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Evaluate The Main Elements Of A Person Centred Approach To Counselling

1042 words - 5 pages

This essay will make an assessment of the value and worth of the main elements of the person-centred method to counselling by comparing it with the object-relations school of counselling from the psychodynamic perspective. Firstly it will give a summary of the approaches and then demonstrate their similarities and differences.

The person-centred approach derives from Roger’s (2008) humanistic theories and concentrates on the core conditions of unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence. The client develops an awareness of their problems which person-centred counsellor’s believe have resulted from recent events in the client’s life or lifestyle (2008). Maslow (2008) argues ...view middle of the document...

The psychodynamic approach to counselling originates from the psychoanalytic theories of Freud (cited in 2008) which stresses the significance of childhood experiences in the development of the adult psyche. The central task was to allow the client to become aware of their unconscious mental processes which drive their adult behaviour. Although Freud’s (2008) ideas were influential the knowledge must be situated culturally and historically which has led many psychodynamic theorists to modify and adapt them with the aim to intensify and enhance the counsellor-client relationship. The resultant schools of thought moved away from Freud’s biologically based psycho-sexual stages of childhood development to a more psycho-social area of development where the family environment shapes the adult personality (2008).

Klein’s (2008) object-relations approach concentrates on the relationship between care giver and child during the early months of life as this has been thought to influence future adult relationships. McLeod (2008) argues that the baby experiences stages ‘paranoid-schizoid’ being the earliest where the infant relates to part objects, either the ‘good mother’ or ‘bad mother’ as distinct units which the baby feels they control. McLeod (2008,) maintains that a caring secure environment will allow the baby to progress to the ‘depressive position’ where they learn that their mother consists of one being who can be both good and bad. The child needs to realise that these unconscious processes are not the cause of events that happen within their world otherwise these ‘grandiose or narcissistic’ patterns of behaviour may transfer into adulthood which may lead to relational difficulties in their adult life (2008).

This essay will now look at the similarities and differences between the two approaches to enable an evaluation to be made of the person-centred perspective. Although both approaches need to develop relationships between the counsellor and client for the person-centred approach relationships with the counsellor are central and the client is seen as the expert. In comparison within the psychodynamic approach the counsellor may be viewed as the expert who uses interpretation to discover the root of the client’s problems (2008). The person-centred approach uses non-directive exploration and insight to gain a resolution...

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