Psychoanalysis vs. Person-Centered Therapy

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Person-Centered Therapy is an optimistic theory that is categorized in the humanistic approaches to therapy. PC therapy believes that human beings are intrinsically good, and are motivated to be the best that they can be (Carver & Scheier, 2008, p. 346). The theory embodies respect for individuals and values of tolerance and understanding (Brodley, 2007, p. 140). As the name implies the client is responsible for his or her own growth and improvement (Carver & Scheier, 2008, p.344). Rogers' stated that the main assumption of his approach is that “individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self- directed behavior” (Rogers, 1980, p.115). One of the underlying assumptions, and main motivation, of Person-Centered Therapy is that human beings possess an innate tendency to grow and meet their full potential, or to self-actualize. Self-actualization is the inherent motivation to reach our highest potential, both emotionally and intellectually (Kosslyn & Rosenberg, 2004, p. 464). Self-actualization moves one towards autonomous behavior and self-sufficiency, it enriches one’s life and enhances their creativity. It also promotes congruence, wholeness, and integration of the person. Rogers describes self-actualizing people as the fully functioning person (Carver & Scheier, 2008, p.322). Another central construct to PC therapy are conditions of worth. The conditions come from the need for positive regard. These are “conditions under which the person is judged to be worthy of positive regard” (Carver & Scheier, 2008, p. 323). Conditions of worth arise by the positive evaluation of actions or feelings from an important loved one. Initially external, they... ... middle of paper ... ...entation, or several, in which they choose to practice in their professional career. Psychoanalysis and Person-Centered Therapy are just two, out of over four hundred types, of counseling approaches in use today. The constructs and theories are extremely different, however, neither can be considered right nor wrong. They are simply based on different beliefs, assumptions and viewpoints of human development and their behavior. Although, however different and unique, there are still similarities between the two types of therapy approaches. Through case examples, such as the case of D and the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, the techniques and outcomes of different treatment approaches can be see in real life examples. Past research and writing support brings about contradictions, criticism and treatment outcomes to the theories and those who developed them.
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