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The Person-Centered Approach

Please help with the following: describing and evaluating two of the basic tenets of person-centered theory. Compare similarities and differences among person-centered, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic theories with respect to how a client's problems arise and how people change. Finally, analyze this information with respect how problems may arise and how people change. In this, explain the affect that person-centered therapy could have on one who embraces an integrative type of theoretical orientation.

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(1) Describe and evaluate two of the basic tenets of person-centered theory

The person-centered approach popularized by Carl Rogers (1979 as cited in Tudor, 2010) emphasized the centrality of the relationship between the client and the therapist. Two basic tenets in person-centered therapy include: (a) self-actualizing tendencies, and (b) Organismic valuing processes [born with the ability to make determinations. If there are limits to self-actualization, growth can be blocked. The approach emphasized the need to recognize the concept of self in therapeutic interventions. For instance, underlying a basic assumption of person-centered therapy is the view that the human person has a natural tendency by which to discover his or her own potential, or actualizing tendency.

Thus, a primary goal of the person-centered approach is that the human person has a natural tendency by which to become self-reliant. Tudor (2010) notes that by drawing on relationship therapy, Rogers identified characteristics of his theoretical orientation that distinguished the person-centered approach from other therapies that offered advice and intellectual interpretations. The aim was to provide the individual with greater independence, rather than offering advice, and trying to solve his or her problem. In addition, the approach stressed emotionality as opposed to rationality. According to Tudor, this approach to treatment stressed the therapeutic relationship alliance as a growth experience.

Further, Rogers held that the client was in a state of incongruence (i.e. vulnerable and anxious). While, the therapist is congruent or integrated in the relationship. Therefore, the therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for his or her client. The therapist's empathetic understanding and positive regard for the client helps the client to find his or her potential. Empathy is an important predictor of the ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes tenets of the person-centered approach and compares this approach with psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral perspectives.