During therapy, there is a continuous dialogue between the client and the therapist, in which the therapist shows warmth and acceptance (Jones-Smith, 2012). Gestalt therapy has an existential/ humanistic approach that was developed by Fredrick and Laura Fritz (Fiebert, 2011). One of the major concepts of Gestalt therapy is that individual having awareness of themselves and their environment. Usually people seeking therapy have conflicts with self-awareness and an unfinished business. One way that therapists help clients is by helping them form new figure-ground relationships in order for the individual to be aware of their self and their environment, and live in the present moment with awareness (Jones-Smith, 2012).
Furthermore, Gestalt therapy aides the client in integrating parts of themselves and resolving unfinished business that could be contributing to current problems (Smith, 2012). To achieve these positive changes, as a therapist I will need to frustrate the client in order to generate motivation to self-actualize (Smith, 2012). Additionally, helping the client learn how to create healthy contact boundaries with others and their environment will decrease maladaptive behaviors.
Counselors that practice within a CBT framework put responsibility for change on the client, but the counselor actively supports the client in achieving their desired goals. As a future counselor, it is important to me that both the client and the counselor assume roles within the therapeutic relationship. I feel that self-defeating thoughts prevent individuals from living their lives the way they want. These thoughts prevent individuals from living an authentic, happy life. My practice as a counselor will consist of helping clients recognize their thoughts and work towards change.
As the field of counseling continues to progress numerous theoretical orientations have been developed. One theoretical approach to counseling has been coined as person centered counseling or client centered therapy. This type of approach is commonly referred to as Rogerian psychotherapy. Rogerian therapy focuses on the empowerment of individuals with the inner self. These constructs are vital to ensuring and promoting a transparent and honest atmosphere which subsequently results in effective counseling.
Gestalt therapy also recognizes that forcing a person to change can result in further distress and irritation, rather than changing results from acceptance of what is. Therapy sessions focus on helping people learn to become more self-aware and to accept and trust in their feelings and experiences to alleviate
Gestalt Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the client’s level of awareness in connection to the world, others in their world and past experiences. Powered by several main principals, Gestalt Therapy helps the client realize that they are connected to the world. They possess a relationship with everything around them and with so many factors; humans will never truly understand who they are. The therapy also emphasizes the experience of the present moment. Both principals provide the client with a new perspective on getting through their issues and learning how to maximize their potential.
Individual therapy is concerned with enhancing positive feelings of an individual such as self-esteem, compassion, love, peace, and courage. On the other hand, family therapy focuses on the relationship between members of a family and how they interact with one other. It is also worth acknowledging that although individual and family therapy modalities are distinct, the two are co-dependent because individuals and families are inseparable. Therefore, it is possible to integrate the two theories so that each can benefit from the other. Individual and family therapies are approaches that can be employed in treatment and understanding of human behavior.
The second reason there might be some limitations is because it could be difficult to translate the core therapeutic conditions into an actual practice with some cultures. For example, some clients are accustomed to indirect communication and they would not be comfortable with a therapist showing direct expressions towards them. A third reason that this type of therapy might be a limitation is some culture groups go by collectivism instead of focusing on being an individual. In these cultures, clients are influenced by social expectations and not motivated by their own expectations. This is a major limitation for person-centered therapy because they focus on self-actualization, understanding the self, and trying to improve ones self.
Counseling skills has provided me with a valuable insight into the helping relationship and how it is both created and maintained in order to encourage growth and development in the client. The factors involved within the helping relationship include considering Roger’s core conditions, congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy as the three main characteristics necessary in a helping relationship. In order to fully incorporate all three of Roger’s core conditions, I as the counselor must be self-aware, as a lack of self-awareness may inhibit truly listening and understanding the client; self-awareness can be enhanced through exercises such as Johari’s window. Counseling skills such as body language and active listening also plays a role within encouraging the client to open up and can help me as the counselor convey empathy. Carl R. Rogers theorized that through providing a certain kind of relationship with the client, one in which empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence were present, the client would “discover within himself the capacity to the relationship for growth, and change and personal development” .
Both individual and family therapy are forms of treatment which provide individuals with guidance in working through conflicts, building a stronger sense of self-worth, and a healthier lifestyle. Although both forms of therapy are beneficial and provide treatment for patients, they do have different aspects in which they focus on. Individual therapy focuses on the individual and their internal conflicts they may have. In this type of therapy individuals are engaged in a one-on-one relationship with their therapist. The therapy is centered around one client and they are able to self-reflect on their feelings and emotions.