DRAFT KENYA ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLORS
COURSE TITLE: HIGHER DIPLOMA IN COUNSELLING STUDIES
ESSAY TITLE: STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF USING A SINGLE THEORY TO COUNSELLING
FACILITATORS: MARY OTIENO LILIAN KAMAU
STUDENT: PERIS WANJIKU WAITHAKA
NUMBER OF WORDS: 2,950 DATE OF SUBMISSION: 6TH JUNE, 2011
.5 Weaknesses of Using Person-Centered Theory............................................................ 1 Historical Background of Person Centered Theory .............................................................................1 Therapeutic process ......................................................................................1 Mutua-Case Study KAPC (2010).................................................................................2 Strengths of Using Person-Centered Theory.....................................................................................................................................................9
.....................................................................1 Person -Centered Therapy Applied To the Case of Mutua...............TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction................................................................................6 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................3 Therapeutic techniques and procedures........................................................................................................3 View of human nature............................. 7 References ..
I am familiar with his past. I gave him a conducive environment.1987). Mutua-Case Study KAPC (2010) Therapeutic process When Mutua first came for counselling he looked unhappy.Introduction This essay talks about the strengths and weaknesses of using a single theory approach to counseling. I added that I would not attempt to give him advice or any solution or try to impose my 1
.life. I told him that he had genuine concerns and afterwards went onto describe the counselling process. I realized that a friend had suggested counselling to Mutua. walking and feeling with in their world . and unsure about the reception he would receive from a counsellor. being there . I have used the Mutua case study to explain the strengths and weaknesses of person-centered therapy in detail. He firmly maintains that people are essentially trustworthy . for the first twenty minutes of our meeting he talked at length concerning counselling while I listened attentively and I encouraged him to voice all the worries which he felt. According to my first impression. I have drawn a conclusion inclusive of references. Since I chose the person-centered approach.
Historical Background of Person Centered Theory Carl Rogers (1902 . developed person centered theory with an assumption that people are basically good. the kind of a person he would want to become 5 years from now as well as the changes he wants the most in his life. physically ill. I have walked with Mutua as my client to where he is currently. Rogers in person centered theory reflects on individuals feeling and emotions verbally and non verbally . some of his significant events and turning points in his . stressing that I was interested in and willing to listen to whatever he wanted to tell me. with a vast potential for understanding themselves and resolving their own problems because they have capacity to make constructive changes and able to live Another core theme in Rogers theory is the necessity for non judgmental listening and acceptance if the individuals are to change .
In order to do this.some of the issues which he raised. During our first session. Mutua described himself s a carpenter at 31years old. This makes him drink a lot. I feel so stupid and I am afraid. although his overall demeanour remained sad at times and strained. I worry a lot whether 2
. This seemed to encourage him to continue and explore further many of the problems which had been worrying him for the first time. He would love to turn his life around but does not know where to begin. he started to give me more eye contact when we spoke and even smiled occasionally. so that he could work with people. I continued to listen to him attentively. I captured themes in Mutua’s autobiography which helped me to counsel him. He seemed not to believe this at first. Occasionally I would paraphrase and summarize what he had been saying in order to clarify for his sake and mine.personal opinions or views upon him. Person -Centered Therapy Applied To the Case of Mutua Mutua’s life merit indicates that he has a clear picture of what he wants for his life regardless of the short comings that he had. I wanted to get inside Mutua’s frame of reference to understand what he was saying from his point of view alone. He does not get along well with his people. “I am a loner and I would like to have people around me but I just do not know how to go about making friends or getting close to people. career choices. but I noticed that after a while he became visibly relaxed and adopted a more comfortable. parents and family and the change he would like to make. reflecting in many ways the state of events in his life at that particular time. but I do not know where to begin. not hurried by me. open sitting position. Along with this. nodding even though this was sometimes difficult since his story was disjointed and slightly confused. fear of people. When I look at others. I want to get into some profession where I could work with people and eventually help them because I feel I was also helped by someone. I would like to turn my life around. During our first session together. He wants to get into a professional career and become a school teacher. I did not want to ask him too many questions unnecessarily because I felt that it was important that he should proceed at his own pace. Mutua talked about his carpentry work.
capable of self-understanding and self-direction able to make constructive changes and able to live effective and productive lives. and think that they are judging me and find out that I am not much of a man. cold. I am tired of feeling like a loser! I remember my parents comparing me unfavaurably with my older siblings Mueni and Kilonzo because they were successful academic students. be better off dead never to hurt anyone because I have never loved a person. (Rogers. and myself being loved or wanted. 1977). feeling so terribly alone. I regarded him as trustworthy because his autobiography indicates that he has a clear picture of what he wants with his life. In Mutua’s case.I am smart enough to get through all the studies I will need to do before I become a teacher. and isolated and think that I will always do. I sometimes think about committing suicide and then wonder who would care. At times like these. I accepted Mutua the way he was. I put myself down. emphasizes on human beings as basically good and maintains that people are trustworthy. This is making me feel unloved and unwanted by my parents. I feel overwhelmed. feel guilty and depressed. Another strength that I see in 3
. At times like these I see my family coming for my funeral.”
Strengths of Using Person-Centered Theory View of human nature As a Person-Centered Therapist. I would like to feel better about myself and my existence and get rid of my self-destructive tendencies and also learn to get along with people. scared. feeling sorry that that they did not treat me better. resourceful. I feel anxiety especially at night and feel scared that I am dying. wasted much time. I think how rotten I am. In the view of human nature. never able to change. Everything is not bleak and I like my determination and I want to change and nobody is going to change my life for me. filled with anger and hate. My parents would say that I would never amount to anything. Sometimes I feel alone. I have been a failure. and have let many people down. feeling so disgusted with myself with no talk of religion in my house. I recall crying myself to sleep many nights. and uptight when I am around attractive women. Much of the time I feel guilty that I have not worked to my potential.
admiration. I as a Person . In this case. I totally agree with this statement because in Mutua’s case he had so many problems (issues) which he wanted to tackle such as: furthering his career. I realized that I had raised his self esteem. These attributes are: Congruence ( genuineness or realness). when people are free.Centered Therapist. Self esteem is uniquely individual and this case of Mutua portrays a good example of how his self esteem was hurt as a developing child. KAPC (2011). It is a statement of personal worth. sitting in an open posture. Person -Centered therapy is applicable to a wide range of human problems. I was able to lead Mutua to understand his feelings and emotions towards 4
. accurate empathic understanding ( an ability to deeply grasp the subjective world of another person). Promoting climate in which he could move forward and become what he was capable of becoming.Like when he became visibly relaxed and adopted a more comfortable. and it is an individual assessment. a comparison to his own siblings and a person who could not amount to anything according to his parents. He felt himself a failure to many people. (KAPC. the strength is that. pride and enjoyment. relationship with people especially women. This positive view of human nature. a teacher who could work well with young people and one primary school principal had seen it and valued it. unconditional positive regard (acceptance and caring). He was scared of mixing with people. I communicated these attitudes towards Mutua and he became less defensive and more open to himself and his world and he started behaving in a pro-social and constructive way. Self esteem is the set of statements regarding the value individuals put upon themselves in the sense of respect. maturing into adulthood. they will be able to find their own way. Mutua was not influenced by others. According to Combs (1989). He placed no value upon himself when he fantasized committing suicide. family life.Mutua’s case is the three attributes that created a growth. He also felt that he was worthless around strong and attractive women in the sense of performing sexually and so he was afraid they would swallow him up. 2011). he even smiled occasionally. Mutua had skills of a carpenter. gave me an eye contact and when we spoke. wondered who would care especially when his mother wished she had not had him. but Mutua placed a little personal value upon himself.
I created a helping relationship in which Mutua experienced the necessary freedom to explore arrears of his life that were then denied to awareness or distorted. This encouraged him to explore threatening aspects of his self-concept. The emphases is on how Mutua acted in his world with others.other people and his world. He had an opportunity to express his guilt that his. understanding and responding. and on respecting him as a person. Therapeutic techniques and procedures Rogers original emphasis was on the methods of reflecting. respecting. feeling. He had an opportunity to openly express his fears of women of not being able to work with people. He was able to relate his feelings of hurt over not having ever felt loved and wanted. I emphasized with his life situation and I found that he was able to clarify his struggles and worked out his own solutions to his problems. understanding and acceptance. on demonstrating my unconditional positive regard for him. others and himself down. Person centered counseling was certainly not the answer to all of Mutua’s problems. My role was not to use techniques designed to get Mutua “to do something. Because I trusted Mutua. He wanted to feel equal with others and have to apologise for his existence. feelings that he had lived up to his parent’s expectations and that he had let them. I helped Mutua learn to be more accepting of himself with both his strengths and limitations. trusting and encouraging atmosphere. My main aim was to create a climate of openness. and how he could move forward in constructive directions and how he could successfully encounter obstacles (both within and without himself) that was blocking his growth. By creating a supportive. trust caring. and of feeling inadequate and stupid. He was able to explore how he felt judged by his parents and by authorities. He 5
. listening accepting. This now was my last session with Mutua. on accepting his feelings and thoughts. I avoided planning and structuring the sessions. Mutua had a low of self-worth although he found it difficult to believe that others really liked him.” My attitudes facilitated personality change in my client. My main focus was on being real. My attitudes were able to lessen Mutua’s defenses and rigid perceptions and moved to a higher level of personal functioning. yet most of the time he was aware that he felt of the time he was aware that he felt inferior.
however.Centered” to the extent that they diminish the value of their own power as a person and thus lose the impact of their personality on the client (KAPC. Mutua gradually got a sharper focus on his experiencing and was able to clarify his own feelings and attitudes.could also express the loneliness and isolation that he often felt as well as the need to dull these feelings with alcohol or drugs. Mutua was no longer totally alone for he took the risk of letting me into his private world of feelings. He found that he had the capacity to make his own decisions. Person . was to give him enough confidence to make plans for the future which were based largely on his own needs and not on those of other people. PersonCentered therapy works best with verbal. (2011) Weaknesses of Using Person-Centered Theory Person centered therapy lacks concreteness. He also had a problem with the fighting of his parents. Mutua was able to increase his own faith and confidence in himself. I aimed at challenging my client Mutua to make changes that would lead to living fully and authentically. What it did . KAPC. I also find person-centered working well with professionals and paraprofessionals and Mutua was not yet a professional. with the realization that this kind of existence demands a continuing struggle. Because of the caring and faith he experienced from counseling. The therapeutic relationship freed him from his self-defeating ways. I agree with this statement because Mutua had his past struggles with his parents comparing him unfavorably with his siblings. Some practitioners become “Client.Centered therapy was certainly not the answer to all of Mutua’s problems. 2011). His mother was very 6
. During our counselling sessions with Mutua. I made him understand that he could never arrive at a final or a static state of being self-actualized rather he would be continually involved in the process of actualizing himself. As a practitioner with a humanistic orientation. He came to me to seek help with an idea of becoming a professional. Another weakness found in person-centered therapy is ignorance for unconscious and innate drives. he verbalized a lot and along with that I was able to paraphrase and summarize what he was telling me. Person-centered therapists have a tendency to be very supportive of clients without being challenging.
I knew very well in Mutua’s case that he needed a REB Therapist to help him through his irrational thinking towards other people. I could not dig deep to his early childhood because to me. Ellis view of human nature assumes that human are born with a potential for both rational (straight) thinking and irrational (crooked) thinking. This tendency to be irrational or illogical is threw root cause of most human unhappiness and suffering a central aim if REBT is to help the client indentify the ways in which his irrational thinking causes his unhappiness and to further encourage him to establish and maintain more rational thinking. yet they often sabotage their movement toward growth due to their inborn tendency towards crooked thinking and self – defeating patterns they have learned (Ellis1998. past is insignificant as a person. This self scolding is a direct result of childhood experience and is derived from largely negative information passed on from parents and from the society in general. self –evaluating and self –sustain . Ellis has concluded that humans are self –taking . Roger’s view of human nature is 7
. I dealt with Mutua’s here and now reflecting on his feelings. Person -centered therapy did not work on his unconscious. Further. He had these negative automatic thought but I was limited. Conclusion Person –Centered Theory is based on philosophy of human nature that postulates an innate striving for self-actualization.he also affirms that humans have an inborn tendency towards growth and actualization . According to Combs (1988).1999). He also thought that he was a failure and nobody cared or loved him. the Person-Centered approach has been somewhat resistant of the idea that the counsellor should function as a teacher. scared and also thought of committing suicide. He thought that women were judging him that he was not a man. the irrational patterns of thinking which people steadfastly adhere to are reign forced by their internal language or self –scolding .dominant while his father was weak and passive next to her. seeing such a role as indicating that the counsellor knows what is best for the client.centered. I could also not dig and go back to his structure of personality. he felt anxious.
2011). Through the relationship with Mutua. we structure ourselves according to our perceptions of reality. They also have the capacity for self-direction and constructive personal change (KAPC. Person-Centered theory rests on the assumption that clients can understand the factors in their lives that are causing them to be unhappy. I was able to lead him gradually to get a sharper focus on his experiencing and was able to clarify his own feelings and attitude. 2011).defeating ways.
. that is. the therapeutic relationship freed Mutua from his self. In short. He soon discovered that there was someone in his life whom he could depend on-himself.phenomenological. (KAPC.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Unpublished paper. Rogers.
. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Diminishes Much of the Human Ego.References Combs. Some current issues for person centered Review. On Personal Power: Inner Strength and Its Revolutionary Impact. (1989). (1988).W. Carl. CA: Impact. CA.W. Newbury Park. C. New York: Albert Ellis Institute.. (1977). (1999). Higher diploma in counselling psychology manual. Combs. Rational emotive behavior therapy: A therapist’s guide. (1998). A. A. Ellis. KAPC 2011. Atascadero. Ellis. A theory of therapy: Guidelines for counselling practice. Sage. 263-276. and MacLaren. A. A. 3(3).