Person-centered therapy and counselling. An approach developed by Carl Ransom Rogers has been historically described as a non-directive approach to therapy and has evolved into what we now know as client-centered therapy. (Baruth & Huber, 1985) The theory itself can be considered as one that goes further than the counselling situation or counselling process. It emphasises the notion that it is solely the client whom can identify the problem and begin to approach it In a solvable manner to reach therapeutic saturation.(Corey,2017)
Human motivation as well as human development within the person-centered therapeutic approach. Person-centered therapy described motivation behind behaviour of individuals as habitually developing to become positively fully potential constructs. Individuals innately aim to achieve the maximum level of achievement of actualization, which Carl Rogers describes as “maximizing the organism” meanwhile attempting to avoid any experience which may be potentially hazardous or detrimental to the individual. (Dryden & Reeves,2014)
This approach describes the helper as seeing destructive behaviour or aggression as non-directive but rather as a means for growth in which the client asserts the acquisition of something as an enhancement towards their very existence.
This approach being mainly encompassed by the centeredness of the client takes many aspects into account, to be discussed In this work of writing are the following: the actualizing tendency ,the self, experience, the need for positive regard and self -regard, organismic valuing processes and conditions of worth as components encompassing the person-centered therapeutic approach (Nelson-jones & Nelson-jones, 2001)
Firstly, the actualizing tendency can be described as a primary process for humans in which they develop in ways that enable them to enhance themselves. It is a process involving not only psychological growth but also growth that is considered as biological. This growth can be seen as autonomous and results in the regulation of the existence of the individual internally and drives the individual to higher complexity levels. (Nelson-Jones,2006)
Secondly, the self , an important component encompassing the person-centered approach, sees individuals as constantly encountering experiences in the world as a means of growing . The experiences seen as having been experienced by the individual recognizes the self as “me” ,taking values into account that are linked to the compositions of the individual’s self-concept.
In this regard Rogers sees experience as being inconsistent with the self-concept as resulting In a difficulty in enabling ourselves to then perceive this.
Thirdly ,experience as one of the components as a beweavent of the person-centered therapeutic approach, can be understood as a term used in to ways. One way in which it can be understood is in regarding occurrences the individual encounters at a said moment , where emotions can be either distorted by social rules and norms or be suppressed by the individual or even denied. (Noble ; Day,2015) Carl Rogers saw this as a process which occurs unconsciously and considered them to be experiential definitions that cannot be objectively studied but rather confined to the way in which individuals internalize events.
Psychologically the term “experiences”, describes a process of internalizing occurrences, so to understand the term physiologically, we look at sensory occurrences occurring at a given moment . In both cases however, the extent to which individual’s perceived experiences determine their functioning with minimal or non-distortion whatsoever is determined by the contribution to an organism’s well-being of accurately having had discriminated between experiences as well as events in order to promote growth rather than to cause harm. (Purton,2004)
The fourth component of the person-centered therapeutic approach as a central construct can be defined as the need for positive regard and self-regard which briefly describes a situation whereby individuals posses the innate need for positive regard , in which we can reduce that it is an extension from the system of the self.(Rogers, 1942) Basically, as human being, individuals give value and importance to the idea of love and affection of other individuals and possessing the innate need to value ourselves positively.
According to the works of Carl Rogers, there exists an uncertainty as to whether the need for regard is actually behaviour that results from learning or conditioning but there exists the notion that through having had experienced positive regard from other individuals and the surrounding environment we in turn establish it’s importance and learn it through such occurrences. This then brings about the ideas of what we understand self-regard. (Rogers,1942)
Organismic valuing processes, another encompassing component within the central constructs of the person-centered approach. It can be thought if as seeing individuals as participating in continuous experiences of evaluative processes and hence individuals can be seen as regarding one event to the other in order to pinpoint if whether or not the particular events is a contributing factor to distracting the individual or rather to promote growth.
As a basis for this is the self-actualizing tendency mentioned earlier within this piece of writing and encompasses experiences producing growth and shifting from those that interfere with it.
Lastly , an important component of the abovementioned theory ,the conditions of worth as a component to the central constructs of the person-centered therapeutic approach. Related to the need and stand point of positive regard, it is seen as a situation in which an individual positively perceives somewhat evaluated aspects as to ignite a condition of worth. These are initially external as they result from other individuals and are reinforced by individuals and are eventually internalized as the parts of one’s self. (Tuder,2006)
With regards to the situation of Nokwazi, when viewing the organismic valuing proceed, it can be deduced that Nokwazi does view one experience the next , but in doing so she places much focus on the negative experiences which has come to make her feel that the negative experiences that she is encountering are somewhat snowballing. This can be supported by the idea that when she joined the training programme to become a train control officer, Nokwazi felt that she was confined to a restrictive structure, stemming from her experiences of not having been able to gain tertiary education dud to the fact that her mother whom is a single parent was unable to afford her this experience.
The result of Nokwazi feeling somewhat trapped in her occupation resulted in her experiencing feelings of depression as well as anxiety in which she used alcohol as a coping mechanism for this.
From the perspective of the need for positive regard and self regard m we can assume that Nokwazi experienced difficulty in gaining acceptance. This can be supported by the ideas based on the case study that Nokwazi’s mother insisted that she help out around the house instead of playing sport which she then used as a form of coping.
Considering that Nokwazi was an only child, whom was faced with the divorce of her parents and her father moving out of the house after divorce , a sense of self worth can get lost In the difficulties of dealing with divorce and overcoming the effects thereof, especially having been the only child gaining acceptance and affection in evidence from both parents to only being able to gain such from one parent at the age of five and growing up to this environment.
Human development as a theory of the development of the individual as well as the person. The person-centered approach describes human behaviour as being motivated by the tendency and the potential to grow usually in order for an individual to reach a constructive full potential of one’s self. (Baruth ; Huber,1985)
It takes in this regard infantile development and suggests that on the basis of the process of organismic evaluation our motivation stems from the actualizing tendencies. This is followed by allowing experiences to come to define us in order to get an idea of our full potential as well as what it requires to reach it and to develop a sense of self worth which leads the development of a more defined self-concept seen as finite and makes way for the establishment of positive regard where positive self-regard emerges.
As this becomes more and more apparent behaviours become considered as being more positive and are thus more valued as opposed to initially. This results in an internalized evaluation of the conditions of worth in which the experiences of the self become consistent with the changing self and deny whatever or avoid whatever is inconsistent. (Nelson-jones,2001)
The aspects of health and dysfunction within the person-centered therapeutic approach The health and dysfunction aspects of the person-centered approach encompasses the ideas underlying congruence, emphatic understanding and unconditional positive regard which are the core components of the person-centered therapeutic approach.
With regards to the health aspect of this approach, the aim is to have the outcome of a client that is said to be congruent. This implies that the person experiencing this therapeutic process discovers a situation whereby their experiences are consistent with the perception that they have of the self. (Nelson-jones ; nelson-jones, 2001) This aspect does not take highly into consideration the notion of the conditions of worth but does however, enable the client to trust that the self they have come to know and develop is good for them and is derived from the basic construct of the organismic valuing process.
In developing a self concept that is positive as well as the aspect of unconditional positive regard, the achievement of self -actualization is seen as moving naturally towards the involved client’s experiences. All of these aspects then can help direct the counselling process into a saturated notion whereby the individual involved can be able to take risks within their lives as well as to gain creativity in it’s aspects. (Waughfield ; Burckhalter,202)
From a dysfunction prospects towards the person-centered therapeutic approach ,the aim is to have the client become exposed to a situation whereby the self-concept that is actually conditional and protective in it’s aspects can be overcome through the individual becoming rigid. When describing the client as being inconsistent, we assume that this occurs with the real self where the development of the self-concept occurs and the real self’s voice is then silenced.
An integrative experience however ,can be in challenge in that the individual is unable to achieve integrating the difficulties of gaining self-worth that are experienced this is the result of experiences being felt that interfere with the probability of achieving a clear sense of not only self positive regard but also achieving positive regard from others. Although the individual can be described as having lost the connection with the real self, the position directed towards others acceptance an result in the individual’s behaviour being motivated by this. (Waughfield & Burkhalter,2002) Tendencies to become self-actualized and to experience basic actualization can be seen as becoming in conflict with another in dysfunction, this is to the evaluation of experiences by the individual being in accordance with both the organismic valuing process as well as the individual’s conditions of worth.
The therapeutic goals of the person-centered approach as well as the techniques of this approach. Aiming towards a situation whereby the client involved in therapy achieves a greater sense of integration as well as independence ,placing a large amount of focus on the client presenting their problem is one major focus of this approach.(Rogers,1942)
It is seem as having the goal of creating a condition which in the individual becomes conduced to the idea of helping themselves.(Rogers, 1942) Rogers in describing the ideas of this approach has emphasised that in becoming increasingly actualized and an openness towards experience must exist where the client is able to have trust within themselves with an evaluation that is sourced internally as well as a willingness to develop and grow that is basic. (Rogers,1942)
The goal of therapy within this approach include, mainly, creating a situation in which people are able to be helped in achieving a self-actualized individual who has management of their lives as well as to empower a sense of change within the individual. It not only creates a sense of the client’s feelings as well as behaviours being congruent but it also promotes self-esteem as well as the awareness of the self. This allows for the client’s trust to be facilitated and to allow fin the present moment for ability to be achieved and saturated. This can then result in a client that does not feel like there is judgement coming from the counsellor and enables the client to engage in a process that is honest. (Noble ; Day,2015)
Many techniques within the person-centered therapeutic approach, can be employed in treating situations like that which Nokwazi is experiencing. It differs much from the other approaches in that this approach is more client based and places much emphasis on he experiences of the client. (Purton, 2004) The awareness of the client of such can have on influence not the amount of trust that client can and will develop and create a sense of openness that can exist within the therapeutic process.
A major role in the technique processes of the client-centered therapeutic approach is the role of the therapist. (Waughfield ; Burckhalter, 2002) The therapist in this aspect must be fully aware of his/her bodily language and pay close attention to what he/she is saying so as to as to encompass the idea of them chin that moment as being present and fully attentive. The therapist, should confusion arise and become a disrupting factor within the therapeutic process, should be able to address this with the client in a clear and open manner . (Dryden ; Reeves, 2014) This ensures that a sense of trust exists in continuation and that the client is put and ease with this being maintained throughout the therapeutic process. (Waughfield ;Burckhalter, 2002)
Other techniques that can be made use of in the client-centered therapeutic approach include the process of the counsellor being able to reflect upon the feelings of the client, for example, “I get that you are feeling constricted within a snowballing and constructive structure” in this case of Nokwazi, Nokwazi would then respond either in agreement or disagreement and elaborate on these ideas therefore making way for the counsellor to progress with counselling process to perhaps reach some degree of therapeutic saturation that will positively effect Nokwazi’s sense of self worthiness and upgrade her self-esteem, another technique would be to ask open-source ended questions ,this describes the counsellor asking questions such as “And how did that make you feel?” in order to direct the client in identifying how the problems they are experiencing makes them feel ,one having been identified this makes way for the client to make conclusions on the way forward that are clear and concise , in the case of Nokwazi, the counsellor can ask Nokwazi for example, how being suspended made her feel perhaps somewhere in between the entirety of this experience she came across moments where she had been tempted to use alcohol in much higher use than she had been before, also the counsellor so can ask Nokwazi for example, that yes, she had indeed been sober for about 55 days before coming to seek help so finding out how that experience has been for Nokwazi as well as what no feelings she has experienced may be a good approach to initiating the therapeutic process in an effective manner and to pinpoint a finite way to move forward. (Tudor, 2006)
Another technique that is widely used within the person-centered therapeutic approach is the act of paraphrasing, this describes the counsellor repeating what the client has just said in order to give the client a sense that the counsellor understands what the client is saying as well as to enable the client to elaborate if necessary and to provide clarity to the counsellor. In Nokwazi’s case perhaps upon seeing the counsellor, we can assume since she had been experiencing anxiety as well as stress that within the counselling process , she may having said something in the line of “I have been feeling somewhat anxious and also depressed for quite some time, this all started when my parents divorced when I was 5 years old but I was able to cope with this by taking part in sports whilst in school but somehow my mother constantly insisted that I help out around the house, but now I can see that my feelings of anxiousness and depression can be the result of maybe being suspended at my job as a train control officer due to the fact that I tested positive for alcohol testing and perhaps I feel guilty because as much as I felt restricted within this job I was using it as a way gain knowledge as well as to save so I could eventually take myself to tertiary because my mother couldn’t afford it” then the counsellor would say something in response sounding much like “so I understand that the feelings of depression as well as anxiety that you have been experiencing have come to a point where they are impacting your life everyday” ,where naturally the client, whom is Nokwazi In this case would agree or disagree and elaborate further upon this. (Corey,2017)
Lastly another technique used within the person-centered therapeutic approach by the counsellor is the act of encouraging, this can be described as the situation whereby the counsellor gives the client the impression that are listening and uses that as mechanism to encourage the client to think for themselves , the way forward as to not only identify their problems but also to find a solution towards their problems as to how they can approach them and overcome them, so perhaps in this situation of Nokwazi, as the client she would say something such as “it makes me feel helpless, and at times, I do not know what to do” and the so the counsellor would respond with something In the line of “uh huh” In order to ignite a process or rather even a train of thought within the client as a means to institute understanding regarding how they will approach their problem.(Baruth ; Huber,1985)
To employ such techniques in an effective manner , in order to bring about a sense of change towards Nokwazi, the application usually encompasses working with the client involved, as well as their families or social groups. This approach is an effective approach in treating situations as well as problems experienced due to factors such as alcoholism, depression, anxiety disorders and lastly interpersonal difficulties (Rogers,1942) which are all experienced by Nokwazi at different levels , with different degrees of effects and at different times , which has resulted I her actually having come and seek help. (Corey,2017)
Reasons why the selected approached employed by the writer in this piece of writing, is appropriate for Nokwazi and will be effective in treating as well as in counselling her taking her socio-cultural contact into consideration. Upon researching the client-centered approach, this writer found that despite that being much relevant literature as well as research to review based on this theory, majority thereof suggest that client’s whole were exposed to higher levels of warmth, emphatic understanding as well as genuineness conventionally understood as congruence, were generally seen as having spent less time in the helping process that client’s or individuals whom received a somewhat level of the core conditions.(Rogers, 1942)
Therapy in this regard was seen to be helpful in reducing distress experienced psychologically as well as hassles that are family related within the person-centered therapeutic approach than any other referral deriving from agencies from the outside. (Waughfield ; Burckhalter, 2002)
Particularly, somewhat helpful, the person-centered therapeutic approach is able to help client that are seen as being higher in reference such as Nokwazi whom constantly reacted to the negative situations that were taking place in her life and made that the focal points instead of being resistant which is a key component in dealing with problems within the person-centered therapeutic approach, which sees a reference as a higher level of dominance whilst seeing the measurement of submission as low.
The strengths of this approach include, the ideas that ,the multiple aspects which are included in it are relevant to the perspectives of multiculturalism, secondly this approach offers an updated perspective as well as optimism. Client encountering the person-centered therapeutic approach learn to four on themselves as well as their problems. In these experiences client also feel that they are able to express themselves to a much higher degree when they feel as if they are not being judged and that they are being listens to.(waughfield ; Burckhalter, 2002)
The weaknesses of the person-centered therapeutic approach include the notion that, firstly, it is not really appropriate for clients whom are unfortunately not motivated to change. Also the theory can be considered somewhat unrealistic In optimism a well as for it being seen as being simplistic.(Corey, 2017)
The person-centered therapeutic approach describes individuals as being integrative in positive self-regard seen as a confidence in attitude. It stems from the reception of positive regard which brings about feelings if caring and affection from other individuals. When it received this can result in anxiety or depression and in some cases both.
In order to help individuals that experience low levels if self-regard, the core conditions Whalen implemented in therapy can bring a about to a change that is positive.