Understanding Counselling Theory Assignment Sample

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Understanding Counselling Theory Assignment

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Historic Development of a therapeutic model

People have always shared what they felt or their experiences to the counselors and therapists whether they were early tribes or the present-day generation. Modern therapy is linked with its history traces back to the early 1880s which was more influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud who had developed a therapy for the hysteria patients and his work influenced many therapists of that era including Otto Rank and Alfred Adler. In the 1940s and 1950s, another therapist Carl Roger came up with a very unique approach under the influence of Otto Rank and Alfred Adler (Rowe, 2017).

Carl Rogers was born in the year 1902 in Oak Park, Chicago and he worked as a psychologist at the RSPCC which is Rochester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the year 1928 (Wiryosutomo et al., 2019). Carl Roger has a humanistic approach in dealing with patients as for him the mainstream psychology which was considering Humans as an object while treating was not the right approach and He developed his unique approach in treating the patients or individual with respect and understanding.

Roger was also influenced by the Maslow Theory of Self-actualization. According to his theory, the belief of the people is inclined to achieve certain goals that are not realized through any rewards. He came up with another theory that stated people struggle to self-actualize to become the best version of themselves however to achieve the state of self-actualization, the basic need pyramid have to be formed so that it takes towards the final objectives and goals of the people (Miller & Moyer, 2017). According to his needs pyramid, there are five steps which include the basic need for survival i.e., Water, shelter, food. The second need is the safety of the individual followed by the esteemed or social needs of an individual. The highest requirement or need is self-growth and ends in self-actualization. For Carl Rogers, this theory of an individual internal force to be best found to be true as he believed that with the provision of the right support and environment so that individual can attain the stage of self-actualization.

In the early 1950s, non-directive therapy was initially known to be client-focused therapy however it later changed to person-centered counseling as it mostly focused on a person's experience rather than treating the patients as an object. With help of Roger's sound recording of counseling interviews, he played an important role in the development of psychotherapy studies and counseling between the year 1940s and 1950s.with the help of the interview recording Carl Roger developed a theory of counseling by analyzing and identifying various factors which contributed to positive results (Trettin, 2021).

Various contributors have helped in enhancing the Person-Centered Therapy model developed by Carl Rogers. A few of them include Eugene Gendlin who gave importance to Focusing which was hugely influential and offers different steps in making the path to deeper feelings and intuitions (Oberreiter, 2021). The second psychologist that helped in developing the Person-centric model is Julius Seamen's with his personality integration model and finally, Natalie Rogers contributed to the development of person-centered expressive therapy.

Limitations of Person-Centered Therapy

The practical application of Person-centered Therapy can be challenging for the psychologist due to the following reasons. The heavy dependence on the psychologists to be non-judgmental and empathetic with their patients. Lack of techniques and skills based on the person-centered model by the psychologist is another hindrance in the practical application of the PCT model developed by Carl Rogers. This therapy requires that the client should be motivated and cannot be helpful when the client is depressed (Burgers et al., 2021). This therapy requires that the client should be able to communicate well so that he/she can express feelings more effectively so that there is a positive result. There may be chances that the client is afraid or reluctant to provide their personal information or what they are experiencing in their personal lives for privacy reasons. This therapy was introduced in the 60s and does not have any research or theory developed in recent years. The person-centered therapist is not allowed to help their clients hence there can be chances that the clients are not offered appropriate advice. The PCT is not based on crisis intervention and thus it does not enable the therapist to help the individual in overcoming stress and help in behavioral change through analyzing the situation and providing a plan to advocate and support the client (Ricciardi et al., 2020). According to Florkowski, 2017 this therapy can be considered to be both long-term and short-term as in this process the client usually starts to feel better after few therapies and generally, is out of the process of the therapy in the next level sessions. This therapy proves to be beneficial for those clients who are educated enough to express their views more sensibly and effectively.

The philosophical basis of the Person-Centric Model

The philosophical basis of the person-centric model hugely depends on the principle of hearing the client's experiences and providing them with a comfortable environment where they can feel secure and safe to discover their inner world with the help of Therapists who will not judge their life by hearing those experiences. The therapists try to get involved in the personal life of the client as if it is their own life and thereby leading the process of the treatment while making sure from what the client would get hurt and thereby avoiding it. This model adheres to the belief that the client has the ability within themselves for understanding the deep feeling in them and can change themselves and their behavior. This change can only be brought to a client’s lifestyle when a safe, emphatic and non-judgmental environment is provided as it makes them more concerned to take care of themselves as the therapists stem them with a positive perception of their lives (Tudor & Rodgers, 2021). The therapist's way of hearing the client in more sensitive and emphatic ways motivates the patient to listen to the therapist with accuracy to their inner feelings and experiences. This realization of self-understanding and self-actualization leads the client to lead them to be more truthful and real to their life experiences which leads them to grow in their lives as after the therapy they experience a true feeling about who they are. In this theory, the therapists don’t heal the patients but the patient themselves help themselves to heal in the same way as a gardener who doesn't grow plants but provides a suitable environment for the plant to grow (Moore et al., 2021).

Key Concepts and principles of the Person-Centric Model

Provision of a safe and empathic environment in the healing process of the client so that they can grow is the key principle to this Person centric Model developed by Carl Rogers. In this process, the healing environment develops when there is empathy and unconditional respect and regard are present in the relationship between the therapists and the client. There is truthfulness and transparency between the client and the counselor motivates the client to be true and positive towards them as well. There is empathy among the therapists which help them to sense the client feeling and responding them back to the client in an effective way (Böhm, 2020). This is achieved by listening carefully and sensibly to the client's feelings to not just understand the feeling of the client but also be able to develop a sense to go beyond the level of sensibility and the client's feelings.

In this approach, both the client and the therapist deep dive into the life of the client to explore how the client's life is like, and for this the therapists walk along with the client's experiences and explore their way of life in the most sensible and non-judgmental way. The therapist also holds the client in high regard allowing them to be who they are in the most effective and non-possessive way. This quality of therapists is considered to be a quality of unconditional positive respect or regard. With this healing process, the client can identify and explore how their ways of living were dependent on other person lives which often restrict the individual in realizing their true self and their true reason for existence as they are trying to live by following the principles and values of another person (Stokes, 2017).

The way of living of the client has them damaged enough and lowered their self-confidence as they are living under the rules of other person lives to gain respect and love from them. In the healing process, they may explore their life experiences by discovering that they were relying on the external factors on how to live a life and also realize that they were giving importance to other people's opinions and trying to live life to please others.

As stated by Wallström & Ekman, 2018, the environment that is provided to the client is proved to be effective as this will help the client in discovering their inner self and valuing their own decisions and judgments. Along with this, there is numerous significance of the person-centric approach when applied in the healing process of the client. The client-focused approach may enhance the concept of self-realization which implies the set of ideas and beliefs about themselves. This self-concept enables positive perception among the people and also provides a positive way how they look and interact with the surrounding around them. Sometimes, the concept of self-realization is matched with the real-world experience and in many other cases, this concept does no go with reality and proved to be unrealistic. Also, when there is a conflict between the self-concept and reality, the difference between the self-concept and reality can arise. For example, imagine a woman who sees herself as not so interesting and attractive but other people finds her attractive and fascinating. As her self-concept is different from what is reality, she may experience lower self-confidence and lower esteem (Rogers, 2018).

There are other instances and points which can prove the effectiveness of the concepts and principles of the person-centered approach developed by Carl Rogers. These instances include,

  1. In case of improvement of the overall situation of the people with disorders such as anxiety and mood swings, the concept of unconditional positive regard may prove to be effective.
  2. When the concept of congruence and genuineness is used in the school environment, it can lead to good results.
  3. For people having depressions and anxiety, the concept of empathic understanding may prove to yield better results during the healing process (Cooke & Sheppard, 2021).

However, the above factor is ambiguous whether they prove to yield long-lasting results in the clients. Also, the result of the client is dependent on the therapist's perception of the client's problems or if the client is unable to see qualities such as empathy, there can be chances that the client may not experience positive outcome from the healing process (Dewing et al., 2017).

The argument made against the person-centric model

Carl Roger concept of congruence and incongruence in a personality where a congruent personality can achieve positive experience and opportunities while an incongruent personality has defensive nature and is restricted with the difficulties caused by the person-environment has been argued by other Psychologists as the approach to incongruence and congruence is based on the idea of truthfulness and reality which has been looked upon as most desired personality features, however, few psychologists termed this concept as negative as there are chances of expressing unreal and untruthful experience in the healing process (Rogers, 2018). However, Carl Roger argued that the idea of truthfulness is individual regardless of the exact truth, the feeling of truthfulness by the person can be considered as a benefit for this person-centric approach.

As per Carl Roger, six conditions must be fulfilled to have a positive result. These six conditions include;

  1. There must be a cordial and strong bond between the Therapists and the client to achieve desired results.
  2. The client must be in a negative state where he is restricted by his surroundings and influenced by the behavior of another person.
  3. The therapist must equally participate in the process of healing by providing emotional support (Schmid, 2018).
  4. The therapist must show unconditional regard to the client.
  5. The Therapist must be empathetic while understanding the problem of the client.
  6. Finally, the above therapist approach must be well understood by the client.

However, as per few critics, there must be two important values i.e., the therapist must be a cordial and strong bond between the Therapists and the client to achieve desired results and The client must be in a negative state where he is restricted by his surrounding and influenced by the behavior of another person excluding the other conditions pointed by Carl Rogers (Stokes, 2017).

It has also been argued and criticized that person-centered therapy which relates to the theoretical approach, the experience of the client, and the various problem of the client is not possible to completely avoid the judgment and direction of the therapists in the healing sessions. To some degree, there are biases by the person as a result of their experiences in life. The Person-Centered approach can be sometimes annoying for the clients particularly those clients who are in quick need of recovery from their illness. The rigid approach of person-centered therapy would enable the client to solve their problems without any intervention from the therapist (Böhm, 2020). However, the client who has serious distress may have the urge to get some help or direction from the therapists which may likely solve their problems as soon as possible.

The Carl Roger person-centric approach is questionable whether the results of changes that occur to the person will last long or not. There is various research that has analyzed the process of healing and the outcome of healing concluded that the humanistic approach which adheres to the guidelines and ignores any interference or direction by the client does not last for a longer period.

Another argument made against the person-centric approach is the qualities such as empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard are required but it does not prove to be beneficial for the person with acute mental illness (Florkowski, 2017). This can be exemplified by taking the case of Schizophrenia where a person can respond efficiently to the qualities mentioned above however the outcome of the therapy was considered not to be enough.


Böhm, A. (2020). Basic Principles for Therapeutic Relationship and Practice in Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy. Gestalt Theory43(1).

Burgers, J. S., van der Weijden, T., & Bischoff, E. W. (2021). Challenges of research on person-centered care in general practice: a scoping review. Frontiers in Medicine8.

Cooke, B., & Sheppard, L. (2021). 10 Supervising according to person-centered principles. EBOOK: Coaching and Mentoring Supervision: Theory and Practice, 2e, 113.

Dewing, J., Eide, T., & McCormack, B. (2017). Philosophical perspectives on person-centredness for healthcare research. McCormack B, van Dulmen S, Eife H, et al, 19-29.

Florkowski, R. (2017). Person-centered approach and rehabilitation. Teaching Crossroads: 12th IPB Erasmus Week, 81.

Miller, W. R., & Moyers, T. B. (2017). Motivational interviewing and the clinical science of Carl Rogers. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology85(8), 757.

Moore, H. L., Farnworth, A., Watson, R., Giles, K., Tomson, D., & Thomson, R. G. (2021). Inclusion of person-centered care in medical and nursing undergraduate curricula in the UK: interviews and documentary analysis. Patient Education and Counseling104(4), 877-886.

Oberreiter, D. (2021). Carl Rogers and Schizophrenia. The evolution of Carl Rogers’ thinking on psychosis and schizophrenia: a literature survey. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies20(2), 152-173.

Ricciardi, J. N., Bouchard, S. W., Luiselli, J. K., & Dould, T. (2020). Integrated behavioral intervention and person-centered therapy within community-based treatment of an adult with acquired brain injury. Clinical Case Studies19(2), 133-144.

Rogers, A. (2018). Carl Rogers: Absence and presence in the contemporary therapy landscape.

Rowe, W. S. (2017). Client-centered theory and the person-centered approach: Values-based, evidence-supported. Social work treatment: Interlocking theoretical approaches, 34-53.

Schmid, P. F. (2018). “A kind of liking which has strength”(Carl Rogers): Does person-centered therapy facilitate through love?. In Re-visioning Person-Centred Therapy (pp. 192-208). Routledge.

Stokes, G. (2017). Challenging behavior in dementia: a person-centered approach. Routledge.

Trettin, A. F. (2021). Person-Centered Therapy: The Case of Tommy. Discovering Theory in Clinical Practice, 73-84.

Tudor, K., & Rodgers, B. (2021). The person-centered approach in Aotearoa New Zealand: a critical examination of settler psychology. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies20(1), 84-101.

Wallström, S., & Ekman, I. (2018). Person-centered care in clinical assessment.

Wiryosutomo, H. W., Hanum, F., & Partini, S. (2019). History of Development and Concept of Person-Centered Counseling in Cultural Diversity. International Journal of Educational Research Review4(1), 56-64.

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