Does Carl Roger's person-centered therapy offer the therapist all that they need to treat clients?

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boomer-sooner | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Carl Roger's person centered therapy is a soft therapy approach where the therapist and person seeking treatment work together. The goal of this approach is for the person to invariably "solve" their own problem through self-actualization. Rogers believed everyone had immense power to address their own issues or problems and might require the help of a therapist to maneuver around their own understanding of self. In essence, he believed people could find their own way out but needed guidance from time to time on the journey, which is where his client-centered approached helped.

Roger's therapy views have become a large part of the norm when dealing with therapists on relatively minor issues, counseling or for people seeking help to clarify their own view of self. However, one of the main drawbacks of the person-centered approach is the inability to treat more severe forms of mental illness. Rogers had clients with schizophrenia but he never claimed his therapy was effective. For the person-centered approach to be effective, the client must be able to fully realize their decision, understand empathy and cognitively address the situation. People with severe mental disorders have trouble doing this and thus Roger's therapies will not work.

Carl Roger's therapy style will provide an entry level therapist the tools necessary to treat clients without severe mental limitations because it revolves around listening and asking probative questions which the client must solve rather than providing strategic coping skills. However, for a therapist to be more well-rounded as a clinician, they will need to understand more advanced techniques and have the ability to diagnose severe forms of mental illness requiring coping skills or medication.

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