The Value of Rogers' Theory

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As a professional in a helping role, I know the value of Rogers’s Theory as it applies to helping individuals make changes in their lives. Individuals know themselves best, and if they are seeking help, it is very important for the helper to get to know that person. The process of sharing or exchanging information, however, is only successful if the client feels comfortable enough to reveal intimate details about themselves. The helper facilitates that process by being present, attentive, empathetic, genuinely interested, and non-judgmental. People need to feel safe in order to reveal sensitive information, and it is the helper’s role to create such an environment that will promote exploration and ultimately an increased sense of health.

Rogers claimed that there must be six conditions present in order for change to occur. 1). The client and therapist must have a positive connection, 2). The client must feel like he or she is not connected to their true self and as a result feeling anxious, 3) The therapist must be open-minded and feel genuinely available to the client, 4). The therapist cannot judge the client’s feelings, 5). The therapist must have empathy for the client, and lastly, 6). The client must accurately receive the therapist’s above stated behavior in order for the therapeutic process to be helpful (Hill, p.87-88).

I agree that being a good helper involves creating a positive environment for the client to make change. However, I also believe that professionalism, especially related to boundaries, must be present as well. Roger’s conditions take empathy to an extreme by requiring the helper to enter “the private world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it (Hill, p.87).” I think a helper can be empat...

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...aul’s style of active listening and showing genuine interest in what Walter is expressing will allow the therapeutic process to be as successful as it can be. As a result of Paul listening so intently, and allowing time for silence (which Walter is uncomfortable with at first) he quickly picks up on Walter’s connection to his daughter, and the importance of Walter needing to share a personal email from her. After sharing the email, Walter’s speech slows down to a more normal pace, a change from his rapid fire pace in the beginning, and his comfort level with silence starts to increase.

As a viewer, I felt discomfort while watching Paul almost challenge Walter’s perception of his daughter’s situation a little to aggressively. Walter’s panic attack shows his fragile state and I wish that Paul was more in tune with his client’s ability to handle such forwardness.
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