How might the humanistic theorists (Rogers, Maslow, and Frankl) respond to this question from a potential client: "I have been a patient of Dr. Steve Smith, who is a psychoanalyst. He feels that I need three years of therapy to explore my id-ego conflicts (He said I need to regress back to my childhood repressions, whatever that means). I am feeling somewhat depressed, and feel that no one likes me. I think I'm too much of a loner, although I value my privacy a lot. Can you help me, or should I stay with Dr. Smith?"
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A psychoanalyst such as Carl Rogers would most certainly be able to help this client. He would most likely advise the client to cease his therapy with Dr Smith in favor of a more humanistic approach. His reasons for this would stem from the client's depression. Rogers found that many patients who are subjected to a more Freudian-style psychoanalysis, often experience strong emotional feelings such as anger, sadness and depression. Freud would have the patient believe it is a result of the "id-ego" conflicts and from unresolved childhood issues and issues with the subconscious. A lack of perspective from Dr Smith,the therapist, not seeing the patient's view and blaming transference for the patient's depression, prevents effective treatment. Rogers would contend that the therapist needs to recognize the patient's own contribution to his therapy. Rather than an imposition of the therapist's opinion, Rogers recognizes the need to empower the patient himself.
Furthermore, with a patient who feels that "no one likes me" Rogers would recognize a conflicted personality where conditional positive regard is prominent and this patient - although Rogers never liked the connotation of the word "patient" inferring that clients are sick- needs an approach that will refocus his attention and center his efforts on himself, increasing self-worth. The patient can then concentrate on meeting his own needs rather than feeling compelled to meet the expectations of others. The patient, or client, values his privacy but feels that being "a loner" does not meet other people's standards and so the client feels that this is a problem that must be resolved which is no doubt adding to his depression.
Self actualization is a major proponent of Maslow's theories and he would agree with Rogers that, in order for this client to be fulfilled, personal growth needs to take place, again emphasizing the client's needs and not the therapist's overriding judgment. This client needs to move past the stage of satisfying others' expectations before he can become fulfilled. The fact that the client seems to have no direction would also have Frankl recommending a change of therapist. Frankl proposes that those possible childhood traumas that the client thinks - or Dr Smith thinks- are repressed need to be accepted as part of the person as a whole which will then allow the client to adopt a different attitude. With a better attitude, he will be able to cope or manage any of his emotions and move forward towards a more complete existence.
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