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The severe restrictions of rogerians approach to therapy

This essay displays on the above statement, and begins by defining whatever we suggest by supportive and reconstructive, when relating these to the main topic of counselling and psychotherapy. In then discovering the key ideas of the Rogerian strategy, and exploring a few of these theories in more detail, this causes a deeper conversation and thought of the question.

Feeling recognized in the healing environment is a key aspect to how successful and effective remedy can be. Having an available, equal, honest marriage between consumer and therapist is the perfect situation, and where this type of relationship prevails it can greatly enhance the healing process. If the therapist is able to give you a safe space, your client feels able to express himself openly, without fear of being judged. If supportiveness is missing, this negatively influences the client. Feeling judged, fearful of the particular therapist might be considering, creates obstacles and an atmosphere that feels unsafe and not conducive to effective therapy.

The term 'reconstructive' may be used to describe the procedure where major changes take place for the client during remedy. For clients suffering from post-traumatic conditions, including complex grief reactions, reconstructive remedy targets facilitating the client to discover, understand and accept their feelings and reactions. Deeper home understanding can permit clients to see they have choices, and also to restore responsibility for themselves and their reactions.

The concept of being supportive can be plainly identified within several Rogerian ideas, particularly: The Core Conditions, The Home Actualising Trend, and the Organismic Valuing process. The links to 'supportive', observed in Rogers theories are explored and talked about in greater detail later. Other key Rogerian ideas considered in more detail include the notion of Phenomenology, The Self-Concept (or home), and Conditions of Well worth.

I observe the supportive trend towards growth as being strongly inlayed within the Rogerian methodology. I also identify Rogers procedure as reconstructive in the sense that major positives shifts and changes often take place during therapy. Considering the question of 'restrictions' this is harder to answer. As is the situation with all mental health theories there will be constraints and exceptions to efficiency. For a great number of clients and therapists the Rogerian way of working offers both a gentle and powerful remedy, that has stood the test of time.

The Rogerian procedure is also known as Person Centred counselling or Client Centred therapy. It originated from the pioneering work beginning in the 1930s which persisted through six generations, of North american psychologist and writer, Dr Carl Ransom Rogers (1902 - 1987). ( Mearns and Thorne 1999).

Rogers talked about client centred or person centred remedy as not only a therapeutic way of working, but more as a way to be. Being real, genuine and true to himself.

(Rogers, 1980)

Rogers notion was that "your client is aware best". His way was a radical move from the analytical methods of that time period, where in fact the therapist was regarded as the 'expert'. Rogers was persuaded that people each have within us the knowledge and resources to go ahead, and that the role of the therapist is to offer the conditions that accomplish clients to help themselves. (Mearns and Thorne 1999).

A helpful explanation of the individual Centred methodology is proposed by J K Wood:

". . it is neither a psychotherapy nor a psychology. It isn't a college itself, it is not a activity it is not really a philosophy. Neither is it any number of other activities frequently imagined. It is simply, as its name suggests, an approach, little or nothing more, nothing less. It is a psychological posture, if you like, from which thought or action may come up and experience be organised. It really is a 'way of being'.

(Hardwood 1996, cited in Embleton Tudor, Keemar, Tudor, Valentine, Worrall, 2004)

Phenomenology originates from the work of Edmund Husseri (1859 - 1938), Martin Heidegger (1889 - 1976), and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1907 - 1961).

(cited in Embleton Tudor, Keemar, Tudor, Valentine, Worrall, 2004, pp 18 - 24).

Phenomenology is based around the theory that the truth is not fixed. We each perceive our own certainty, which is educated by our life experiences, biases, prejudices, and perceptual filters. Most of us experience reality in our own unique way. (Embleton Tudor, Keemar, Tudor, Valentine, Worrall, 2004)

Rogers said: "I do not respond to some absolute actuality, but to my belief of this actuality. It is this perception which for me personally is reality". (Rogers, 1951)

Empathic understanding can be described as an activity of going to phenomenologically to the phenomenological world of another. From phenomenological thinking comes the phenomenological method, which is made up of three steps enabling us to be as wide open as it can be to each new experience.

The first rung on the ladder is to bracket all our pre-conceptions that we have taken on board and tend to automatically consider. Our problem is to create these beliefs to the side on the foundation that they are restricting and unhelpful and likely to impede our experience of this instant now.

The next thing is for us to describe rather than assess our experience. Our inclination is to analyse, evaluate and judge. The task here is to spell it out what we monitor, somewhat than put our pre-conceived interpretation and judgement onto the knowledge. By staying close to experienced senses we can become more open to effectively describing everything we experience.

The last step is to avoid placing a hierarchy on that which we notice and experience. To be open to valuing everything we've noticed evenly.

These three steps merged, encourage non judgemental openness to experiencing, which rests well within Rogers Person Centred approach.

Rogers believed that human beings have within them an inherent tendency towards growth and fulfilment. He called this directional process in life the actualising inclination. (Rogers, 1980).

Rogers observed life as an active process, which whatever the environment living things can be counted to move towards maintaining and improving themselves.

He recognised that the actualising trend can be annoyed by adverse circumstances and situations, but saw that striving for progress always remains even in the most challenging of conditions. A good example he provides is of the potatoes kept in the cellar of his years as a child home that still grew in the semi-darkness, eager to live, growing 'sad spindly sprouts' to the distant light in little cellar home window. (Rogers, 1980).

According to Rogers, humans have the ability within themselves to know what is wonderful for them. He termed this ability organismic valuing. Trusting inside our internal knowledge and intuition helps our do it yourself actualising trend.

The self applied actualising trend becomes suppressed when organismic valuing gets 'lost' through negative introjects and limiting values. This usually is due to childhood, therefore of dealing with conditions of well worth from significant close others (for example parents, siblings, professors). When well worth or love is merely portrayed if we comply with certain conditions enforced by others, we take on mother board negative and distorted beliefs, often having them throughout our lives. Our locus of evaluation becomes external, constantly seeking course, authorization and reassurance of others. The Rogerian ideal is to have an inside locus of evaluation. With an internal locus of analysis we are able to trust our very own judgement, rely on our gut feelings, and have confidence inside our own capacity to know very well what is right. (Rogers, 1951)

The self-concept is someone's conceptual development of themself. Self-concepts often are not in balance with the actualising propensity and the organisimic valuing process. Self-concepts start in infancy and develop over time. They are shaped by our belief of the behaviour and behaviours towards us of significant others. The need for positive respect and to feel approved of by others is a fundamental and powerful want. Issue occurs when this need isn't fulfilled, and negative self-concepts become embedded. (Dryden 2007, pp 149 - 151).

Rogers presumed that peoples personalities are made up of two components, the organismic personal and the personal notion. The organismic personal is the self applied I was created with, the real 'me personally'. The self applied concept is the individual I've become within my life to be able to get positive self regard from others. Introjects from those close to me, like my parents yet others, have forced principles inside me that aren't in harmony with my organismic personal. These become conditions of worthy of, creating me to act in certain ways in order to get the positive home regard from those near me that I want. Small children provide an inbuilt need to be enjoyed by their parents. The kid will feel just like it is going to perish if this need is denied. The locus of analysis for the organismic self applied is inner, inside me. The locus of evaluation for the home concept is exterior - agreement is searched for from outside the house.

An example of organsimic home verses self theory comes from my very own life:

When I got in my middle teens I emerged consuming a powerful more mature man. For quite some time I felt handled by him. I desired his approval in all areas of my life and my very own personality became increasingly more subdued. He affected my work, my cultural life, my intimate / sexual associations, my family life my viewpoints and principles. I thought I didn't have any of my own ideas any more. ONCE I attempted to liberate from his impact, he would react very badly and wear down my self esteem even further, making me feel powerless, worthless and pointless. I suffered a whole lot of panic and unhappiness during those years. He also acquired the power to make me feel very good, if he thought we would. His acceptance was so important if you ask me. It was only in my thirties I were able to fully break free from his affect. I was able to begin returning to the real me, to re-discover my organism do it yourself, and recognize myself as a worthwhile person with my very own views and principles.

The pursuing two examples illustrate the energy of interjects in creating 'conditions of worthwhile':

Jake discussed his experience as a small child where he didn't want to consume and would find any excuse to get out of eating. Being a abuse for refusing to eat his parents would shut him from the flat, giving him on the getting outside the chiseled, locked out. Jake explained how this made him feel "I believed completely rejected, I had been thrown out of my home". This example shows how in this case the behaviour of his parents experienced a very negative effect on the his sense of well worth and self notion, as a little child. Jake sensed that a minor misdemeanour could get rid of the love of his parents and the security of his home which he had not been worthy any further. These events seriously negatively influenced Jake's conditions of well worth for quite some time.

When I became pregnant in my own late young adults I noticed very frightened and alone and not in a position to share this distressing event with my parents. Soon after getting a termination my top secret came out. The effect from my mother was upset and judging, I remember her words "how could you do any such thing". I took this to signify how could I have sex, and exactly how could I offer an abortion. I believed very ashamed and guilty and bad about myself. This influenced my passionate and sexual connections and my views on gender and pregnancy for many years. This example shows how one sentence from my mother (a poor introjection of her values) had an enormous have an impact on on my conditions of worth and had resilient negative outcomes.

In distinction, my father's reaction to the news of my unplanned being pregnant which I'd possessed a termination was completely different. He was delicate and supportive, not judgemental and incredibly understanding of my decision. This possessed an extremely positive effect on my view of my dad, and my romance with him. In addition, it helped to 'balance' the strong negative reaction I noticed to my mothers response. I still look back again on this recollection as a period once i realised just what a wonderful man my father is. My value and love for him has only grown since this experience. Looking again it is clear to me that he offered me empathy, congruence and UPR at the same time when I must say i needed it.

Rogerian therapy is made around the premise that if certain conditions are present then therapeutic will arise.

1. Internal contact between your counsellor and the client

2. The client is in a vulnerable or restless state

3. The counsellor is congruent

4. The client experience unconditional positive regard and seems accepted by the counsellor

5. Empathic knowledge of client by counsellor

The client will get the empathy and unconditional positive respect and congruence

Rogers said that as long as these conditions have there been, this was everything that was needed. He identified them to be necessary and sufficient. (Rogers, 1951)

Of the six conditions, three are 'central', these are Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR), and Congruence. These three conditions need only be minimally present, for 'restorative personality change' to take place.

Returning to empathy, I see this to be able to put myself by the medial side of the client, and understand their thoughts. Phenomenologically I am going to never have the ability to fully know how someone else seems, but believe that empathy requires me close enough. Rogerian counsellors illustrate empathy by energetic being attentive in a hypersensitive way, and reflecting sensing words back to the client, and also by modulation of voice, body language and mirroring facial expressions. Paraphrasing may be used to summarise what the client says, with clarification whenever there exists any confusion about what the client is wanting to talk. (Mearns and Thorne, 1999)

Unconditional Positive Regard can be defined as respecting the client as a human being rather than judging. It may be that there surely is sometimes something to do with the client's actions or behaviours which the counsellor doesn't trust, but this won't stop UPR on offer. It really is about giving value to a fellow individual without conditions. From client's viewpoint, acquiring UPR will enhance their own thoughts of self-worth. If indeed they have been in a cycle of behaving badly because it has always been what has been expected by others, then your cycle can be cracked by UPR being provided by the counsellor. In order to offer UPR, it is important that the counsellor has a high degree of home awareness and has worked through her own issues and is clear about any biases or prejudices, and able to put these aside.

(Mearns and Thorne, 1999)

Congruence means being real and genuine, the counsellor being able to be herself and be open and honest with the client. Being congruent means taking away pretence or acting, and being totally present. Acquiring congruence and finding the counsellor isn't perfect and has vulnerabilities, reassures your client that it's fine to be imperfect and vulnerable. (Mearns and Thorne, 1999)

Person centred counselling can be an extremely powerful remedy and can have an enormous impact in permitting damaged people to cure themselves.

One of the basic criticisms of Person Centred Counselling is around it's theory which is situated around our built-in motivation to personal actualise, grow and achieve. The reality of the modern world is that there are many people who don't illustrate this self applied actualising trend. What Rogers didn't describe was if many people are in essence good deep down inside, why aren't societies better and better because of this?

It is also argued by some see your face centred counselling is bound. It could be seen as being a passive 'tender' kind of therapy, with the total amount of electricity with the client, and the counsellor not offering your client advice or alternatives. Is this a weakness or a power? My view is that it is a durability and one of the main element reasons why person centred counselling is so effective. The counsellor's role isn't that of an expert resolving the client's problems, but as someone able to reflect back the clients thoughts and emotions, in a respectful and genuine manner, enabling your client to begin to heal himself.

Taking this further and coming back to the subject question, I see that the actual fact that Rogerian counselling offers a safe and supportive space for the client, this is what then enables the reconstructive process to occur.

Clients come to remedy for a variety of reasons, however they all have one thing in common, these are in psychological pain. The gentle yet powerful components of Rogerian therapy allow the consumer to be safe enough with the counsellor expressing their psychological pain. To be able to get to this place of safety, there needs to be a strong level of trust between the consumer and the counsellor. This trust develops, through the counsellor offering empathy, congruence and unconditional positive respect.

For major shifts to happen first the client needs to be open and honest and be able to express their distress. The next step is for the client to take the risk of moving out of their comfort zone and challenging themselves. That is when the greatest shifts can occur. For either of the steps it is completely key that the client trusts and feels secure with the counsellor. The person centred ideals promote and encourage this by offering an equal non judgemental genuine real romantic relationship.

To go back to the question, in my view and my experience, Rogerian remedy is both supportive and reconstructive. Personally i think its only limitations lie within specific clients. If a client is not prepared to explore themselves genuinely, to open up and task themselves, then change won't take place. The client has to be ready to take part in what can frequently be painful self applied exploration. Whenever a client is ready and wishes to do this, working in the Rogerian way can have powerful life changing results.

The Rogerian approach is a means of being, and this way to be can be applied to all areas of life. In terms of remedy, I see this approach being very valuable. Other tools and skills can be offered to clients, in a person centred way, which I see as greatly boosting the healing process.

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