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Chapter 13

Clinical Psychology Chapter 13.docx

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John Stephens

Chapter 13- Psychotherapy: Phenomenological & Humanistic-Existential Perspectives Client Centered Therapy - Carl Rogers: originally a child clinician - Phenomenology: an individual’s behavior is completely determined by his or her phenomenal field, or everything that is experienced by the person at any given point in time - Phenomenal self = “me”  Theoretical Propositions - Client as the experiential center - Reliance on self reporting rather than on inferences from test data or related observations, as the primary source of information - Self actualization: basic human tendency toward maintaining and improving oneself o We are all on a journey towards this o This is what produces the forward movement in life - Behaviour = goal directed attempts to satisfy needs  The “self”: awareness of one’s being and functioning  Three possibilities following an experience: - Symbolized into some relationship to self - Ignored because it is irrelevant to self - Denied/Distorted because it is inconsistent to the self  Principal Condition - Complete absence of threat to self - Rationale for atmosphere of client-centered therapy (very necessary) o Warm o Accepting o Permitting Features of Client-Centered Therapy - Growth potential o Psychotherapy is the releasing of an already existing capacity in a potentially competent individual, not the expert manipulation of a more or less positive personality  Empathy - Understanding - Genuine, deep regard - Basis for therapeutic relationship - Measure of objective detachment must always be maintained otherwise the therapist would have the same problems as the client  Unconditional positive regard - Respect as a human being - Complete lack of judgment o Think of the way a dog greets his owner  Congruence - Expression of behavior, feelings, or attitudes stimulated by client - Clients respond favorably to genuineness - Open honesty - Very big on the expression and management of affect  Attitude vs. Technique - State of mind, not a set of techniques - Non-directive, allow for client self discovery - Self-fulfillment and health emphasized over destructive nature - Experience over empirical • Therapeutic process IS – Acceptance – Recognition – Clarification – Structuring • It is NOT – Advice & information – Reassurance & persuasion – Questioning & interpreting Stages of Client-Centered Therapy • Stage 1 – Unwillingness to reveal self – Rigid constructs • Fearfulness or guardedness • Stage 2 – Some description of feelings – Still remote from self • Stage 3 – Free flow expression of self – Questioning of construct validity • Can be profound and powerful • Stage 4 – Free description of feeling of self – Loosening of personal constructs – Beginnings of self responsibility • Stage 5 – Free expression & acceptance – Desire to be what one is • Existential pursuit • Stage 6 – Acceptance of feelings, no denial – Risking relationships & acceptance • Stage 7 – Experiencing self fully – Little incongruence – Checking validity of experience Client-Centered Therapy • Diagnosis – Deemphasized/ avoided – Impedes autonomy and self-actualization • This assumption needs scientific support – Focused on feelings themselves, not whether feelings are “correct” • Other applications – Human relations training – Crisis centers – Person-centered approaches: client-centered approach outside the therapy room • Positives of client centered therapy – Self determination over biological determination – Freedom of choice – Equal client/ therapist standing – Less emphasis on the past • All about current experiences – Shorter durations – Emphasis on research in therapeutic process, methods, and outcomes • Limitations of client centered therapy – Therapists cannot affect change; client inner potential “released” – Too intuitive? – Influence of therapist’s personal
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