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Counseling Approaches

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What are the basic tenets of Carl Rogers' Client-Centered Therapy? What about Gestalt theory, as dictated by Fritz Perls?

Analyze and assess the relationship between the two theories and why their contributions were/are important to Counseling Psychology.

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This solutin discusses Client-centerd and Gestalt approaches to therapy.

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(1) Carl-Rogers Client-centered Therapy

The person-centered approach popularized by Carl Rogers (1979) emphasized the centrality of the therapeutic alliance (i.e. the relationship between the client and the therapist). Rogers was one of the first psychologists to emphasize the need to recognize the concept of self in therapeutic interventions. He developed the concept of nondirective counseling as a repudiation of psychoanalysis. Rogers (1951, as cited in Corey, 2005) renamed the approach client-centered therapy to emphasize the client over the nondirective method. According to Corey, this period was also characterized by a shift from the emphasis on feelings to the phenomenological world of the client. For instance, underlying a basic assumption of the client-centered therapy is that the human person has a natural tendency by which to discover his or her own potential. This actualizing tendency is described as the inherent inclination to develop the capacity to become self-reliant.

Based on Rogerian therapy, people are not controlled by unconscious and environmental forces, but are motivated by purpose and meaning in life. Client-centered therapy operates from the perspective that the person is engaged in a search toward some inner goal, which in essence is the self. For Rogers, exploring subjective experiences was the key to effective counseling. His phenomenological approach was in understanding the problem from the perspective of the client, and according to Truscott (2010), Rogers held a disdain for scientific methodologies to counseling. Based on his client-centered therapy, what the client discovers about him or herself is known as "experiencing". This aspect of the therapeutic process is one of the major factors in client-centered therapy; it places the responsibility upon the client to search for a solution to his or her problem. In addition, to Rogers' emphasis on the concept of self, he stressed the "unconditional positive regard for others" (i.e., respecting the integrity and rights of others). Rogers maintained that in the development of self, individuals would naturally develop a respect for the integrity and rights of others. Thus, in his view, if the therapist provides a warm psychological climate, the client grows not only in terms of his or her own self; but develops a regard for others as well.

Research is presented to summarize the client-centered approach as psychotherapy to be regarded as an ethical phenomenon that involves a deep responsibility and obligation in which fellow humans expect ...

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