My therapeutic perspective is the client-centered approach, which Carl Rodgers suggested. I believe in the inherent ability of human beings to improve themselves. Certain therapeutic approaches tend to use a paternalistic strategy in which it is assumed that the therapist knows everything. As such, the client develops a dependence on the expert whose presence may not be sustainable in their lives. I believe that the client has a capacity to understand his situation, and thus develop a course of improvement. As Rogers explained, all individuals have resources to direct their behaviors, so these should be utilized as much as possible (Rogers, 2003). For instance, a person who has just lost a close relative may have difficulty in coping with the issue at the beginning but will have improved greatly after several months or years. This does not, in any way, prove that a therapist is irrelevant. The counselor’s role is to direct or facilitate this self-actualization.
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I adopted a humanistic school of thought because I believe that therapists should be as genuine and as open as possible. Rather than trying to hide one’s identity, it would be more effective to use one’s humanity as a tool in therapy. I was particularly drawn to the manner in which therapists in this school perceive their clients. This attitude is respectful and unpretentious. I liked the idea of treating the client like one would treat a friend; therapeutic sessions would involve listening and nudging the person as he decides what to do with himself. This concept of relationship-building is quite authentic to me. It seems that a lot of progress can be made when the client-therapist association is personal in nature. Further, a focus on relationships appears to be more sustainable than skills. This is because skills are too technical and only work in certain circumstances. However, if one alters one’s attitude, then this can apply to almost any situation (Cooper et. al., 2010).
Cooper, M., Watson, J. & Hoeldampf, D. (2010). Person-centered and experiential therapies work: A review of the research on counseling, psychotherapy and related practices. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
Rogers, C. (2003). Client centered therapy: Its current practice, implications and theory. New York: Constable Publishers.