Assignment 1: Discussion Rogerian Therapy
Personality Theories | PSY362 A01
Similar to Freud, Carl Rogers developed his theory from his extensive work with his patients. However, unlike Freud, he believed that people are typically healthy; being mentally healthy is the normal state. Although there are unhealthy people, they are not the norm or what one has to accept and live with throughout one’s life. Furthermore, Rogers believed that each person has one primary motivation—to realize his/her full potential or to be self-actualized. Finally, he posited that neurosis stems from in congruence between one’s real self and one’s ideal self. He applied this to his theory of counseling in the development of three therapeutic criteria that he felt were both necessary and sufficient to help the patient. These three qualities are now the foundation for modern person-centered therapy.
The three qualities that form the foundation of Rogerian therapy are empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. These will be relatively easy to express for people you naturally like but can be difficult to express for people whom you do not like nor agree with.
Imagine that you are a psychologist working with a population of individuals that tend to be more difficult to work with, such as sex offenders, elderly patients with dementia, or mentally challenged children. Use the Internet, Argosy University library resources, and your textbook to research the concepts of Rogerian therapy and respond to the following questions:
- Realistically, do you think it is possible to be congruent and to extend empathy and unconditional positive regard to these clients in a psychotherapeutic context? Why or why not?
- How do you think clinicians practicing Rogerian therapy would approach these concepts for these clients?
- How might Rogerian therapy be a helpful strategy for these clients?
- Is it possible these concepts of Rogerian therapy could hinder treatment?
Write your initial response in 4–5 paragraphs. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.
By Saturday, December 12, 2015, post your response to the appropriateDiscussion Area. Through Wednesday, December 16, 2015, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses.
In my most humble opinion, I do not think that it is possible to be congruent and to be able to extend empathy and unconditional positive regard to these clients in a psychotherapeutic context. This is mainly due to the fact that there needs to be trust and understanding between the clients and the counselors (Feist, 2008). If the sex offenders do not believe that they need counseling, it is likely that they will at least admit the need to be there. This makes them to display low regard to the counselor for making them sit through a session. If we are dealing with clients who do not want the therapy of their own free will, they will not express themselves at a normal level; hence the contact will be impersonal. For any elderly client dementia, they might want to be there. However without the ability to hold and maintain information from one session to another, it would be difficult to belief what their therapist is telling them. For example, they would not be able to remember how they felt towards their therapist.
I think that clinicians who practice Rogerian therapy would approach the concepts for these clients with empathy and unconditional positive regard. Primarily, their emotional output is authentic and their positive regard for their health and success is organic (Feist, 2008).in most cases, whereby the sex offenders, dementia patients, or any other mentally ill in dealing with it is important to have a positive regard and empathy for them. For instance, to persons who are not genuine in their approach will turn off a client with quickness and the focus and work put forth to their mental health will be wasted as the client will be unable to feel they can truly put across their emotions and feeling s to the therapist.
Rogerian therapy would be a helpful strategy for these clients as he sees patients as human beings, who have authentic need for acceptance and recognition. Also, he finds people as been potential and not neurotic. For instance, the theory outlines that therapist should be genuine in their practice. In this case, client patient relationship develops which later articulates to the patient’s self-actualization (Feist, 2008). Examples of congruence in therapy include awareness, expression, and feeling. When incongruence occurs, the awareness and feeling is muffled and the expression is hard to express for lack of positive regard and empathy from the counselor.
Particularly, the hindering of treatment could result from lack of positive regard and empathy towards certain clients, such as sex of offender or other patient that would be difficult to handle. The difficulty can result to personal bias such as frustration (Feist, 2008). For instance, if a person is feeling empathy but not positive self regard in the sense that their feelings and motives are not genuine the client will feel that. On the other hand, if the relationship is rocky, then the progress won’t be there. If I personally had a sex offender as a client it would be difficult to have empathy for that patient. Basically, I would excuse myself from treatment and find another therapist in order to assist them.
Feist, J., & Feist, G. (2008). Theories of Personality, 7th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/books/007-7376714/id/pg323