This paper discusses the foundations of Rogerian psychotherapy. Carl rogers who was a psychology professor at Ohio state university. In this paper I concluded that Rogerian psychotherapy and person-centered therapy was the same thing. This therapy focuses not only on what the client’s problem is but, the client to view problems only in the light to finding solutions that would allow them to reach their goals.
Rogerian psychotherapy, also known as person centered therapy, was developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940’s. The therapy is based on roger’s belief that every human being strives for an has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential(goodtherapy.org). It’s based on the idea that the client knows best. That the therapist role is to facilitate an environment where the client can bring out positive change. This therapy is proposed to be simpler, warmer, and more optimistic. Roger believed that we behave the way we do because of the way we perceive our situation. This paper will discuss Rogers theory, how it was developed, and psychotherapy (Mcleod, 1970).
When rogers became a psychology professor at the university of Ohio in 1940, his students challenged him to give expression to his own views on effective psychotherapy. He did it in 1940 in his book Counseling and Psychotherapy. Rogers promoted the term “client” for the benefit of counseling and psychotherapy, a first stride in moving away from a medical model of mental illness. Though he credited others in his book for working in a similar new direction. Rogers description of competent counseling and psychotherapy was more articulated. His method was based on a hypothesis about human advancement and personality change (Kirschenbaum, 2003-2004, p. 2).
Rogerian psychotherapy dates to the 1940’s. Rogers felt that therapy could be simpler. Psychodynamic and behavioral approaches differ from his view. He felt that clients would be better helped if they were pushed to focus on their own ideas and opinions, then on another person’s understanding of what’s going on. Rogers believed that for a client to get better therapist should be affable, authentic, and compassionate (Mcleod, 1970).
The beginning point of the Rogerian was best stated by rogers himself. “It is that the individual has within himself or herself vast resources for self-understanding.” In 1961 rogers rejected the deterministic nature of both psychoanalysis and behaviorism and maintained that we behave as we do because of the way we recognize our situation. Rogers developed his theory based on his work with emotionally troubled people and concluded that we have we have a remarkable capacity for self -healing and personal growth leading towards self-actualization (Mcleod, 1970).
During the late 60s and 70s, rogers and his co-workers explored the applications of client centered thinking to groups and group leadership. In the 1940s and 50s Thomas Gordon and some co-workers at the university of Chicago has experimented with “Group centered leadership”, by which the leader’s acceptance, understanding, genuineness, and willingness to let the group set its own directions accelerated great energy (Kirschenbaum, 2003-2004, p. 4).
When they recognized the applicability of the client-centered approach rogers and his colleagues at Center for studies of the person used the broader term-person-centered-to describe their work. Others thought that “person-centered” was a phrase than “client centered “to describe the therapeutic relationship. It’s not just centered on the client but is a relationship between two people. Today in counseling “person-centered” and “client-centered” are commonly used conversely (Kirschenbaum, 2003-2004, p. 5).
Rogers demonstrated how positive regard, empathy, and congruence- the same growth promoting conditions useful in all helping relationships can enhance communication and understanding among combative groups. They led person-centered workshops for 100 to 800 participants around the world. Testimonials showed that their efforts in development helped foster peace and democratization in several countries. Some express that rogers helped teach them to be democratic and not authoritative (Kirschenbaum, 2003-2004, p. 5).
In the united states, Rogerian psychotherapy is taught as a foundational tool for all counselling and therapy. Its sometimes seen as insufficient for the real work of therapy. “The centennial of rogers’ birth in 2002 and the growing number of books and DVD’s on the person- centered approach have served to reawaken interest in the approach in the U.S and beyond.” The development of the Rogerian psychotherapy approach is said to be working to revive interest in the Rogerian therapy approach among a new generation of people (Kirschenbaum, 2003-2004, p. 6).
The treatment for Rogerian therapy is the idea to change the role of a counselor during a therapy session. “Before person-centered therapy was developed the counselor told the person in therapy what to think about, concentrate on, and learn in therapy. The client told them the problem, and the therapist told the client what to do about it.” Rogerian psychotherapy is a completely different approach “with its emphasis on the value of the patient’s resources and goals, the Rogerian therapist encouraged the client to view problems only in the light to finding solutions that would allow them to reach their goals. A skilled Rogerian therapist can help you find your solutions even without pushing you to do it their way. In other types of therapy, the problem is considered the entire reason for therapy. When a therapist relies on Rogerian therapy the problem is secondary to who you are as a person and what you want to accomplish in life (Beasley, 2018).
Although there are different types of therapy Rogerian psychotherapy focuses on you as a person rather than your problems. “Directive therapy methods are typically based on the idea that your thinking and behavior is disordered and needs to be corrected by the therapist. In Rogerian therapy, the therapist puts the focus on your positive qualities and abilities and encourages you to explore your psychological landscape to find what works for you to get the results you want.” (Beasley, 2018).
The goal of Rogerian psychotherapy is to become open to experience, learn to trust yourself, develop an internal evaluation of yourself and have a willingness to continue growing. Rogerian therapy helps individuals live fully functional lives. “ the person-centered therapist learns to recognize and trust human potential, providing clients with empathy and unconditional positive regard to help facilitate change.” (Noel, Sarah, 2018)
In conclusion, therapy is never a bad thing. Everyone needs someone to talk to, and a therapist could be that person for you or someone you know. Therapy is a chance to be truly and fully understood. A therapist will listen closely and understand exactly how you are feeling.
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