Counselling Approaches Essay

1416 Words6 Pages
‘Compare and contrast the different ways the person-centred and cognitive-behavioural approaches to counselling understand and make use of the counselling relationship’ This essay will compare and contrast two of the many approaches to counselling available today. Firstly, we will briefly consider what counselling is and the relationship between therapist and client. We will then go on to consider the similarities and differences between the person-centred and cognitive-behavioural approaches. We will see how these two methods are used within the counselling relationship and consider their aims and objectives. In conclusion we will see why it could be argued that the latter approach is the most useful for many clients. The term counselling is virtually interchangeable with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy means ‘healing the mind or soul’ (Nelson-Jones, 2011, p.3) and counselling tries to do the same. For counselling to work on a one to one or group basis then the clients must be there willingly. For many the relationship between client and counsellor is crucial to the success of the therapy and is based on trust and respect. Within counselling there are three main schools of influence namely the psychodynamic school, the humanistic school and the cognitive behaviour school (Nelson-Jones, 2011). The client or person-centred approach belongs to the humanistic school. Developed by Carl Rogers as an alternative to psychoanalyses and behaviourism during the 1950s, (McLeod, 2008, p170) he believed it would “help clients fulfil their unique potential” (Nelson-Jones 2011 p.83). He also attributed a certain mystical dimension to this form of counselling and emphasised the spiritual bond between client and counsellor (Nelson-Jones 2011). In contrast, the cognitive-behavioural approach is a scientific approach with its roots in academic psychology. Whereas Rogers believed in
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