Counseling Theory Assignment

Subject Name: Counseling Theory

We got:Some theory
person-centered theory and therapy (PCT).
existential theory and practice.
Gestalt theory and therapy.

I have attached all the materials we studied in this course

Based on what you have learned thus far in the course, please reflect on the following:

Please watch the following video: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Answer the following questions in a 3-5 page response:

  1. How would you characterize Gabriel’s natural therapy style?
  2. What strategies does he use to facilitate the therapeutic process
  3. Pick a 2 theorists discussed thus far, and compare and contrast Gabriel’s style to the theorist.  Please make sure you are showing a clear understanding of the theorist you are  comparing him too, and being clear in your understanding of the theory in practice
  4. Could Gabriel benefit from using any additional theories you have learned about thus far? If so, what and how?
  5. What did you think of Gabriel’s style? Did you like it? Why or why not?
  6. Based on the supplemental learning this week, any cultural issues you noticed?

    Person-Centered Theory and Therapy

    Chapter Five


      • This week we’re focusing on person-centered theory and therapy (PCT).


      • This approach was developed by Carl Rogers.


    • The approach is deeply optimistic and guided by principles of trusting clients and an actualizing or formative tendency.

    Biographical Information: Carl Rogers

    • Carl Rogers’s development as a person was characterized by the following (and more) events:
    • He rejected his parents’ conservative religious ideology.
    • He decided to marry his childhood sweetheart.
    • He decided to pursue graduate studies at the liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
    • He studied clinical psychology at Columbia University.

    Historical Context

    • Rogers adopted the following principles from Otto Rank:
    • Clients have creative powers.
    • Therapy should help clients accept their personal uniqueness and self-reliance.
    • The client is the central figure in the therapy process; the therapist only helps clients access their powers of self-creation.
    • Therapists shouldn’t seek to educate clients.
    • Therapists shouldn’t foster dependency with clients by becoming love objects.
    • Therapy works when clients are able to experience the present within the therapy setting (Raskin & Rogers, 1989).

    Historical Context II

    • Rogers was also influenced by:
    • Elizabeth Davis
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • John Dewey
    • His relationship with his wife
    • His clients

    Historical Context III

    • Honoring the Client
    • Rogers credited his clients as the greatest source of his development.
    • Natalie Rogers stated: “And so like Carl, I stayed open to learning from my clients. They are always our best teachers.” (J. Sommers-Flanagan, 2007, p. 122)

    Historical Context IV

    • Struggles with Psychiatry and Psychology
    • Rogers had a blistering battle with psychiatry to obtain for psychologists the right to practice psychotherapy.
    • Rogers also felt like a respected gadfly within the psychology discipline.

    Historical Context V

    • The Evolution of Person-Centered Therapy
    • Nondirective counseling
    • Cleint-centered therapy
    • Becoming a person
    • Worldwide issues

    Theoretical Principles

    • Theory of Personality
    • Self theory
    • Phenomenology and the valuing of experience
    • Learning and growth potential
    • Conditions of worth
    • In sum, it emphasizes several concepts. It is the theory of self, experience, striving for maintenance and enhancement of the self, and learned needs of positive regard.


    Theoretical Principles II

    • Theory of Psychopathology
    • Psychopathology can be a discrepancy between the real self and the ideal self.
    • It is also thought of as the failure to learn from experience.


    Theoretical Principles III

    • Theory of Psychotherapy
    • It is related to Rogers’s theory of personality. For constructive personality change, it is necessary for the following core conditions to exist:
    • Two persons are in psychological contact.
    • The client is in a state of incongruence.
    • The therapist is congruent or integrated in the relationship.
    • The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard.
    • The therapist experiences an empathic understanding.
    • Communication of unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding is at least minimally achieved.


    Theoretical Principles IV

    • Congruence
    • Authenticity or transparency
    • For example:

    “The more that I can be genuine in the relationship the more helpful it will be.” (Rogers, 1961, p. 33)


    • How would you describe congruence?


    Theoretical Principles V

    • Unconditional Positive Regard
    • Acceptance, respect, or prizing
    • Valuing a client as a separate person

    “I find that the more acceptance and liking I feel toward this individual, the more I will be creating a relationship which he can use.” (Rogers, 1961, p. 34)


    • How would you describe unconditional positive regard?



    Theoretical Principles VI

    • Accurate Empathy or Empathic Understanding
    • Noticing your clients’ feelings and feeling with them

    “The most powerful thing from the client’s point of view is to be deeply heard.” (Natalie Rogers from Carlson, 2000)


    • How would you describe accurate empathy?


    • The Magic of Person-Centered Listening

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients

    • Two Types of Person-Centered Therapists
    • Classical
    • This group continues to uphold the position that the six core conditions articulated by Rogers in 1957 are both necessary and sufficient.
    • Contemporary
    • This group believes in person-centered principles, but feels free to be more active and directive and to blend PCT with other approaches.


    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients II

    • Assessment Issues and Procedures
    • Classical person-centered therapists don’t employ standardized assessment or diagnostic procedures.
    • Contemporary person-centered approaches sometimes employ assessment procedures (e.g., emotion-focused therapy).

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients III

    • The Therapist’s Opening Statement
    • The main point is to convey to clients that they can take the lead in determining what to talk about.
    • Example: “Anything you’d like to tell me about yourself that will help me to know you better, I’d be very glad to hear.” (Rogers, 1963)

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients IV

    • Experiencing and Expressing Congruence
    • This can be tricky.
    • How do you think therapists should experience and express congruence?


    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients V

    • Experiencing and Expressing Unconditional Positive Regard
    • This is also tricky.
    • It involves accepting clients as they are and avoiding judgments.
    • Is this possible?
    • How do you think you could experience and express unconditional positive regard?

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients VI

    • Experiencing and Expressing Empathic Understanding
    • Entering and becoming at home in the client’s personal perceptual world.
    • Being sensitive from moment to moment with the client’s changing meanings and emotions.
    • Temporarily living, and moving about delicately, in the client’s life.
    • Sensing deep meanings, but not uncovering feelings that are too far out of awareness.

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients VII

    • PCT has been integrated with other therapies. These include:
    • Motivational interviewing
    • Emotion-focused therapy
    • Nondirective play therapy


    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients VIII

    Motivational Interviewing (MI): A Contemporary PCT Approach

    • MI builds on person-centered principles by adding more focused theraputic targets and specific client goals.
    • Moving Away from Confrontation and Education

    The Practice of PCT:
    A Way of Being With Clients IX

    • Focusing on Client Ambivalence (primary target of MI)
    • Use reflective listening
    • Notice and develop the theme of discrepancy
    • Resistance with reflection
    • Self-efficacy

    Cultural and Gender Considerations

      • Empowering of all persons, including women.


      • Designed to address the needs and interests of unique clients.


    • Too indirect for some cultures, but actually could be too direct (focusing on self and emotions) in other cases.

    Evidence-Based Status

    • Rogers was the first to record his sessions.
    • He conducted some ambitions outcomes research.
    • ‘‘The efficacy of client centered psychotherapy for the client rests on 50 years of outcome and process research’’ and ‘‘Few therapies have such a long, storied, and successful research base.’’ (Lambert & Erekson, 2008, p. 225)
    • Of all the factors that therapists bring to the therapeutic endeavor, client ratings of their therapist’s empathy are the strongest predictor of positive treatment outcomes (Bohart, Elliott, Greenberg, & Watson, 2002).

    Evidence-Based Status II

    • Recent research on the effectiveness of PCT has yielded small, but positive results.
    • PCT is consistently more effective than no treatment.
    • It is more effective than placebo treatment.
    • It is less effective than structured cognitive and behavioral treatments.

    Concluding Comments

    • It may be that at least in some cases, the person of the therapist and the attitudes the therapist holds are more important than specific problems or techniques.
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