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Person-Centered Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

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Person-Centered Therapy

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  1. Person-Centered Therapy

  2. P-C Therapy Challenges… • Directive & Psychoanalytic Approaches • An approach of offering advice, suggestion, diagnosis, and interpretation • A belief that clients need direct help in order to resolve their own problems • A focus on problems instead of persons

  3. P-C Therapy Emphasizes… • Therapy is shared by C. and T. • The client’s striving for self-actualization & capacity for growth • The therapist’s personal characteristics • The counselor’s creation of a “growth promoting” climate • The quality of the therapeutic relationship

  4. Views of Human Nature • Striving toward becoming fully functioning • Having the inner resources • Having self-healing capacities • Being a primary change agent • Actualizing self-potential

  5. Core concepts • Empathy • Accurate understanding • Congruence/genuineness • Therapist is his actual self in his encounter with his client • Unconditional positive regard • Warmth, acceptance, nonjudgmental attitude

  6. Therapeutic Goals • Goals are from the client, not the therapist • an openness to experience • A trust in themselves • Acceptance of others • Being less concerned about pleasing others • Becoming a fully functioning person

  7. Therapist’s function • to be present and accessible to clients • to focus on immediate experience • to be real in the relationship with clients • Through the therapist’s genuine caring, respect, acceptance, and understanding, change becomes possible for clients

  8. Therapist’s Role • Believe in the inner resources of the client (not in techniques) facilitating personal change • Use of self • Express feelings at the moment with the client • Value the quality of the therapeutic relationship • Is genuine, integrated, and authentic • Serve as a model of a human being’s struggling

  9. Client’s Experience in Therapy • Incongruence • discrepancy between self-perception and experience in realityanxietymotivation to help • As clients feel understood and accepted • Less defensiveness • more open to their experiences • Therapeutic relationship activate clients’ self-healing capacities

  10. Relationship Between T and C • Emphasizes the attitudes and personal characteristics of the therapist and the quality of therapeutic relationship. • Therapist listening in an accepting way to their clients, they learn how to listen acceptingly to themselves.

  11. Relationship Between T and C • Congruence • genuineness or realness • Unconditional positive regards • acceptance and caring, but not approval of all behavior • Accurate empathic understanding • an ability to deeply grasp the client’s subjective world

  12. Therapeutic techniques & procedures • No techniques • Not simply to restate what the client just said or the technique of reflection of feelings • The therapeutic relationship is a key factor for growth • Therapist’s presence • being completely engaged in the relationship with clients. • The best source of knowledge about the client is the client

  13. Two Types of Research on P-C • A. The importance of the Core Conditions (Genuineness, acceptance, and empathy) for Change • 1. Barkhan & Shapiro (1986) • 2. Bachelor (1988): four different client perceptions of empathy • Cognitive, affective, sharing, nurturant empathy • 3. Client Evaluation of Counselor Scale (Hamilton, 2000): an instrument for clients’ perception of core conditions

  14. Two Types of Research on P-C • B. Comparing the effectiveness of Person-Center Therapy with other theories • 1. 1960-1970: most P-C research in US; most recent research on P-C in Belgium and Germany • 2. P-C Therapy is effective (Greenberg, Elliott, & Litaer, 1994) • 3. But, CBT is more effective than P-C therapy for adults • 4. Relaxation is more effective than P-C for anxiety • ***Who benefits best from which types of therapy***

  15. From a multicultural perspective • Contributions • reached more than 30 counties and translated to 12 languages • Similarity b/w P-C and Eastern thoughts • Limitations • Some may like structure, coping skills, directedness • Some may focus on family or societal expectations instead of internal evaluation • May be unfamiliar with people in different cultures

  16. Summary and Evaluation • Contributions • Active role of responsibility of client • Inner and subjective experience • Relationship-centered • Focus on therapist’s attitudes • Focus on empathy, being present, and respecting the clients’ values • Value multicultural context

  17. Summary and Evaluation • Limitations • Discount the significance of the past • Misunderstanding the basic concept: e.g., reflection feelings.