Carl Roger’s believed that everyone is inherently good. Therefore, even the vilest of people would be included. Some disputes have been made among behavior theorists that because the theory lacks structure, it is not as effective in treating illness. However, it is one of the main theories utilized by therapists today. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is another popular theory that is used. It emphasizes the present and fixing cognitive distortions that clients may have. However, it too received some arguments against it, such as; treating symptoms and not the underlying cause of an illness. The theories that will be discussed are Carl Roger’s theory of Person Centered Therapy, Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how they would treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In Person Centered therapy, the therapist establishes a solid therapeutic alliance with the client. “The therapeutic alliance is a more encompassing term for therapy that emphasizes the collaborative nature of the partnership between counselor and client. This partnership incorporates client preferences and goals into treatment and outlines methods for accomplishing those goals. The therapeutic alliance is an alliance based on listening to the client without being judgmental or giving unwarranted advice.” Individuals are working toward self actualization. They also look for ways to improve experiences. Individuals try hard to reach an optimal sense of satisfaction. This eventually leads them to become fully functioning. After the individual is fully functioning they are able to trust their own feelings and experience a better life (Rogers, 1961).
Rogers found that very few become fully functioning. To cope with this they create defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms help the individual to protect their self concept, allowing them to continue to move toward self actualization. He also believed that the need for defense mechanisms stems from childhood (Rogers, 1962).
Children are taught conditional positive regard. When parents need to correct a child’s behavior, love is usually withheld. They are taught to hide faults and weaknesses rather than accepting them. However, through unconditional positive regard individuals may know that they are loved unconditionally. “By acceptance I mean a warm regard for him as a person of unconditional self- worth- of value no matter what his condition, his behavior, or his feelings (Rogers, 1961).”
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) addresses maladaptive thinking and feelings in individuals. It was originally developed to treat depression and anxiety but is now used for many different disorders. It is a very effective type of therapy because it is time limited. The amount of sessions is usually between four and fourteen. CBT focuses on schemas or core beliefs which are usually negative thoughts like “I’m worthless” or “I’m not loveable” (Beck, 1970).
In order to treat cognitive distortions the negative thoughts need to be...