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“Evaluate the claim that Person-Centred Therapy offers the therapist all that he/she will need to treat clients.”
In this essay I will define what Person-Centred Therapy (PCT) is and I will look at the origins of this therapy with particular reference to Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers and examine the fundamental elements necessary for the therapy to be seen as patient centred.
I will compare the benefits and disadvantages of Person-Centred Therapy and try to establish whether a therapist can treat all clients effectively using just the one approach or whether it is more beneficial to the client for the therapist to use a more multi-disciplinary approach.
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The human potential movement, by contrast, defined human nature as inherently good. From its perspective, human behaviour is motivated by a drive to achieve one's fullest potential. Humanistic theories of personality maintain that humans are motivated by the uniquely human need to expand their frontiers and to realise as much of their potential as possible.
Maslow was known as the ‘Third Force in Psychology’ but is mainly known for his thoughts on Self-actualization. Prior to Maslow it was thought that human behaviour was just a set of behaviours to satisfy the drive for deficits. (For example lack of nutrients-feel hungry-seek food-and eat model.) Maslow proposed a wide range of human needs in a dynamic and changing system, where needs at higher levels would only be addressed when needs at lower levels had been satisfied. He used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, and Self-Actualization needs to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, rather than mentally ill or neurotic people. His theory was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid, with the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top. It is interesting that while the pyramid has become the de facto way to represent the hierarchy, Maslow himself never used a pyramid to describe these levels in any of his writings on the subject. The human mind and brain is complex and have parallel processes running at the same time, so many different motivations from different levels of Maslow's pyramid usually occur at the same time. Maslow was clear about speaking of these levels and their satisfaction in terms such as "relative" or "general" or "primarily", and said that the human organism is "dominated" by a certain need, rather than saying that the individual is only focused on a certain need at a given time. So Maslow acknowledged that many different levels of motivation are likely to be going on in a human all at once. His focus in discussing the hierarchy was to identify the basic types of motivations, and the order that they generally progress as lower needs are reasonably well met.
Self-actualisation, originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one's full potential, is an important concept underlying person-centred therapy. It refers to the tendency of all human beings to move forward, grow, and reach their fullest potential. When humans move toward self-actualization, they tend to be concerned for others and behave in honest, dependable, and constructive ways. The concept of self-actualization focuses on human strengths rather than human deficiencies. Both Rogers and Maslow believed in a person’s potential to reach self-actualisation. Maslow...