What are the arguments for and against the person centered counseling theory developed by Carl Rogers?

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Person-centered therapy is a form of psychotherapy created by Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that his form of therapy would be more beneficial for the patient, lead to self-actualization, and create a warmer, friendlier model of treatment.

Person-centered therapy (also called Rogerian therapy) hinges on the idea that each person is...

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Person-centered therapy is a form of psychotherapy created by Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that his form of therapy would be more beneficial for the patient, lead to self-actualization, and create a warmer, friendlier model of treatment.

Person-centered therapy (also called Rogerian therapy) hinges on the idea that each person is the best expert on themselves. In other words, no one knows the patient better than the patient themselves. Person-centered therapy puts the responsibility of diagnosis and change on the patient. The patient decides what is wrong and what should be done to fix it. The patient is then responsible for making the appropriate changes to resolve their situation.

One strength of person-centered therapy, and perhaps the greatest change it has affected, is the establishment of a more positive patient-therapist relationship. Prior to Roger's work, many therapists took a rigid, authoritative approach to their patients. Rogers showed there is great value in building a relationship on warmness, friendliness, and trust.

One of the criticisms of person-centered therapy is that it tends to validate the patient when they may instead need to be challenged to develop more positive behaviors. In fact, some have argued that person-centered therapy could lead to reinforcing harmful attitudes and behaviors in patients.

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Carl Rogers believed that all organisms seek to improve their environments and lives. This, of course, includes man. His psychotherapy was based on the idea that man is basically good and when left in a non-directive environment, could determine the direction of his own therapy and discover what is best for himself. The therapist's job was to ask insightful questions which would help the client deal with his own problems. The key to one's agreement or disagreement with his approach is how one views man. If the one holds that human beings are driven by antisocial behaviors and the therapist must help the patient suppress those behaviors, then one is going to disagree with Rogers and his approach. If one believea that man is basically driven to overcome obstacles and improve himself, what Rogers called self-actualization, then one will tend to agree with the Rogerian approach. What Rogers did do, however, was tp reject the traditional Freudian authoritarian stance of a therapist and replace it with on which stressed a close relationship between the client and therapist. Since Rogers published his theories, different methods of applying his and others' ideas have developed. However, therapists generally still try to have some kind of positive relationship with their patients instead of being rigid authoritarian figures.

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