With reference to the attached article on psychotherapy inherited from Carl Rogers written 50 years ago - on page 2 under "Limitations of Rogers' Contributions" the first sentence "One of the underlying assumptions of Rogers' approach is that people possess an inborn tendency to grow psychologically, and that all the therapist needs to do is to provide for the conditions for change to occur." Is this something that Rogers said?
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Certainly, this is a part of the critique against Rogers. It might have some validity, but Rogers could counter it. Rogers believed that the idea of "client- centered" therapy could be applied in most, if not all, situations. The focus of the therapist being able to be there for the client was not a limiting function in any way. Rogers did believe that the patient would be willing to accept help if the therapist was able to construct the setting in which help would be readily available. It is here where Rogers sought to decrease the presence of theoretical dogma in place of patient support. While Rogers might never have said the exact way of phrasing his ideas as is evident in the article, I think that he would have agreed with the basic idea. People who are in need would be wiling to accept help from the practitioner if it is offered in a manner that the patient could understand.
The article suggests that Rogers's theory of the proactive will of the patient wishing to grow psychologically is limited in cases such as phobias. Indeed, it would have been interesting to see how Rogers would respond to the conditions that patients face today. I still think that Rogers' assertion is a valid one in that if the practitioner can offer their assistance to a person who recognizes the need for change and help, their offer would be accepted. Rogers would suggest that the "patient- centered" approach can help in making this understanding evident. In this, I think that Rogers's idea that people wish to grow psychologically is still valid. It is for this reason that therapy and counseling is still present in so many domains and supplements so much in way of treatment. The bond that Rogers asserted must exist between practitioner and patient is critical in being able to enable this growth in any context. I think that the criticism has validity, but it is one that Rogers could counter with his own insistence that the bond between patient and practitioner is what enables psychological growth to happen.
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