Friday, November 22, 2019


CARL ROGERS PERSON-CENTRED APPROACH Introduction Carl Rogers (1902-1987) a psychologist developed the person-centred approach theory mainly in relation to the therapist and the client and initially named it the client-centred approach. Rogers later referred to this theory as person-centred rather than patient-centred in order not to reduce the individual’s autonomy and consequently lend the client to difficulties. The approach therefore is to turn individuals (clients) into subjects of their own therapy. In his theory it was noted that individuals are endowed with the power of self actualization and through their own perception of resources inherent in them, they can provide remedy for change in their difficult situations, provided a facilitating environment exists This view as expressed by Rogers implied that every person has a tendency to grow and attain a certain level of actualization. He observed that in order to allow the client (person) asses his/her own wisdom and self defeating behaviours and also enga ge in therapeutic movement with the therapist, there must be a conducive climate. Three conditions were identified for this relationship to thrive favourably: Genuineness (Congruence), Empathy and Unconditional Positive Regard. GENUINENESS (Congruence) In this relationship the therapist is expected to show a real sense of genuine attitude towards the client’s feelings and thoughts, be willing and ever present to assist them in whatever situation they may be. He should be transparent and discourage the attitude of being the superior in the situation. This attitude would in turn retain a high sense of confidence in the client towards realization of him/herself in therapy. Any deviation from this attitude renders the process unworkable. UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD (Total Acceptance) According to Rogers, the therapist in this situation must show non-judgemental and total acceptance to the client’s feelings and his perceptive world as a whole to enhance his process of rec overy. This total acceptance of the client’s attitude and perception should be devoid of whatsoever differences that might exist between them either culturally or socially. However in doing so the therapist should ensure the safety and security of the client. EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING In his theory, showing empathy refers to the ability of the therapist to show positive sensitivity to the client’s world, his perception towards recovery and also communicate his feelings to the client. This will convey a special meaning to the client of his relationship with the therapist and consequently solidify their mutual relationship towards the expected therapeutic movement. Rogers continue to state that any deviation from these attitudes on the part of the therapist makes it difficult for the process to continue. This empathetic attitude is more exhibited by therapists who are more confident about their own identity and can cope with other person’s world without any fear. P ERSON-CENTREDNESS AS A CONCEPT Person-centeredness a concept in health care delivery has poor and conflicting definitions over the years and is considered one of the best ways of health care delivery in which patients are valued as individuals (Winfield et al. 1996). It has further been observed by

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