Week 5 Discussion
This week we will take a deeper look at Person-Centered theory. Created by Carl Rogers, Person-Centered theory serves as the foundation for modern talk therapy. While Rogers was influenced by psychoanalytic theory, he believed that the counselor’s relationship with the client was the catalyst for therapeutic change. In the course text provides a comprehensive overview of Person-Centered theory and will provide the background for this week’s discussion.
For the purposes of this week’s discussion, please read the following case study and answer the questions below:
Madison is a 12-year female with a history of depression. Madison is the oldest of three children and lives with her mother. Madison’s parents divorced 6-months ago and her mother was forced to go back to work. Madison is now responsible for caring for her 10-year old twin brothers each day after school and most weekends. Madison’s grades have dropped significantly and her once vibrant friendships have dissolved. Madison’s school counselor has become increasingly concerned and sent a referral to your agency for individual counseling services.
Using “The Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Client Change,”(see below) specifically describe how you would meet each condition when working with Madison. In your discussion post, please number each condition accordingly and address it thoroughly (using counseling statements where necessary).
Necessary and Sufficient Conditions:
- Two persons are in psychological contact.
The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious.
3. The second person, whom we shall term the therapist, is congruent or integrated in the relationship.
4. The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client.
5. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference and endeavors to communicate this experience to the client.
6. The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved.
*In order to adequately complete this discussion assignment, you will need to consult peer-reviewed literature and include a minimum of one peer-reviewed article in your post along with citations from the course text and you MUST reply SUBSTANTIALLY to at least TWO peers. *
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU SHOULD RESPOND THOUROUGHLY TO EACH QUESTION. DO NOT COPY.
1.The two persons who are in psychological contact would be the client and the therapist. I as the therapist would make the effort to ensure the client knows I think of them as my equal. Rogers’ theory put emphasis on equality in the client-therapist relationship and a therapist should not keep their knowledge a secret, but rather use it to benefit the client (Corey, 2015).
- Since Madison is now responsible for caring for her siblings and other household duties, I am sure she is feeling overwhelmed, anxious and maybe even angry. If Madison is in a state if incongruence, it is important that the therapist maintains a state of congruence (Corey, 2015). As Madison’s therapist, I would display congruence by careful reflection of her feelings and considered judgement (Corey, 2015). I would want to hear Madison’s feelings and thoughts before interjecting my own.
Continuing on my point about therapist’s congruence, I think that being authentic will go a long way with Madison. I do not think that a therapist should constantly share their personal experiences and self-disclose, but if there were a time it was truly beneficial to the client and appropriate, I would share (Corey, 2015).
4.Regardless of my personal feelings of Madison and her situation, my unconditional positive regard is necessary. Corey (2015) states that according to person-centered therapy, the counseling relationship will be inhibited if the counselor feels one way about the client but acts another. I would do my best to show Madison that I am rooting for her, regardless of the circumstances.
Showing Madison that I understand her frustrations and why she may be shutting people out and becoming closed-off is also of importance. I do not want to just tell her “well you should do this” because it is much easier said than done, especially from the outside looking in. Instead I would want to say something like “I know you have to care for your brothers most weekends, that must be really hard.” or “Taking care of your brothers is a big responsibility, it must make it difficult to spend time with friends.” These statements acknowledge what she is going through as well as showing her I understand.
- Unconditional positive regard is a huge aspect of the counseling relationship and is best identified through empathetic identification with the client (Corey, 2015). Unconditional positive regard also involves the counselor’s willingness for the client to feel whatever is going on deep inside of them (Amadi, 2013). This means that the counselor must be comfortable in the relationship in order to allow this to happen. Rogers defined unconditional positive regard in this manner “if the self-experiences of another are perceived by me in such a way that no-self experience can be discriminated as more or less worthy of positive regard than any other, then I am experiencing unconditional positive regard for this individual.” (Amadi, 2013). Displaying empathy to Madison is important because she will then be more willing to open up and share her feelings. Unconditional positive regard in this case may also mean allowing Madison to come to conclusions on her own and respecting those decisions as her therapist (Amadi, 2013). As her therapist, I want to make sure she feels comfortable doing so with me. This likely will not happen over one or two sessions, but building an empathetic relationship with Madison will go a long way.
Amadi, C. (2013). Clinician, Society and Suicide Mountain: Reading Rogerian Doctrine of Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR). PsychOpen. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1919 (Links to an external site.)
Corey, G. (2015). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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