Application Of Person Centered Therapy To Meng's Case

1648 words - 7 pages

Intervention Strategies that Focusing on Self-Concept & Incongruence

Rogers' theory emphatically emphasizes the therapist's attitudes and feelings, not techniques, in the therapy relationship (Brodley, 1998). Person-centered therapy stresses the importance of building a therapeutic relationship that the client feels comfortable to express himself/herself, to trust the therapy, to grow and make therapeutic changes. In person-centered counseling, the relationship that the therapist provides for the client is not an intellectual one. The therapist cannot help the client by the professional knowledge or theories. Explaining the client’s personality and behavior to the client and prescribing ...view middle of the document...

For instance, as I listen to Meng describe his fightback to his father, I may experience both empathy for him and dislike of what he did. At one moment in therapy it may feel more congruent to express my empathy; at another moment to let Meng knowes I disliked his action. Being genuine does not mean that the therapist should dump what is on the mind at any given moment into the therapy session.

In the case of Meng, if I am the therapist, I would possibly self-disclose to increase the transparency of what is within myself. Gendlin (1967) has noted that person-centered therapist must self-disclose in more effective and productive ways than does the people in the street who often label, criticize and judge. If I have a reaction to Meng (such as disappointment) which I wish to share, I first must work with it myself before I self-disclose. I tune inwardly and try to figure out the degree to which my reaction is “mine” from the degree to which it belongs in the therapeutic relationship. If I experience anger as Meng tells me how he attacks his father, I do not disclose as the people in the street like “That’s very repulsive and unfilial! You are really being a selfish and rebellious person by doing that!”. Instead, I would try to sort out how much the disgust reaction belongs in our relationship and how much it is “just me”. As I explicate my reaction to myself I may discover that what is really bothering me is that when Meng described his attack, his whole tone was one of self-protection rather than of any concern for its effect on his father. I might decide what is bothering me belongs in the relationship and say, “What I find myself experiencing as you describe that is a great deal of concern for your father, and I feel dismayed because I don’t experience you right now as feeling that concern yourself, and I feel stuck because I want to be on your side, and usually I am on your side, but right now in this moment I don’t feel on your side.”

Such a self-disclosure is neither a criticism nor an act of blame. Rather, it is an invitation to Meng to explore with the therapist the consequences of his actions for both himself and for his father. It is hoped that Meng will be enlisted as a collaborator to explore this problem, which Meng can behave in a way that is better for both himself and his father. Therefore, it is important for person-centered therapist not to disclose like “the people on the street” which merges the client to experience himself as the problem; instead, the therapist should self-disclose to enable “therapist and the client together versus the problem”. This is what Rogers has promoted that therapist should only self-disclose their reactions when they are getting in the way of the therapeutic relationship itself.

Genuineness and congruence are matters of inner connection (Lietaer, 1991). Such genuineness provides a basis for eclectic therapeutic practice as well as a basis for therapist to disclose own views, share opinions and...

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