Person-centered therapy is a counseling treatment theory, which focuses on the client encouraging and motivating him/her to participate in the counseling process. This theory is based on the assumption that humans have the capacity to achieve their own potential (Geldard, & Geldard, 2012). The person-centered therapy seeks to activate individual’s inner ability to achieve growth and fulfillment through acceptance, being honest, and being able to understand and share their feelings (Geldard, ; Geldard, 2012). The person-centered therapy does not view clients as having inherited permanent problematic behaviors but states that every person has the ability to grow and change. This theory states that to have a positive impact of the counseling session, therapists should be genuine, loving, and understanding (Geldard, ; Geldard, 2012).
Concepts of the Person-Centered Theory That Make It the Most Appropriate For the Client in the Case Study
The person-centered theory is the most appropriate for Ana who is the client in the case study because through the behavioral observations, Ana is determined to grow and change which is a concept of the person-centered theory. This theory states that humans naturally strive to self-actualize and have the tendency to grow and change (Sommers-Flanagan ; Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). Ana arrived 30 minutes earlier for her appointment an indication that she is motivated to change. Ana also appeared willing to commit to eight sessions of treatment, which have been authorized by her insurance company.
The second concept of the person-centered theory is the need for unconditional positive regard. This concept states that people have needs of being accepted, loved, and appreciated during the counseling sessions (Sommers-Flanagan ; Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). Ana is feeling hopeless after she lost her job and keeps worrying all the time because her husband who is in the military is in a combat zone for the next eight months. Ana has a need to be accepted, loved, and respected regardless of the problems she is undergoing and should not be judged.
The person-centered theory third concept is congruence. Congruence is a state of agreement and acceptance of how people see themselves, who they really are, and how they would like to be (Sommers-Flanagan ; Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). This agreement is important in better understanding an individual’s position and making decisions in counseling sessions. Ana is in a state of incongruence due to the major stressors in her life and this approach will help the therapist in bringing Ana back to congruence. The most important aspect of counseling sessions is to bring clients to a point of congruence, which enables clients to be genuine of their situations (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018).
The fourth concept of the person-centered theory is empathetic understanding which is therapists being able to understand and share the feelings of their clients (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). This can be achieved through accurate understanding and reflection. Therapists should be able to understand their clients’ feelings and thoughts to be able to address the issues from their client’s perspective. This demonstrates that the client is being valued and understood (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018).
Why Did You Choose This Theory over the Others?
The person-centered theory is the best theory as it is not authoritative and allows the clients to participate and lead the conversations (Sharf, 2017). When clients are allowed to participate in counseling sessions, it is a sign of being valued and respected. This will allow a good platform for the clients to participate in the decision making process and choose suitable treatment procedures that are favorable to them as the clients are the most important parties in the counseling discussions (Sharf, 2017). This theory allows the therapist to act as a moderator where he/she is able to carefully listen, understand, and provide a good judgment related to the client’s situation. This theory also focuses more on the client and provides solutions, which involve the client, more than the therapist (Sharf, 2017).
What Will Be the Goals of Counseling and What Intervention Strategies Are Used To Accomplish Those Goals
The goals of counseling will be to address the major stressors of Ana who is the client. Ana has a number of problems, which include a lack of family and supportive friends, financial problems due to job loss, worry caused by the deployment of her husband to combat zone overseas, and raising a baby by herself. These issues can be addressed by positive behavior change of Ana (Sharf, 2017). Through this, Ana can be able to build a good network of family and friends to support her during this time. The therapist can also help Ana in improving her relationship with her family as Ana has not been able to see her family for one year and does not want to ask for help from her family. Another goal of the counseling will be to enable Ana make better decisions regarding her career as she quit her job which has led to financial problems.
Is the Theory Designed For Short Or Long-Term Counseling?
The person-centered theory can be either a short-term or a long-term counseling approach (Kass, 2017). The person-centered theory is highly interactive and if clients are willing and motivated to have a quick change of their situations, this approach can be useful to them in achieving the counseling goals (Kass, 2017). Since this theory focuses on the client more, it can be a long-term counseling theory as clients respond differently depending on the time available and the goals of the counseling sessions. This theory can be used to provide immediate relief to clients by resolving specific problems as well resolve other problems as the counseling sessions continue (Kass, 2017).
What Will Be the Counselor’s Role with This Client?
The counselor’s role will be to facilitate achievement of the counseling goals of Ana (Kass, 2017). These counseling goals include improving Ana’s relationship with her family in Guatemala and help Ana improve her social behavior that has led to Ana lacking supportive friends in her life to help her during this time. The counselor will be also be able to use different counseling approaches and theories during the counseling process according to his/her experience on the best counseling approach that suit Ana who is the client (Kass, 2017). The counselor can also provide encouragement and motivation to Ana to improve her mental and emotional health as Ana is stressed by the fact that she has no friends to support her during his time and constant worrying due to her husband’s absence because of the deployment to a combat zone for eight months.
What Is the Client’s Role in Counseling
Ana’s role in the counseling will be to facilitate a good relationship between her and the counselor (Kass, 2017). Through this, there will be improved interaction, which will enable better understanding between the counselor and the client. This will encourage good judgment and good decision making which will involve both the client and the counselor. A client’s participation influences the outcome of the counseling process and the collaboration between the two parties is important in the success of the counseling sessions (Kass, 2017).
For What Population(S) Is This Theory Most Appropriate? How Does This Theory Address the Social and Cultural Needs of the Client?
The person-centered theory is highly effective in adults since it is client-centered and the clients play a major role during the counseling sessions (Seber, 2013). This limits children and individuals of older age groups from this theory as these age groups are not able to participate fully during counseling sessions due to their limited knowledge and their ability to make independent decisions (Seber, 2013). The person-centered theory addresses the social and cultural needs of the client by allowing clients to participate and use their own capacity to grow and change. This process allows clients to use known techniques based on their cultural and social experiences (Seber, 2013). The person-centered approach does not allow therapists to force solutions in addressing the client’s problems based on their knowledge but allows the clients to participate in the counseling sessions, which help in the decision-making process, and decisions are considerate of their client’s perspectives (Seber, 2013).
What Additional Information Might Be Helpful To Know About This Case
Additional information that can be helpful about this case is the therapist’s information as no information has been given about the therapist. The therapist’s information can help in self-disclosure during counseling as it influences the perspectives of the client (Kass, 2017). This information may also involve the therapist’s experience. Ana who is the client should have provided information about why she does not have a good relationship with her family, which can help the therapist in addressing the family relationship problem (Kass, 2017).
What May Be a Risk in Using This Approach?
The person-centered approach has a disadvantage as the client’s perspective is not challenged which restricts the therapist in providing ideas and opinions which may be important or useful in the counseling process (Seber, 2013). The therapist is unable to question the client’s view even if there are major concerns regarding the decisions. There is limited participation of the therapist who is better trained and experienced in solving issues affecting their clients (Seber, 2013). This may be a barrier in achieving set goals and objectives of the counseling process. Therapists are unable to provide assistance in times of crisis, which helps the client to bounce back and increase in their growth (Seber, 2013).
Geldard, K., ; Geldard, D. (2012). Personal counseling skills: An integrative approach. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.
Kass, J. D. (2017). A person-centered approach to psychospiritual maturation: Mentoring psychological resilience and inclusive community in higher education. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
Seber, G. A. F. (2013). Counseling issues: A handbook for counselors and psychotherapists. New Zealand: Xlibris.
Sharf, R. S. (2017). Theories of psychotherapy and counseling: Concepts and cases. Vancouver, B.C.: Langara College.
Sommers-Flanagan, J., ; Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2018). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice: Skills, strategies, and techniques. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.