A critical view of person-centered therapy

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A critical view of person-centered therapy A counselor is often viewed as a good model of what it means to be wise and the patient’s friend, a person with great capacity to listen and be respectful. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that person-centered therapy has been so warmly embraced within significant portions of the religious community as it appears to give us valuable clues and guidance on how to respond to those in misery and distress, or better said “love the brothers and sisters.” In comparison with other theories of counseling and psychotherapy there is none to embrace the full manifestation of the humanistic spirit in contemporary psychology than the person-centered theory, and perhaps no single individual better embodied its essence than its founder, Carl Rogers. Person-centered therapy asserts that the client, not the therapist, should be at the heart of psychotherapy since only the client has the resources by which to become more aware of and remove his or her obstacles to personal growth. It is significant to know that Carl Rogers grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home and rejected the faith of his parents during college in favor of “Liberalistic Humanism” (Van Belle, 1985b, p. 1016). Person-centered therapy warmly embraces a number of key values (adapted from Korchin, 1976, pp. 353ff). A key value is that persons should not be “atomized” or broken down into their component parts, but rather should be studied as whole and unique beings; what persons tell us through self-report of their experience is to be more highly valued than what we can observe directly or objectively. We are coparticipants in the process of self-actualization, we must be willing to enter into the consciousness field of others as well as our own. Another key value is that intuition and empathic should be viewed as extremely important means of gaining insight and

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