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Freudian Psychoanalysis & Rogers' Person-Centered Theory

Short Answer: Compare Freudian Psychoanalysis with Carl Rogers' Person-Centered Therapy.

1. Since in both of these types of therapies the counselor takes a more passive role, how can it be determined if the client is well enough to terminate therapy?
2. If the client is the "expert" (in person-centered therapy), why should they come to a therapist (you) for help?
3. Can the interpretation of dreams really assist someone to get better?
4. How important is "catharsis" to healing?

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RESPONSE:

Briefly, both Freud and Roger's theory are clinical, based on years of experience dealing with his clients. Also in common with Freud is that his is a particularly rich and mature theory -- well thought-out and logically tight, with broad application. Unlike Freud, however, is the fact that Rogers sees people as basically good or healthy -- or at very least, not bad or ill. For Roger, mental health is seen as the normal progression of life, and he sees mental illness, criminality, and other human problems, as distortions of that natural tendency. A second departure from Freud is the fact that Rogers?theory is a relatively simple one and focused on the "here and now." Instead, Freud is focused in the past often going back to childhood and the unconscious where repressed physic energy and events hide and wait to erupt e..g Freudian slip, or rage, or tantrums or crying spells.

1. Since in both of these types of therapies the counselor takes a more passive role, how can it be determined if the client is well enough to terminate therapy?

Freud

Each type of therapy has a goal of therapy and when this goal is met, it will be obvious to the both the therapist and client.

For Freud, he stated the goal is simply "to make the unconscious conscious?(http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/freud.htm). When this goal is met, the symptoms would be no more. The ideal termination would therefore, be when the symptoms were cured.

Freud's Analysis Terminable and Interminable (1937c) proposes ideal circumstances for termination of treatment: "two conditions have been approximately fulfilled: first, that the patient shall no longer be suffering from his symptoms and shall have overcome his anxieties and his inhibitions; and secondly, that the analyst shall judge that so much repressed material has been made conscious, so much that was unintelligible has been explained, and so much internal resistance conquered, that there is no need to fear a repetition of the pathological processes concerned" (p. 219).

Ideal termination means both parties (therapist and patient) are able to experience all that therapy has to offer. The beginning, middle and end phases of therapy are fully addressed, giving a sense of completion. An ideal termination takes place after rapport has been built (phase 1) and the issues have been sufficiently explored and resolved (phase 2). So how will we know we're ready for termination? Ideally, the patient can come to conclusion, but not all therapy reaches the final chapter for various reasons e.g. time, money, etc.) (see part II of the attached article), and this applies to all therapy, including Rogerian discussed below.

Rogerian Therapy

For Rogers, the ideal goal is actualization through completing the seven stages of therapy, many clients only reach stage 4 or 5 and then ...

Solution Summary

This solution compares Freudian Psychoanalysis with Carl Rogers' Person-Centered Therapy on the four dimensions. Supplemented with an informative article on steps in terminating therapy.

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