What are criticisms of person-centered therapy?

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One major criticism of person-centered therapy is that in many cases, therapists still let their patients open up before providing any input during their sessions. Therefore, many people view the approach as redundant. However, such criticism reveals the misconceptions regarding the difficulties of continuously empathizing with a patient and acknowledging his or her views. Furthermore, the criticism does not take into account the balance a therapist has to strike between his or her views and the client’s opinions. Nonetheless, critics note that it is difficult for a therapist not to express his or her views using this approach. Furthermore, therapists find it challenging not to reveal any personal reactions regardless of what a patient says. Moreover, the fact that the therapist cannot ask questions using this approach impedes his or her understanding of the client.

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Person-centered therapy is a therapeutic model that depends heavily on humanistic characteristics such as empathy, vulnerability, transparency and authenticity to facilitate the therapeutic experience.

Person-centered theory holds that in the therapeutic relationship, both client and therapist must make themselves vulnerable and reach into their own experience in order to connect. Thus, person-centered therapists often share deeply emotional or personal stories with their clients. They might also engage with their clients in traditionally non-therapeutic capacities, such as by accompanying them to chemotherapy treatments or exchanging gifts during important holidays.

The model has been criticised as lacking structure and having no scientific basis at all. Many cognitive behavioral scientists believe that person-centered therapy does not constitute therapy at all, but rather a friendship.

Some psychotherapists criticize person-centered therapy for its emphasis on non-judgmental acceptance. They argue that part of the therapist's job is to provide corrective judgments against the client's distorted thinking. To remove that directive from the professional therapist, they argue, is to remove the very crux of therapeutic treatment.

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