THERAPEUTIC APPROACH 6
Person-centered therapy is an approach that allows the client todrive the conversation. In other words, the therapist does not directthe client on what to say or what the solution to his or her problem.The therapist is required to be genuine and to be accommodatingthrough listening to the client without interfering with the process.This form of therapy demands that the therapist shows empathy withthe customer regarding his or her situation or problem. The treatmentallows the clients to realize their self-worth and to know how theirattitudes, behaviors, and feelings are being negatively affected bytheir condition (Cain, 2010). It is essential for the therapist tocreate an environment that is free and comfortable for the client toexpress his or her feelings. This has been referred to as theunconditional positive regard. This means that the therapist mustaccept and appreciate the customer regardless of who he is or what heis going through.
The choice for this approach was informed by the benefits and theadvantages that it has over the other methods. This approach totherapy ensures that the clients think about their problems at thatparticular moment with little guidance from the counselor.Additionally, the client is helped to attain self-awareness and todevelop his or her solutions to the problem. Research has indicatedthat solutions that tend to emanate from the clients last longer thanthe ones guided by the counselor (Wexler & Rice, 2011). Lastly,the choice of this approach was informed by the fact that it valuesthe client. It is evident that person-centered approach to therapyprovides the client with ample time to express and to explore his orher problem, as well as develop a solution.
The person-centered therapy was developed by humanistic psychologistRogers between 1940s and 1950s. Rogers believed that people have thatintrinsic desire to have the best out of themselves. It is essentialto state that the approach was initially called the non-directivetherapy, but it was later changed to client-centered therapy. The useof the word client, as opposed to patient, was by design since Rogersbelieved that a patient implies that someone is sick and is seekingthe help of a therapist. According to Rogers, the therapist shouldbe an equal partner in a counseling session. In other words, thetherapist should not offer guidance, direction or suggestions to theclient, but should only listen and provide subtle guidance to thecustomer. Rogers focused on three critical elements for the successof this approach. According to him, the therapist must provideunconditional positive regard, be genuine and emphatic about thesituation that the client is going through (Levant & Shlien,2012). The application of these three elements of the approach hasproven to be successful in the numerous years that the approach hasbeen in practice. Whereas the three aspects may seem sufficient toenable a long-lasting solution, critics have asserted that the methodcan only treat a few conditions such as anxiety and depression. Theperson-centered therapy has not been effective in situations wherecomplex cases with severe symptoms are involved.
The technique for using this approach is ensuring that the therapistdoes not direct the client. The therapist’s role is to listen andto offer little guidance towards the realization of the client’sself-worth and developing a solution. The counselor must realize thathe should not dominate the counseling session and that he is an equalpartner in the course. It is vital to create an enabling environmentthat offers the client comfort and the freedom to express himself(Levant & Shlien, 2012). This approach has the advantage ofhaving a short time frame. Research has indicated that the customeris in a position to develop a solution to his problem within the samecounseling session. It is imperative for the therapist to understandthe origin of the disorder for the client. However, the therapistmust avoid numerous questions but should offer tips on generating thesource of the disease for the customer. Knowing the origin of thedisorder will provide the counselor with vital data and informationthat form his basis of offering little guidance towards therealization of the solution.
Mental illnesses that can be treated through client-centeredtherapy
There are a few mental illnesses that this kind of treatment cantreat. However, the main ones that the client-centered therapy cantreat are depression and anxiety, as well as stress. These are commonmental problems that counselors face on a daily basis, and they havesingled out CCT as the best approach (Levant & Shlien, 2012). Theapproach is, however, ineffective for disorders with severe andcomplicated symptoms.
Things to consider in treatment
In treatment, there are a few aspects that must be consideredfor effective treatment. It is essential to consider the age and thegender of the client before embarking on treatment. The therapistmust also take into account the personality of the client to guidehim or her appropriately. It is worth noting that some patients areunaware of their potential and others are extremely emotional, and itis the role and the duty of the counselor to know the personality ofhis client (Levant & Shlien, 2012). Additionally, it is importantto know the origin of the disorder that the patient is suffering asthis will help in developing the effective treatment. Subsequently,it is important to know whether the patient is under any other formof medication as this may affect the effectiveness of the medicationprovided. It is the duty of the therapists to understand the effectsof their treatment in light of the ongoing medication that the clientmight be going through. When offering treatment to a client, it isimportant to consider the aspect of the severity of the symptoms.Patients with severe symptoms should be offered specialized treatmentas opposed to patients with mild symptoms.
The person-centered approach is one of the best therapeuticstrategies that was developed by Rogers over 70 years ago. Rogersbelieved in the self-awareness and self-worth of the clients. Thisapproach accords immense value to the customer and does not advocatefor the interruption or direct guidance by the therapist (Cain,2010). This method has numerous advantages over the rest of theplans, and it ensures that the client is valued and is given theopportunity to develop his or her solution. While using thisapproach, it is paramount to have the client’s history and theorigin of the disorder.
In conclusion, it is abundantly clear that this approach hasbeen used and tested over the years by numerous therapists who haveused it to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety. Themethod requires both the counselor and the client to be equalpartners and to respect each other (Raskin, 2014). This form oftherapy requires that the therapist shows empathy with the client andprovide an enabling environment where the client can express hisfeelings and develop a solution for the disorder.
Cain, D. J. (2010). Person-centered psychotherapies.Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Levant, R. F., & Shlien, J. M. (2012). Client-centeredtherapy and the person-centered approach: Newdirections in theory, research, and practice. Westport, CT:Praeger.
Raskin, N. J. (2014). Contributions to client-centeredtherapy and the person-centered approach. Ross-on-Wye: PCCSBooks.
Wexler, D. A., & Rice, L. N. (2011). Innovations inclient-centered therapy. New York: Wiley.