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Person Centered Therapy

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 763
  • Category: Therapy

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  1. As a person-centered therapist how would you proceed in therapy in the case of Doris?
    One important aspect of the person centered approach is the empathy that should be exhibited by the counsellor/therapist. Carl Rogers (Corey, 2004) initiated the model with the premise that within each person is the capacity to eventually surpass any obstacle with the help and support of critical people. The unconditional positive regard which when cultivated by a therapist is believed to be very crucial to the recovery and healing of the patient. There is curative value to the skills which, importantly, shall comprise the approach that the therapist takes in the course of their healing relationship.

            In the case of Doris, whose plans are already starting to surface, which include the abandonment of her child is an indicator by now that she is not functioning very well. The person centered therapist is a believer that when given time, a patient-listening-ear and other skills, help for Doris to tap the inner strength that she possesses can be had.

The therapeutic nature of the person centered therapy to help Doris get the insights, not only to the drastic results of her choices at this point in her life, but especially to the fact that other lives are affected as well is not easy as it may seem when one uses this approach. Doris must wade through her confusions, her feelings of despondency and the sense of hopelessness. What is actually happening when there is a gradual realization of these issues and the hope that the future may hold for her, is that the practitioner is more than a crutch and a pole that pulls the patient. The therapist with or without the conscious awareness of the patient is her source of strength and resolve to weather the seemingly heavy burden ahead of her. That is why for many, this approach has become widely used; it is to an extent a very successful model in the field of psychotherapy.

            The client or person-centered therapy is persuaded that a person is only understood from the point of view of his or her own perception and emotionality or feelings, also known as the phenomenological world. It takes time to be able for the therapist to look into how Doris, in this particular case, experience events not just at the events that Doris is experiencing; i.e., her problems and her seemingly hopeless outlook. Doris’s phenomenological world is a major determinant of behavior and what makes Doris’ unique from other patients.

            Another contention of this approach is that the therapist should never attempt to manipulate the circumstances for Doris. What is important is that Doris should create conditions that will empower her to make decisions of her own. The premise of this approach lies in the belief that when a person like Doris is no longer concerned with the evaluations, preferences and demands that others make upon her, she will then be released to spur on and live according to the expected innate tendency to self-actualize or reach her potential self.

  1. How does person-centered therapy fit, or not fit with your own personal style?

            Many of those who use this approach however, do not usually strictly use the pattern that Rogers indicated in his model. In my case, my personality and disposition cannot merge well with this approach. This is because, the skills needed are at times individual in nature; meaning regardless of training, there are some therapists, like me, just can’t incorporate some of the strategies for reasons that probably it takes more patience to put up plain unconditional positive regard.

            There is no hundred percent guarantee that Doris will be able to fully heal in every aspect of her struggling life. It is not easy in the individualistic society that America is get through having a source of income enough to feed herself and her child. Unemployment is major stressor; in fact it can be an extreme form of stress that it strips the person of a strong self-esteem and reduces her even to one of the lowest levels of the hierarchical nature of the society that we live in. When a therapist pursues the client with tenacious determination to enable and empower the patient, it is not impossible that the likes of Doris will have her life back and that with her child she’ll continue to nurture.


Corey, Gerald, 2004. Theory and practice of counseling and          psychotherapy. Thomson Learning, USA.

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