Understanding counselling theory

8 August 2016

In this assignment, I will be explaining in more detail; the person centred model of counselling, used primarily during this Level 3 course. The concepts and principles of the model and who was responsible for them. I will be seeking the value of the person-centred model and pitting it alongside its counterparts. I shall discussing two other models, their key features and uses and compare and contrast with the person-centred model of counselling. In doing so, this will raise my knowledge and awareness, of the person-centred model and other models used within counselling. I feel it is important, to have a solid theory foundation of all the counselling models, methods or techniques and the reasons a chosen model, would inform the practice of a qualified counsellor, before attempting to use them. I hope to discover the value, similarities and differences of these models in more depth and where they can be effective in the counselling environment. Origins of Person-centred Counselling. The beginnings of person-centred approaches can be attributed to the work of an American psychologist Carl Rogers (1902-1987) and the how he developed what he termed as client centred therapy.

His ideas and those of like-minded others were developed in America and then moved across to the UK. One of these like-minded individuals was Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) also an American psychologist influential in what was known as Third Force psychology. This was a movement that attempted to foster a humanistic approach to psychology, focusing on happiness and well-being. Maslow began as a behaviourist and his main contribution is the hierarchy of needs, a theory of needs that govern the human behaviour.

Understanding counselling theory Essay Example

These psychologists sought to move away from scientific and psychoanalysis approaches; of Freud (1856-1939) an Austrian Jewish doctor, who formulated theory of personality and psychological function, relating it to sexual repression in early childhood and his colleague Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). Rogers believed that if a client was fully listened to and heard by the therapist, that they had the resources within themselves to find their own solutions to their problems. Rather than being psychoanalysed and treated, as was the prevailing theory of Freud and his counterparts.

Key concepts and principles of person-centred counselling. The key concepts of the person-centred model are:- The organismic or core self, an innate sense of self that we are born with and is authentically and genuinely us. Conditions of worth, these are the conditions placed on us as children, that influence our beliefs. If we do as is expected of us we will be loved and accepted. Self concept, this is the sense of self that develops according to how we are treated by others. This can conflict with our organismic self, which may lead to issues of incongruence and anxiety.

Actualising tendency, is another key concept, it is the belief that all individuals have the resources, within themselves to grow given the right conditions. Such as Rogers comparison of the potato which he found in his cellar, in very poor conditions and yet it had still sprouted and strived, to find a way to reach the light. As would individuals who had faced adversities and negative situations would find their own unique way towards healing and growth. Locus of evaluation, the external locus of evaluation, is a reliance on externals for guidance and affirmation, characterised by ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ and difficulty making decisions.

The internal locus of evaluation, is the ability to trust our own self and own valuing system, less influenced by others opinions. The main principles of person centred model are the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. They are vital for building a safe therapeutic relationship, in which the client can explore fully. How does person-centred counselling, influence the understanding of the development of concept of self? Carl Rogers believed that; ‘clients become empowered to find their own solutions and their own unique, personally meaningful path through life.

’ One theory of his client centred psychotherapy was based on the idea that; ‘every person has within an acorn, able to grow into a certain kind of tree, a blueprint for a unique life’ Rogers worked with many others in developing the idea that clients could heal themselves, if only the therapist provided ‘facilitative’ or core conditions of, ‘empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. ’ Rogers used the symbolism of concept of self, being like a plant given water, soil, sun, and fertilizer.

In these optimum or ‘facilitative’ conditions the client concept of self can grow and unfold like the plant. The client would become empowered to undertake their own unique journey of self-awareness and discovery. While negative situations could stunt the person, like the potato left in his cellar, the person would always find a way, through the most challenging and arduous conditions, to reach toward the light. Person centred counselling, fosters a shared sense of humanity between counsellor and client.

It offers an arena of reflection and focusing, on innermost thoughts and feelings; that are rarely tapped into, in ordinary day to day circumstances. Using the simple empathic listening model, first developed by Carl Rogers; during the therapeutic process, the client will hopefully feel fully listened to, valued and respected. This humanistic approach will hopefully influence and promote a positive concept of self. How does person-centred approach inform counselling practice? The work of a person centred counsellor is non directive and non-advisory.

At the core of the approach is the theory and belief that instead of analysing, diagnosing and telling clients what to do, the counsellor instead reflects back to the client, what they have said and encourages them, to continue to look more deeply into their thoughts, feelings and answers. Clients then become empowered to find their own solutions and their own sense of self, meaningfulness and unique path through life. Rogers called this technique “reflective listening” or “empathic listening. ” This along with the other key concepts and core conditions, inform the qualified counsellor’s practice in several ways.

The core condition of empathy and empathetic listening; involves entering into the client’s world/frame of reference and experiences. This means the counsellor, has to depart from their own opinions and feelings, to a certain extent and see the world through their client’s eyes. The core condition of congruence relates to the counsellor’s openness. It informs the counselling relationship, as the counsellor’s integrity and transparency, is intrinsic to an effective working relationship with the client. Congruence from counsellor to client informs the relationship, as it enables perceptions of the client, to be offered supportively.

Unconditional positive regard shown by the counsellor towards their client can assist the therapeutic relationship to flourish. This is in essence the value and respect the counsellor conveys to their client. The client is able to feel safe and free from judgement. UPR is gifted to the client, regardless of their behaviour; they can feel at ease and the freedom to explore their innermost feelings. Key features and comparison of different models, with the person-centred model. Psychodynamic Therapy This model was developed due to the work of Sigmund Freud and many other models have developed from this approach.

It is felt today, that Freud’s approach, leads other practitioners or clients to be cautious of Psychodynamic Therapy. Made up of two Greek word Psyche- spirit or mind and Dynamic which meaning changing/alive. Key features of Psychodynamic therapy:- Freud believed the personality had three parts, which co-exist in each person. The ID this is present from birth and is instinctive, self –centred and primitive. It is seen as inherent in a person’s nature or make up. It holds all our basic impulses of sex and aggression and is governed by the pleasure principle and needs regulation.

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