KEY CONCEPTS FROM THE THREE ‘ROOTS’ OF COUNSELLING: HUMANISTIC, COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL, PSYCHODYNAMIC.
Humanistic Approach or Person Centred Counselling.
The Humanistic Approach emerged as a reaction to Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioural Therapies in the 1950’s. It is often referred to as the ‘third force’ in psychology as it came after Psychoanalysis and Behaviourism. The two major names associated with this approach are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Carl Rogers maintained that an individual could recognise their strengths and be able to self-direct or self-heal in therapy while recognising self growth, responsibility and autonomy. Abraham Maslow developed his theory evaluating healthy individuals and recognising that when someone’s needs are met in the correct order it allows them self actualisation thus being a fully able person.
Carl Rogers expanded on this theory as he felt that in addition to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchical needs, in order for the person to fully develop they needed to be in a genuine environment where they could open up and feel unconditionally accepted and understood to fully realize their potential. This environment would provide them with core conditions:-
Congruence: - being transparent or genuine within the Person centered relationship this shows the client that the counsellor accepts them on an equal stance and there is no pretence, enabling openness thus allowing the client a deeper insight into themselves as the counsellor will never attempt to deceive the client but will bring their perceptions of their behaviour into the open and be able to discuss it supportively.
Unconditional Positive Regard: - meaning the counsellor accepts the client unconditionally and non-judgementally. The client is free to explore all thoughts and feelings, positive or negative without danger of rejection or condemnation and without any need to meet any standards to earn positive regard from the counsellor.
Empathic understanding: - the counsellor accurately understands the client’s thoughts, feelings and meanings from the clients own perspective. This demonstrates that the client is being accepted and that their view has value. The counsellor is able to transmit this understanding back to the client to support and encourage them; they do this by Active Listening, not only to the words but also the feelings conveyed when no words are spoken.
With these 3 core conditions the client will be able to build a healthy relationship with the counsellor who will facilitate the discovery of their own perspectives and make their own action plans by helping them activate their own self healing process and flourish.
Person Centred Therapy accepts that people possess a drive towards growth and are intrinsically ‘good’ thus worthy of our deepest respect. This is based on the view of the Actualizing Tendency which Carl Rogers believed was common to all living things. It was particularly noted in people that from birth there...