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PSYCH404: Psychotherapy

Unit 4: Client-Centered Therapy   Client-Centered Therapy (also known as person-centered therapy) developed as a reaction to the “colder” psychoanalytic therapy models. While the psychoanalytic approach views the therapist as a guide to the patient, client-centered therapy empowers the patient to take a more prominent role in his/her treatment by having him use the therapeutic relationship in order to realize his potential and solve his own problems. Accordingly, client-centered therapy sees the therapist as a nurturer, encouraging the patient to develop certain skills while allowing him to come to his own decisions. Practitioners see this as an important distinction from psychoanalytic models, where a patient is led to accept the decision the therapist has made for him. In this unit, we will review different aspects of client-centered theory, exploring its differences from psychoanalysis in order to identify the different clinical applications that result.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 8.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 4.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: .5 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • describe the historical context out of which the client-centered approach was born;
  • describe the major tenets of this theory, including how client-centered therapists generally conceptualize a) human nature, b) psychopathology, and c) the change process; and
  • compare and contrast this theory/therapy with that of the previous theories/therapies presented (i.e., psychoanalytic therapy and existential therapy).

4.1 Client-Centered Theory   4.1.1 Nondirective Counseling   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “On Being NonDirective” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “On Being NonDirective” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the first link, choose the “click here” link near the top of the page to find a list of Dr. Patterson’s publications. Download the PDF listed above and read the associated article. As you read, pay attention to how the article defines “nondirective.” What does the term mean? What does it not mean? You will find a useful list of the goals of client-centered therapy near the end of the document; this will serve as a solid introduction to the goals of this theoretical orientation.
 
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4.1.2 The Notions of Congruence and Genuineness   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Therapeutic Genuineness” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Therapeutic Genuineness”(PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the first link, choose the “click here” link near the top of the page to find a list of Dr. Patterson’s publications. Download the PDF listed above and read the associated article. As you read, pay attention to the difference between genuineness and facilitative genuineness. Also take note that the aspects of genuineness have been found to facilitate change. 
 
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4.1.3 Empathy   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Empathic Understandings” and Carl R. Rogers, PhD’s “Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Empathic Understanding” (PDF) and Carl R. Rogers, PhD’s “Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the links, choose the “click here” link near the top of the page to find a list of publications. Download the two PDFs listed above and read the associated articles. Carl R. Rogers’ is the father of client-centered therapy; as you read his article, try to identify what he values about empathy and pay special attention to the example that he provides.
 
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4.1.4 Unconditional Positive Regard   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson's “Respect (Unconditional Positive Regard)” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Respect (Unconditional Positive Regard)” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the link, choose the “click here” link near the top of the page to find a list of publications. Download the PDF listed above and read the associated article. Pay special attention to the basic philosophy and assumptions of client-centered therapy, which begins on page 3.
 
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4.2 Existentialism and Humanism   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Carl Rogers and the Humanistic Education” and Wikipedia’s “Humanistic Psychology” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “Carl Rogers and Humanistic Education” (PDF) and Wikipedia’s “Humanistic Psychology” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the first link, choose the “click here” button near the top of the page to find a list of publications. Download the PDF listed above. Read pages 3 to 15 of the associated article. The first section you will read is titled “Concepts and Theory”; continue reading to the section titled “Summary.” This reading will define basic constructs within the theory and describe how this particular theory is applied to personality, relationships, and a “fully functioning person.” Next, click on the second link and read through Wikipedia’s description of humanistic psychology to situate this subfield within a broader context.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the first webpage above. The Wikipedia article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).

4.2.2 The Difference Between Existentialism and Humanism   Note: While the basic concepts of Existentialism (see Unit 3) and Humanism are similar, there are some important distinctions. A strong grasp of how the two differ and influence one another will assist you in understanding the differences between the two therapeutic schools. 

  • Reading: Existential-therapy.com: Louis Hoffman, PhD’s “Common Misconceptions of Existential Therapy” Link: Existential-therapy.com: Louis Hoffman, PhD’s “Common Misconceptions of Existential Therapy” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: After clicking on the above link, review the associated webpage for a discussion of common misconceptions about existentialism. You already read this webpage in section 3.1; this time around, focus on the parts that distinguish existentialism from humanism.
     
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4.3 The Therapeutic Process   4.3.1 Therapeutic Goal: Growth and Actualization   - Reading: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “On Being Client-Centered” Link: The Sage of Asheville: Dr. Cecil H. Patterson’s “On Being Client-Centered” (PDF)
 
Instructions: After clicking on the link, choose the “click here” link near the top of the page to find a list of publications. Download the PDF listed above and read the associated article. Note that this reading applies to subunits 4.3.1-4.3.4.
 
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4.3.2 Necessary Environmental Conditions   4.3.3 Active Role of Client   4.3.4 Therapist: Responsive not Directive