He even stressed the significance of a therapist planning to lead a client to be more open to experience. He argued that when the goals are met, the therapist could expect the client to be more understanding and less defensive. The client could also get rid of insecurity and feeling of guilt.
Client centered therapy is one of the three main therapeutic approaches in the world today, along with cognitive-behavioral and psychoanalytic therapy. Its intention to create a supportive environment has inevitably influenced a number of schools of thought. Indeed, Rogers has introduced concepts and methodologies that benefited various types of therapists worldwide.