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Person Centred Therapy - Essay

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"Evaluate the claim that Person-Centred Therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients".

Like any other model of therapy, whilst person-centred counselling certainly has its merits, it would be dangerous to assume that it can be used as a “one size fits all” therapy.   Its main strength is that it aims to empower the individual to find the inner resources that they need to resolve their own problems.   In some ways this reminds me of Milton Erickson’s attitude of “using the client’s reality” as opposed to enforcing an external reality upon them.

The three core conditions of the Person-Centred approach are unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence; unconditional positive regard requires accepting and valuing the client as an individual, regardless of appearance, behaviour and attitude.   A client may initially seem hostile if they feel they are being threatened and a person-centred counsellor’s main priority is to provide a space where that client can feel safe, without being judged or criticised.   In terms of empathy, this involves active listening on the therapist’s part to really hear what the client is saying, and where appropriate, paraphrase back to the client what he/she has said.   For example, a client may discuss how their parents constantly criticised them, pointing out many generalities such as how untidy they were, how stupid they were, possibly comparing the client to a sibling, how clumsy they were, how careless/inconsiderate/unappreciative.   A person-centred counsellor could summarise by replying, “It seems you could never do anything right in their eyes no matter how hard you tried or how successful you were."   The last of the core conditions, congruence, could possibly be one of the most difficult aspects, as this involves being honest or ‘genuine’ with the client, again accepting them as they are.   I say it could be difficult because if a client comes to a therapist and confesses to raping somebody, this...

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