Compare and Contrast Psychodynamic Theory and Person Centerd

Title – Critically compare and contrast two counselling theories Module code- Cg2030 Module tutor – Phill Goss Word count-2500 Counselling takes place when a counsellor sees a client in a private and confidential setting to explore a difficulty a client is having, distress they may be experiencing or perhaps their dissatisfaction with life, or loss of a sense of direction and purpose. It is always at the request of the client as no one can properly be ‘sent’ for counselling. (Counselling central) By listening the counsellor can begin to perceive the difficulties from the client’s point of view and can help them to see things more clearly, possibly from a different perspective. Counselling is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion. It does not involve giving advice or directing a client to take a particular course of action. Counsellors do not judge or exploit their clients in any way. ’(Counselling central). The two main therpaies within counselling that I will focus on comparing on contrasting are person centerd counselling.
PCT is a form of talk-psychotherapy developed by psychologist Carl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to develop a sense of self wherein they can realize how their attitudes, feelings and behavior are being negatively affected and make an effort to find their true positive potential In this technique, therapists create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment by demonstrating congruence (genuineness), empathy, and unconditional positive regard toward their clients while using a non-directive approach.
This aids clients in finding their own solutions to their problems. Secondly Psychoanalysis is a psychological and psychotherapeutic theory conceived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud’s colleagues and students, such as Alfred Adler, Carl Gustav Jung and Wilhelm Reich, and later by neo-Freudians such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Harry Stack Sullivan and Jacques Lacan.

The basic tenets of psychoanalytic therapy include the following beside the inherited constitution of personality, a person’s development is determined by events in early childhood, human behaviour, experience, and cognition are largely determined by irrational drives, those drives are said to be largely unconscious. This main aim of this assignment will be taking both person centred and psychoanalytic therapy and critically comparing them I will do this by giving an overview of the two therapies how they were developed, the principles they lie upon, what their relationships are based on.
We will then look at how they are similar and also how they differ by looking at the skills used and how they work as therapies to come to both do the same thing which is to help a client overcome an issue in their life. Person centred therapy is based on the idea that humans have a drive to grow towards their potential and will act with the best interest to themselves, if they are provided the right atmosphere (Mcleod,2008). The direction of therapy is guided by the client with the support of the therapist. The client is always the expert on themselves if they are provided with the right atmosphere for self-actualisation to occur.
The central component being the client knows best the client knows where it hurts the most. The counsellors main motive is to relate to the client in such a way that he or she can find there sense of self direction. Carl Rodgers was the founder of person centred therapy. The development stemmed from Rodgers experiences of being a client and working as a counsellor (casemore) Rodgers didn’t like the view of behaviourist that humans were organisms that react to stimuli and developed habits from learned experiences.
Therefor in his work as a counsellor became increasingly uncomfortable with being “the expert” so began to develop a different view of what clients needed to experience in counselling, empathy congruence and unconditional positive regard. Rodgers proposed that human beings were always in the process of becoming rather than being in a fixed state. As humans we have the captivity to develop in a basically positive direction given the right conditions.
That’s not to say that he thought people are not sometimes cruel or hurtful but every person has the tendencies towords strong positive direction. Rodgers proposed that when the conditions were growth promoting an individual could develop into a fully functioning person. Rodgers described his approach as a basic philosophy rather than a simple technique which empowers the individual and leads to personal and social transformation, grounded in empathic understanding being non-judgemental and congruent.
For this reason the person centred approach is often seen as touchy feel relation and seen as soft skilled that lacks structure, sometimes said as a way of preparing the road for real therapy. However it does have a clear theory of self, the creation of distrees and the tehraputic process. It’s aims are transformational and asks the counsellor to be a human and transparent “be real”(langridge). Freud is regarded as the founder of modern psychology, developing psychoanalysis. The therapy is based on the idea that a great deal of the individual behavior are not within conscious control.
Therefor the main emphasis is to help the client get to the deep root of the problem often thought, to stem from childhood. Based on the principle that childhood experiences effect our behavior as adults and effect out thinking processe, Freud belived that these thoughts and feelings can become repressed and may manifest themselves as depression or other negative symptoms. The client is able to reveal unconscious thought by talking freely aboput thought that enter their mind the analysis will attempt to interpratate and make sence of the clients experiances.
Deeply burtied experiances are expressed and the opportunity to share tehase thoughts and feelings can help the client work through thease problems. Clients are asked to try and transfer thougts and feelings they have towords people in their life on the analyst this process is called transfernace the success depends on how the analysats and client work together. Psychoanalysis can be life changing if successful howver around 7 years of therpay is needed to discover the full unconcious mind . regular sessions provide a setting to explore there thoughts and make sence of them.
Psychoanalytic therapy is based on freuds work of pychoanalysis but less intensive it is found to be bennaficial for clients who want to understand more about tehmselves and useful to people who feel tehir problems have affcted them for a long period of time and need reliving of emotional disstress. Through deep exploration client and therapist try to understand the inner life of the client. Uncovering the uncocncious needs and thoughts may help the client understand how their past experiances affect their life today.
It can also help them to work out how they can live a more fulfilling life. Person centred counselling and psychoanalytic therapy are both off springs of two great minded people Sigmund Freud and carl Rodgers the originators of these two approaches. Freud based his framework on his medical background , Rodgers was influenced by excistential phillosphy were the person is there central role in their growth and change. Some similarities can be drawn from a comparison betwewen the two models they both want to widen the concioussness but this is done in different means.
Psychonalsis aims to make the unconscious conscious and by doing this helps the person gain controle over their thought and feelings. And the person cneterd approach helps the client to overcome a state of incongruence whilst psychoanalytic objective is two seek the repressed childhood experiances. The person centerd works through the concioussness by focusing on the here and now. Kahn (1985) compares the term incongruence with psychoanalytic defence mechanism repression. To him both are the same thing but different versions.
Both prevent the person from being aware of his their own feelings the onluy diffrnece being that Rodgers belives by imputing the core conditions of Two persons are in Psychological contact, The first, whom we shall term the client, is in a state of incongruence, being vulnerable or anxious,The second person, whom we shall term the therapist is congruence or integrated in the relationship,The therapist experiences unconditional positive regard for the client. The therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the clients internal frame of reference and endeavours to communicate this experience to the client.
The communication to the client of the therapist’s empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard is to a minimal degree achieved. Then if thease are imputed incongruence will be shifted and psychoanalytic belive through interpretation of childhoon events repression can be acchived. Both psychoanalytic and person centred involve empathy that is applied to client and therapist, enabling the client to gain new understanding and move away from distress and towards harmony with self and others. Therefor potentially both try to increase insight and strength towards the self.
Other areas that overlap are also evident simple areas such as setting bounderies, along with assessment for therapy. From the first minuite of contact both persons become aware of their own and others aims, values and lifestyle by empathic attending. Both types of therapist are warm and open minded and accepting. In both therapies the therapist is bidden to provide a non judgemental respectful attitude towords the client. Both also share a commitment to the use of silence beliving it is an effective tool for therapy commiting to listening without impediment.
The similarities are strongly guided by personal growth and development both have the interest of promoting self-reflection of the client. Their interest is to promote self-reflection of the clirnt. The relationship is very important in both and the main reason for this is to gain a beter insight and clearer understanding of the client. The aim is to build a relationship built on trust honesty and reliance on one another. The relationship is crucial in both therpays as without a tight relationship there is no ground work in place for the client to feel safe to explore.
Both models encourage the client to relase emotions and it is through tehase that empathy can be experienced. On the other hand psychoanalytic theory stresses the importance of unconscious procedures and sexuality as the key terms for a deep understanding of the human pychopathology. Freud thought that dreams were the best way to explore the unconscious since they are disquised as the id whishes repressed by the ego in order to escape from awareness. The goal of counselling to Rodgers is the congruence of personality acchived when the self gains access to a variety of experiances. he need for self actualization can only be atteneded to once counsellor creates an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding. There are considerable diffrences between the two approaches ialthough stated that they both create a strong knitted relationship between client ancd counsellor . person centers counselling the counsellor takes on a non directice role more like a companion rather than a leader and the client takes lead of the session were as psychodynamic counsellors take more of an authority figure in the relationship.
Person centred firmly believes that the 6 core condition are necessary for change. Hoewever psychodynamic use of transference is to make interpretation to the client for effective change. Person centred would see using transference would not create a genuine relationship between counsellor and client. One of the central themes in person centred is the emphasis on the present behaviours of the client. Psychodynamic focuses on the past and how it determines the present behaviours.
Pychodyanmic counsellors choose to remain neutral during a session as this encourages transference a major tool in psychodynamic therapy. McLeod (2004) points out that in person centered counselling, questions are only asked to clients when necessary and may also answer questions if asked by clients, as this was supports to create the quality of the relationship. This again differs to the way Psychodynamic counsellors’ work; as asking questions are pivotal during therapy as this elps to explore and build up relevant material, furthermore, it would be unlikely for a psychodynamic counsellor to answer any personal questions by the client and instead try to figure out why the question is important. Although both see the relationship as crucial each therapy maintains a diferent way to responding to the client attitudes and values. for instance defences and transferance excist in both forms but handled in different ways. For person centerdit is a requirement that the core conditions are stimuiltaneous for the therapist thease core conditions repersent an openess to self experience and to the experience of another.
Rodgers belived counsellors should be egalitarian in their meetings with clinets and a major diffrence concerns pychodynamic interpretations. Appearing as all knowing and going beyond what is un-concious based mostly on theory rather than a clients spacific experiances. Thorne (1996) states that “pychodynamic therpay may go to early in interpratation to make sence to clients” Pychodynamic interpratation specifically concerns the naming of the unconcious for causeing problems that the clinet may be having.
Only in the hermanutic meaning does the word interpratation make sence of things Hermeneutics applies to all persons who make sense of all situations, whereas psychodynamic interpretation in the narrow sense is the most specific ingredient of psychodynamic therapy’s efforts to make positive changes for clients. All in all psychodynamic approaches are based on freuds work based on the unconscious of the ID ego and superego which emphasis on sexual aggression.
Person centerd is based on the belief that humans have unique qualities for freedom and growth beliving that we are beyond being controlled by ID ego and superego not controlled by sexual urges. The similarities between both approaches promote and guide the idea of progress and development. There main interest to promote self reflection and awarenss for the client in order to do this they effectively use communication. Both approaches are the result of hypothesis the main diffrences lie at the foundations and what is belived to work best however sometimes they meet for what may be the best too to use at the time of hearapy. prehaps what makes any thrapy work is the belief that they can work if the client wants it to work there emotional needs and expectataions I belive that theory used does play a a very important role but it is the client who has the ability to change which ever root of therapy they take they can change no matter how they recive therapy weather it be in a humanistic approach or psychodynamic because if they expect it to work it will so maybe I am more for the person cneterd view as I belive that self actualisation and awarenss is very important to be able to facilitate growth.

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