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Person-centered therapy allows a patient to view human existence as a positive attribute that implies an inclination towards a recovery process of becoming fully purposeful (Corey, 2005). My quest for counseling leads to person-centered therapy that creates a therapeutic relationship between the client and the counselor. A client who suffers from depression, in grief or traumatized will experience positive feelings that did not exist previously because of lack of awareness. The process allows the client to find purpose in life and actualize his or her potential while moving towards a more positive and increased awareness, inner-direction, trust in self and spontaneity. Clients receive effective therapy that not only leads to recovery but also incorporation into the community because Person-centered therapy allows a counselor to create an important primary relationship with the client. Counselors show respect, warmth, genuineness, empathy, accuracy and complimentary. This attributes helps a client to use this relationship with the counselor as a basis of forming other relationship with other members of the community in solving day-to-day problems.
Self-reliance is essential in life that impacts the lives of people with a high emotional intelligence to become aware of their problems, resolve them and find ways of differentiating the ideal and real self. Maladjustment occurs because of an incongruity between what a person is in the present and what the person wants to become in future (Corey, 2005). Person-centered therapy brings into focus the status of the client and expressing or experiencing feelings to shape the ideal future. Many people worry about how their past changed their lives negatively while others focus on how their future is vague but all these people forget to live in the present, a period in time that is of more significance in shaping their lives and people close to them.
Adlerian, Psychoanalytic, Reality, Existential and Gestalt Counseling Theories
Adlerian therapy mainly focuses on motivating clients through social interests, handling daily tasks and striving towards achieving both personal and career goals (Corey, 2005). The therapist concentrates on encouraging the client to think about positive innate strengths and skills to lead a meaningful life in a society that is in constant change. Individuals develop different life styles at an early age that remains unchanged throughout life. This ability to interpret, create and influence events aids clients with self-help tools that foster communal support and cohesion.
Psychoanalytic therapy is from the ancient days in the sense that the basis of therapy is early childhood experiences and psychic energy (Corey, 2005). A client’s conflicts and unconscious motives result to current behavior. Some therapists report cases of strong irrational forces where the drive of the client originates from aggressive and sexual impulses. Repressed conflicts from childhood years affect the client because later personality disorders result from poor early development.
Reality therapy is a form of contemporary method of counseling that students, employees, trauma patients, parents and leaders undertake to achieve goals in life. Clients have the right to choose a behavior, thought and action that will shape their lives into effective and purposeful future (Glasser, 1965). Reality therapy allows clients to practice responsibility or accountability for the various choices they make throughout life. Accountability is learning to choose thoughts and behaviors that gratify client’s needs while not depriving other members of the society of the same chance and satisfying communal needs.
Existential therapy is in various sections where the counselor focuses on the client’s nature in relation to human condition, which encompasses ability to have self-awareness, the right and freedom to choose and decide one’s future, become responsible, deal with anxiety and find purpose in life (Corey, 2005). This therapy also touches areas where clients find comfort in living alone and having relationships with members of the community. People in the contemporary society undergo extensive therapy on how to deal with the reality of loss and attachment such as death, abandonment or divorce.
Gestalt therapy focuses on clients feeling, wholeness, behaving and thinking (Corey, 2005). The therapist encourages the client to put effort and positive thoughts on the present and not focus on past regrets or future fears. Some clients relate to present difficulties and bad behaviors that result from earlier influences.
All the above theories are familiar with Person-centered theory in the sense that personal growth and self-actualization are the fundamental aspects of counseling. All the therapy theories have a growth-promoting climate where a client moves from a bad behavior, thought and action into new and enchanted life that allows the client to make effective choices and direct his or her own life in accordance with both short-term and long-term goals.
Enhancing person-centered theory in counseling
Counselors enhance Person-centered theory in training by emphasizing on their own attributes and creating a conducive environment for the process (Rogers, 1961). Counselors are instruments of change in the world of mental and personality disorders. They do not direct the change needed to improve the life of the client because it is the client’s responsibility to take care of his or her life. The therapist should learn how to create an environment that will nurture the client through the recovery process. Clients need genuine, respectful, understanding and caring therapists who will make the clients open up and be self-aware. In most therapy sessions, clients have their own view of the world, which gives the therapist a chance to reflect on the view of the world as seen from the standpoint of the client. The counselor needs to learn congruency, demonstrate empathy and treat each client with positive regard, which is unconditional.
Personal and professional development in doing person-centered therapy is rewarding. Personal development comes in the therapeutic relationship with clients. This implies taking time to listen to clients, developing a deep understanding to society’s problems and understanding individuals in their natural settings. The counseling training also influences the counselor in overall behavior and thoughts while interacting with people who need guidance towards living a positive and self-reliant life (Rogers, 1961). Professional development is through in-depth knowledge of the Person-centered theory and other therapy theories that are important to clients in the contemporary society. Learning the various techniques of creating a recovery based therapy where the clients have informed choice to any form of therapy is achieving career goals because clients will recover and recommend other clients hence building a wide client-base.
Developing advanced conceptualization and treatment planning skills.
The concept of Person-centered originates from Carl Rogers, the father of psychotherapy and humanistic movement (Grant, 2010). His focus on counseling as a pioneer of psychotherapy was accepting the client’s condition, listening without judging and giving unconditional positive regard. The two main concepts that need in-depth knowledge in counseling training program by Carl Rogers are human psychology and aspects of existentialism. These two concepts provide knowledge on human mind and how it affects behavior and how to nurture a client through existential therapy. The client undergoes a practical therapy that stresses fundamental human conditions and how to have a normal personality, which is unique in each client. Existential therapy focuses on the present and transcends to what the client is becoming. Treatment planning skills include a systematic process of informed therapy that focuses on recovery and incorporation of the client into the society to lead a meaningful life. The results of Person-centered therapy for the client include exploration, self-reorganization, responsibility for self and therapeutic change. To achieve all these positive results, the counselor must use the following techniques in the therapy; empathic and active listening, genuineness, reflecting the client’s feelings, focus on here and now and lastly foster concreteness. A therapist who provides and develops a positive relationship with the clients will foster self-discovery, exploration and awareness in the clients, hence using the relationship for change, growth and personal or social development with other members of the community (Rogers, 1961).
Therapeutic relationship and growth environment.
The relationship between the therapist and the client is a mutual self-discovery that benefits both parties (Witty, 2007). The client is the first to transforms from bad thinking and poor personal development to receive positive relationship from the therapist. The communications allow the client to develop self-awareness and finds ways of encountering reality. Reality is what happens in the present and how to handle problems that comes with work, family, children and understanding the reality of death and grief. Working on the present will shape the future and improve relationships with members of the community hence contributing to the overall socio-economic status of the country. Communication with a person who has emotional problems, mental instability and personality disorders makes the counselor to care and empathize with the client (Witty, 2007). The therapist is congruent in the relationship while giving positive regard. The counselors who hide behind the professional mask when counseling their clients fail to achieve a desired outcome that includes understanding the view of the world from the client’s perspective and effective communication with a person who is in dire need of guidance to lead a meaningful life.
The growth climate should nurture self-development and lead to recovery. This climate to promote growth in therapy includes congruence, unconditional positive regard and accurate understanding (Grant, 2010). Congruence is the realness or genuineness provided by the counselor when dealing with a client’s problems. According to Rogers, counselors discover an inner self that feels the pain of others and help them satisfy their needs during the therapeutic relationship (1961). Unconditional positive regard is caring and accepting the client’s reality in terms of emotional problems. Caring is prizing the client who lacks successes or strengths in life. This brings out the inner strength to do something worthwhile or someone respectable. Empathy allows the counselor to comprehend the subjective world as viewed by the client. It involves appreciating the client’s experience and actively attending to client’s feelings. The counselor’s attitude and warmth towards the client is more significant than the theoretical background of the therapy.
Person-centered therapy aims to give a client the appropriate life-support skills and high emotional intelligence that help in distinguishing between the real and ideal world and the process provides a safe climate that is conducive for the client to explore inner feelings, potential and strength so that he or she can recognize aspects of self-growth that did not exist. This will encourage clients to practice openness with their problems, trust in self and solve their problems in future. The contemporary society is in constant change and this requires a higher level of emotional intelligence for people to develop interpersonal relations as work, school and at home.
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