Carl Rogers' Person Centred Therapy Counselling Psychology, Social Sciences Essay

3389 words - 14 pages

Counselling Psychology 40205070 Word Count: 2909
Various techniques and sets of theories have been developed over the years in attempts to form methods of treatment for mental distress. Such counselling approaches include the works of Sigmund Freud with Psychoanalysis, John B. Watson’s inputs to Behavioural psychology, and Carl Rogers’ Person Centred approach to therapy. Freud’s psychoanalytical method of treatment focused on free talking, as Freud encouraged his patients to express any and every thought as it travelled through their mind. This method of free association was used to try and gain access to the patient’s unconscious mind, which hides away strong emotions, past memories and secret desires. The behaviourism approach takes on a much more scientific stance, emphasising objective methods of investigation. Watson believed that all human behaviour is influenced by environmental factors, as we learn our behaviours, and used his therapeutic approach to ‘recondition’ client’s perspectives. Behaviourism is primarily interested in observable behaviour, opting not to study cognitions and emotions in their therapy. Roger’s humanistic practice of Person Centred therapy works on giving the power to the client, as he focused on the clients’ self experience, allowing them to decide what to discuss, how to react and ultimately what was wrong. Roger’s formed this approach in response to psychodynamic and behavioural therapies, his views strongly differed to those of Freud and Watson, as he rejected the deterministic nature of their approaches and proposed that mental relief could be found in one’s ‘self’. Rogers thereby centred his counselling on the client, and focused on building a strong and positive therapeutic relationship. Such a relationship is built on the foundation of three core conditions, according to Rogers: empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. With such varying differences within each of these counselling approaches, we would expect similarly differing results. However, despite these many methods of therapy, it has been argued that regardless of the modality of the counselling practiced the same outcome will always be produced. This argument is known as the Dodo Bird Verdict. To assume that the Dodo Verdict is correct would require an exploration of the varying counselling approaches, analysing their individual techniques and methods for building a therapeutic relationship.
The Dodo Verdict proposes that each psychotherapy, despite having contrasted and oppositional underpinning theory, produces the same outcome, showing no therapeutic practice to be more effective than the other. First suggested in the 1930s, Saul Rosenzweig’s Dodo Bird Conjecture has since been widely tested for its legitimacy. In 2011 Susanne Lunn and Stig Poulsen carried out a study looking into the effectiveness of both psychoanalytic therapy and behavioural therapy on a case study of 70 patients each suffering from bulimia nervosa. The study was...

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