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The concept of a person centered approach is that the client is the best expert on themselves and is best able to help heal themselves. This is the opposite of the medical approach in which the client is viewed as someone who needs to be fixed by those other than the client.
The strengths of the person centered approach can include that the client is the one guiding the experience while the practitioner reflects what the client is stating or doing and can re-frame ideas and practices. The practitioner does not pass judgement regarding whether the client is right or wrong.
A weakness with this approach could be that as it is client led; it is up to the client to be able to process information and make logical decisions for his/her own well being. In the event that someone is not able to do this, the cornerstone of the practitioner not passing judgement or making statements when the client is right or wrong could be counter productive to the well being of the client.
The person-centered approach, developed in the 1950s and proposed by psychologist Carl Rogers, is a model used in psychotherapy, the medical field, and even in business plans, that consists of serving the client at every level of need, and basing the service provided entirely on who the client is. To be able to provide a person-centered approach, there must be a strong relationship between client and provider, one where there is open communication, mutual trust, and ongoing interaction.
The strengths of the model lay in the solid nature of the client-provider relationship. There is mutual respect, good conversations take place, and there is a common focus, which is to help get the client where they want to be. Again this can be either in a therapeutic setting, or in a medical recovery setting, or even in a business setting. When the client is at the center of the strategy the focus is not lost and more can be accomplished.
The weaknesses of the model will depend on the client and whether the goals that the client wants to reach are SMART, that is, s-specific, m-measurable, a-attainable, r-realistic, and t-timely. It is there that the provider and client's communication is so important. To develop goals that are smart, both parties must be on the same wavelength in terms of strategies and interventions. Goals should reflect that the interventions actually worked.
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