CHAPTER 6: COUNSELING CHILDREN
Humanistic philosophy characterizes people as capable and autonomous beings who have
the capacity to solve their own problems, work toward their full potential, and make
positive changes in their lives.
Rogers believed a counseling relationship based on the warmth and responsiveness of
the therapist. Rogers believed that in such a relationship clients would express their
feelings and thoughts”
Rogers: First phase: focused on differences between directive and n nondirective
approaches to counseling. Clinicians should not tell clients how to change but rather to
help clients express, clarify, and gain insight into their emotions.
Second phase: client’s responsibility and counselors therapeutic stance. But treatment
could not be totally nondirective. Counselors role as being more active, must
communicate empathy, congruence, and acceptance to create a therapeutic alliance.
Third phase: healthy and fully functioning people as those who are open to experience
and appreciative of themselves.
Person –centred phase: Rogers represented concern with all of humanity. Rogers
promoted belief that people have within them resources for understanding themselves.
THE NATURE OF PEOPLE:
Rogers: viewed people as rational, socialized, forward moving, and realistic beings. He
argued that negative, antisocial emotions are only a result of frustrated basic impulses. He
considered people at their most fundamental level to be essentially positive with a
tendency to grow, to heal, and to move toward their fullest potential.
Child centred counselors believe people:
Have worth and dignity in their own right and therefore deserve respect
Have the capacity and right to self-direction and when given the opportunity make wise
Can select their own values
Can learn to make constructive us of responsibility
Have the capacity to deal with their own feelings, thoughts, and behavior
Have the potential for constructive change and personal development toward a full and
Person – the person develops and “exists in a continually changing world of experience
of which he is the centre”. World – World here means everything the child experiences internally as well as
externally. Internal references contain basis for looking at life. Whatever the child
perceives to be happening makes up his reality.
Self – self is the person’s private world that becomes recognized as “me” across
interactions with others.
Self-concept – an organized configuration of perceptions of the self, which are admissible
to awareness. Characteristics and abilities, self in relation to others and environment.
In order to decrease the likelihood of those external evaluations replacing a healthy sense
of oneself, the child centred counselor acknowledges the person, world, and the self of
the child, believing each person has the capacity to move steadily toward growth and
If children are given unconditional positive regard - messages that they are special just
because of who they are – they are more likely to become fully functioning adults.
THEORY OF COUNSELING
Child- centred counselors create an environment in which a child can discover and
explore, focus on the relationship with the child, concentrate on the child rather than the
problem, the present rather than the past, feelings rather than behaviours, understanding
rather than explaining, accepting rather than correcting, the child’s wisdom and direction
rather than the counselors.
Six core conditions for personality change:
1. Two people are in psychological contact – caring an investment in relationship
2. Client is in a state of incongruence therefore motivated to change
3. Therapist is congruent and involved in the relationship. Genuine, trusted,
4. Therapist offers unconditional positive regard for client
5. Therapist experiences empathetic understanding of the client’s internal frame of
reference. Creates a place where client can increase self awareness
6. The communication of empathetic and positive regard is achieved. If client feels
valued by counselor they can value themselves more.
Counselors – value and accept people as they are, assume people can solve their own
problems, focus on strengths and successes, demonstrate the qualities of congruence,
unconditional positive regard, and empathy. Leads to client’s self-exploration.
Congruence – Counselor’s ability to be genuine and aware of themselves and the way
others see them By replacing advice, interpretations, and questions with the active listening process of
limiting his responses to summaries and clarifications of the content, feelings, and
expectations for counseling.
Directing the counseling interview would be an important first step for clients to begin
directing their lives outside the counseling interview.
Clients receiving child centred counseling learn more about themselves and their
unsolved problems then they have ever known because they are in a teaching role of
trying to help counselors understand their situations.
If counselors create a warm and accepting climate in interviews, children trust the
counselor enough to risk sharing their ideas about their lives and the problems they face.
They feel free to explore their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours as they relate to their
personal growth, development and adjustment. This should lead to more effective
decision making and productive behaviours.
Child centred counseling can be thought of in 2 dimensions:
1 responsive and facilitative, which included attending, observing, and listening
2 initiative which included initiating, personalizing, and responding
Clients thereby learn more about themselves, because teaching also generally helps the
The main goal of child 0 centred therapy is assisting people in becoming more
autonomous, spontaneous, and confident.
As people become more aware of what is going on inside themselves, they can cease
fearing and defending their inner feelings.
Child becomes more confident and ore self-directed
The ultimate goal of child centred therapy is for the client to be a fully functioning person
who has learned to be free and who can counsel himself or herself.
Central to the child centred counseling is helping children trust and be honest with
themselves. Other goals include promoting awareness of self, optimism and
responsibility, congruence and autonomy.
Effective child centred counselors must possess openness, empathic understanding,
independence, spontaneity, acceptance, mutual respect, and intimacy. ASSESSMENT
Child centred counselors rarely use diagnostic and assessment tools.
Outlines by Rogers in 12 steps:
1. Individual comes for help
2. Helping situation is characterized as a chance to grow
3. Counselor promotes free expression of feelings
4. Counselor accepts, recognizes an clarifies these feelings
5. When person’s negative feelings have been fully expressed, they are often
followed by a tentative expression of positive drives toward growth
6. Counselor accepts and recognizes the positive feelings, gives person a chance to
understand themselves – insight and self understanding
7. Insight (understanding and acceptance of self) provides a foundation from which
the person can move to a new level of integration
8. Mingled with the insight in an awakening to clarification of possible decisions
and courses of action
9. Then the beginning of small but significant positive actions begin
10. Further insight occurs
11. More integrated positive action, less fear, and more confidence follow
12. The person feels less need for help and recognizes the relationship in near an end
Rogerian Model for Help:
First phase – self exploration, people examine exactly where they are in their lives.
Second Phase – people begin to understand the relationship between where they are in
life and where they would like to be
Third Phase – involves goal directed action
Only exception to the logical order of these three stages might be in helping children.
Their movement through the process may be more meaningful if action is followed y
understanding and then self exploration. Children problem solve better when they can
move from concrete to abstract thinking.
Strongest technique is attitudes toward people – empathy, congruence, and unconditional
Rogers 6 principles he believed helped him become more effective in understanding and
showing empathy in counseling:
1. “ In my relation