Therapists use different approaches when addressing the need fordifferent individuals. People who turn up for therapy come fromdiverse backgrounds. Understanding their needs is, therefore, crucialfor the counseling sessions to be fruitful. At times, it is notalways easy to make the clients corroborate in the therapy process.The professional do not, therefore, have a rigid method ofapproaching clients. Although the therapy treatments applicable forvarious clients from different backgrounds, the entry point into theprocess is not always the same for all clients. Most of the times,clients apply the person-centered approach while addressing thevarious problems that clients present to them.
Person-centered therapy, also referred to as the Rogerian therapy,involves talking with the clients with the intent of helping themunderstand their situation better. When the clients presentthemselves for therapy, they are usually confused, and they believethat they cannot do anything about their behavior (Meyer et al., P192) Also, they do not believe that they understand their situation.However, the person-centered approach engages the clients to talk andnarrate the issues they believe are the sources of frustration intheir lives. According to Mearns et al. (2013), therapists depend onthe information given by clients (P 12). It is, therefore, imperativeto have them give any relevant information. At the end of thesession, the clients usually understand their behavioral situation,and they understand how their attitudes and behaviors contribute totheir problem (Rogers, 2013 P 21). Although the method has been undercriticism from psychoanalysts for its lack of a defined structure, ithas proved to be a fruitful and popular treatment.
The client-centered session between Mohamed (the professional) andthe mother depicts various attributes that should be present intherapists as they carry out their activities. First, when Mohamedushers in the mother for therapy, he is quick to establish a quick,yet professional environment that determines the next course ofevents in the therapy. By identifying himself and offering a seat,the professional is creating rapport with the client. Creatingrapport is the primary goal of a therapist. According to Abbe andBrandon (2013), the confidence and trust that clients have towardstheir therapist are dependent on the environment that they areexposed at the beginning of the therapy (238). Also, creating rapportinvolves being friendly and exuding confidence towards the clients.When people turn up for therapy, they are likely to confide and beopen to an individual who seems confident with the task at hand.
Besides creating an initial friendly relationship, it is notable howthe therapist proceeds straight to creating an environment ofallowing the client to explain herself without concentrating on herbackground. Although an individual’s background may have somefacets contributing to the problem, asking about it may make theclient uncomfortable. For example, the woman that Mohamed engagesconfirms getting upset fast whenever she feels threatened. Should thetherapist decide to enquire about her background or family status,she could have aborted any further efforts to continue with thetherapy. According to Gelso (2011), the friendly environment that thetherapist creates makes the client open and positive towards thesession (6).
Confirming and ensuring the confidentiality of the proceeding alsoemerge as crucial factors during person-centered therapy.Person-centered therapy as outlined by the American PsychologistAssociation involves a lot of talking from the client. According toHébert et al. (2012), the quality and quantity of information as itrelates to therapy depends on the perceived confidence towards thetherapy (P 627). The therapist assures the client that anyinformation she gives will be treated with utmost confidence. Theinformation that the mother gives is rather confidential since itinvokes her relationship with her husband and son. Also, herexplanations of her son’s reaction towards her divorce are aconfidential issue. With such an assurance, it would be a challengefor the therapist to enquire about her former.
Additionally, therapists also find it necessary to include otherparties in the treatment process. However, they cannot do so withoutthe approval of the client. Since the information shared by theclient remains confidential, therapists may only share it for thetreatment purposes and the best interest of the client. Beforesharing it with other family members, it is always necessary to havethe client’s opinion (Hébert et al., 2012 P 628). In the case ofMohamed and the mother, Mohamed felt that it was necessary to includethe father and the son in the treatment process. He, therefore, seeksthe opinion of the clients, who readily agrees.
Raising the self-esteem of the client is also primary to the successof the client-centered approach. The main objective of the approachis to make the client aware of his/her behavior, perception andattitude and how they contribute to the problem (Cooper et al., 2013P 14). Most of the times, clients only need the motivation to triggertheir capacity to deal with the overwhelming problem. While thetherapist can help clients in managing their problem, the clientstake the biggest responsibility of changing term behaviors. Raisingtheir self-esteem changes their attitude towards the issue at hand. Mohamed asks the client to about what she would like to discuss. Indoing so, he gives her the confidence to narrate her ordeal. Thetherapist also asks open-ended questions that trigger the client toexplain her life in a nutshell. Consequently, she gains confidencethat she even understands why her son is always upset.
Therapists also motivate clients to overcome their problems. Clientswant people who empathize with them to assure them of a positiveoutcome of the session. According to Kanfer and Heggestad (1997), theclient-centered approach focuses on developing the capacity of theclients through motivation (P 23). Mohamed portrays this attitude byletting the client give all the relevant information and probingcarefully on the client`s life to unearth the challenges in her life.The woman has a positive attitude towards the session and believesthat it has contributed to solving the problem. Also, by motivatingthe client to continue speaking with minimal interruption, the clientbecomes aware of all the factors that lead to their emotionaldisturbance.
In the person-centered therapy approach, the professional takes theclient as having all the necessary information a significant level ofcapacity to address the problem through behavior change. According toKivlighan et al. (2015), the therapist needs to be insightful onvarious facets of the client’s life that may be put together todetermine the primary cause if the problem (P 314). Sometimes,clients may take the outcomes of a situation as the real issueaffecting their emotional health. Some of them may be oblivious ofthe underlying factors that result in the prevalent outcome(Kivlighan et al., 2015 P 314). For example, when the clientpresents herself to Mohamed for treatment she begins explaining howshe does not get along with her son. His truant behavior is a majorcause of her anxiety. While she believes that, Mohamed digs deep todiscover the causative factors to the sons changed behavior. At last,the client confesses that her son’s problem started after theclient divorced with her husband. Mohamed, therefore, believes thatthe therapy would be more fruitful if the other are involved.
Reflecting on how Mohamed handles the client in the person-centeredapproach, one can draw important lessons that are crucial in thepublic-health practice. First, although the client-centered therapyapproach may be under various criticisms, it increases the capacityof the client to reverse their situations (Callaghan et al., 1996 P381). Instead of the therapist being speculative of the causes ofemotional disturbance, the client can provide all the requiredinformation. Additionally, the critics argue that the approach doesnot have a defined structure. While it is correct to have thatassertion, it is notable that therapists cannot use a similarapproach for all the clients. The end in this approach justifies themeans. The final objective is to address the clients’ needs in themost sustainable method.
Another imperative factor from the reflection that is crucial inpublic health practice is a multi-approach to a client’s problem.Drawing from Mohamed’s therapy session with the client, it is clearthat a problem can aggravate as a result of multiple factors. Thewoman in the session confirms that her problem emanates from her sonschanged behavior and her poor relationship with her husband. It isalso clear that the therapist wants to address all the causes for acomprehensive treatment. By proposing to have the husband and the sonto be present in the following session, he wants to the genesis ofthe problem. On the same note, it is clear that therapy may not bearthe desired outcomes without the professional involving all theparties in the treatment. The idea ensures sustainability of thedesired outcome (Callaghan et al., 1996 P 381).
In conclusion, the client-centered approach has gained popularityover the years. Its objective is to involve the client in givinginformation for a successful counseling session. Through theinformation given, the therapists put the pieces together andidentify the major causes of the clients’ problem. The counselorencourages clients to narrate their ordeals without havinginterrupting. Their professional approach allows them to askopen-ended and sometimes guiding questions (De Fruy, 2002 P 76).There are various attributes that therapist must embrace in everysession. When clients visit a therapist’s office, they expect to betreated with dignity and professionalism. Therefore, creating rapportin the initial stages of therapy paves the way for a healthyrelationship. The friendly environment that clients encounterincreases their confidence to share information. Confidentiality ofthe information given by the client results in them opening up andproviding vital information for the treatment. Also, raising theself-esteem of clients is also critical since it enables the clientsto develop a positive attitude changing their behavior.
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