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The similarities and differences between client centered

Strupp and Binder's broad-based time limited version is chosen because it is a precise manual of how to practice therapy that has been assembled from years of research and practice experience. The paper shows that person-centred practice and theory are psychodynamic in a general psychoanalytic sense because they refer to unconscious processes. Furthermore, it is proposed that person-centred practice could be enriched by reconsidering the differences and similarities to psychodynamic therapy, thereby establishing greater clarity about each form of practice and further defining the boundary between these similar forms of relationship and feeling-oriented work.

The perspective of the paper Two influential ways of working are the psychodynamic set of practices, as represented by Strupp and Binder 1984 and the person-centred style, which has been clarified by more recent writers in the UK, USA and Canada Farber et al.

This paper compares and contrasts these approaches so that person-centred practitioners may have a wider understanding of the reasons for making the practical and ethical intervention choices open to them. The first section below recaps some of the main shared principles of relating in each tradition. This is a preparatory step to discuss the role of person-centred therapists from a psychodynamic perspective in an attempt to acknowledge the importance of the full range of feelings that arise for person-centred therapists.

The paper has three aims.

  1. The paper has three aims. It is probable that person-centred and psychodynamic purists would find it untenable to think that any other style of working could be mixed with a single pure approach.
  2. Strupp, 1974; Quinn, 1993.
  3. Both practices have a reliance on empathy. On beginning the treatment.
  4. The problem concerns how it is possible for person- centred therapists to have negative countertransference feelings about clients whilst prizing and empathising with them.
  5. This drive towards individuality means reconsidering the introjections of family and society, and potentially re-evaluating such assumed and unquestioned introjections, values and senses of self-esteem. The disposition to obsessional neurosis.

The first aim is to compare and contrast the two approaches and to note the main areas of difference and similarity with respect to practice. It is hoped to begin an informed debate of the importance of gaining a wide understanding of practice and theory. The second aim is to critique person-centred theory and practice by way of this comparison and 1 discussion in order to develop and clarify it with respect to its key terms.

The third aim is to note that both forms of therapy are psychodynamic in a broad sense: Only in the specialised sense does the word 'psychodynamic' refer to understanding conscious and unconscious phenomena, by recourse to psychoanalytically- revealed evidence of unconscious processes. The term 'therapist' is used throughout the paper as a general term meaning counsellor, psychotherapist, counselling or clinical psychologist.

Questions about the similarities and differences between the two forms of practice have been broached and the question of the psychodynamic equivalent of the transference-countertransference relationship in person-centred the similarities and differences between client centered has arisen. It is not possible to cover all the areas entailed in this debate in meaningful detail. So for the purpose of this paper, the subjects of 1congruence and negative therapist feeling, and 2 the core conditions, have been chosen for detailed consideration.

Other aspects of both forms of work are omitted due to lack of space. McCleary and Lazarus originally wrote about empirical research into the subliminal recognition of the momentary exposure to words that was faster than the ability to speak was that: Villas-Boas Bowen describes it as material that is radically different from the client's current self-concept that cannot be directly admitted to consciousness, although it such material might be subceived 1986, p.

Clearly both forms of practice acknowledge the presence of processes that bring to the conscious mind senses that it does not know how it has made them. Yet it is aware of them. Therefore, both forms are psychodynamic in a broad sense. One neutral word to describe such senses is that they are 'pre- reflexive'. The feelings of self and other empathy are automatically created and are available to 2 attention if a person wishes to reflect on them.

However, defences may also alter or mask such feelings, changing their sense entirely. Through the major channel of empathy and getting in touch with what is on the 'dimly perceived' edge of awareness of oneself and one's reaction to clients Rogers, 1961, p. However, the major difference in the two forms considered as how such an awareness of self and other are used to make spoken interventions. Person-centred and psychodynamic similarities The starting place is now to note the large areas of accord between the two forms of working: The skills, values and qualities of relating in person-centred and psychodynamic practice an extensive list can be made of areas of similarity: In both person-centred and psychodynamic practice, the therapeutic actions and attitudes aim to facilitate insight and provide new experience.

In either tradition, empathy is a complex process that applies to clients and therapists. It enables clients to gain new learning and renegotiate the boundary between self and others, and move away from distress, towards more frequent, harmonious and tolerant relations with self and others.

Potentially, both practices thereby increase insight, ego strength and help gain an inner locus of evaluation. These are forms of reality-tested experiential learning that may provide more accurate understanding of self and others, an on-going ability to cope with stress, to gain a greater range of action and feeling Rogers, 1959, p. This attention to new 3 learning in the field of insight and empathy may help develop new forms of relating to self and other. The positive difference is that the new learnings are not mutually exclusive states based on rigid and high ideals of self or superego, or dichotomies of love or hate, good or bad.

Therefore, another way of studying the similarities is to regard both forms of practice as therapeutic relationships made in the favour of clients. But this is not all. There are other areas of overlap between person-centred and psychodynamic therapy. From the first minute of contact the therapeutic relationship is being initiated and both persons in the relationship become aware of their own and the other's aims, values and lifestyle by mutual empathic attending.

The similarities and differences between client centered types of therapists may be warm and open, and to various degrees, natural and accepting.

Person-centred and psychodynamic therapists are bidden to communicate a clear, respectful and valuing attitude towards clients Rogers, 1961, p. Both forms of practice share a commitment to creative silence and have an ideal of attending and listening without impediment or bias Rogers, 1961, p. Both may use encouragers and attend to verbal and non-verbal communication, and pay attention to when verbal messages may not concur with meta-messages in feeling, voice tone or gesture. Both forms of practice work by creating a therapeutic relationship, attending to clients' feelings and internal frames of reference.

Both forms require the disclosure of some of the therapist's own reactions. Whether these are psychodynamic interpretations or reflections, they are both based on countertransference feelings. Both practices aim to set aside and work through non-therapeutic therapist feeling, through supervision and personal reflection. They also share a similar understanding of psychological problems insomuch that incongruence in the person-centred tradition is similar to intrapsychic conflict in the psychodynamic tradition.

However, if we compare those concepts and values that govern therapeutic decision- making for therapists of both types, we are considering how the theory for practising connects with prior therapeutic experience. For instance, both might use an awareness of stages of the beginning, middle and end of therapeutic relationships Jacobs, 1988; Rogers, 1942, pp. Although both practices are embodiments of differing values and perspectives, they share working toward becoming reflective practitioners who are able to conceptualise and use their awareness of therapeutic process.

Also, an emphasis on saving the frame, maintaining therapeutic roles and boundaries occurs, allowing healthy rewards and frustrations to occur for client and therapist alike. But, both methods differ in their ways of working with client material. Although both work with the therapeutic relationship, each type maintains a different attention in responding to clients and the attitudes, values and theoretical understanding create two subtly different forms of practice.

For instance, defences and transference are acknowledged to exist in both forms, but they are handled in different ways Hoffman, 1983; Kahn, 1987; Rogers, 1986a; Zhurbin, 1991. It would be possible to go into more details about how the two forms are different at this stage in the exposition but now the paper moves to focus on person-centred work.

The aim in this five sections is to appraise person-centred practice with an eye to adding greater theoretical and practical clarity about its nature. I hope to demonstrate that there are interesting overlaps between the person-centred and the psychodynamic approaches. Moving into the details For person-centred work, it is a requirement that the three core conditions are simultaneous Rogers, 1975, p. At least, the core conditions describe an overall area of the most therapeutic and effective attitudes for a series of many behaviours.

For the therapist these attitudes comprise an openness to self-experience; and to the experience of the other; and a valuing of the other. Defences, repression and poor communications with clients prevent the core conditions from becoming established at a sufficient relational depth and quality of psychological contact Mearns, 1997, personal communication.

In 1985 Rogers and Sanford concluded that congruence is the most important fundamental the similarities and differences between client centered p.

At a level of honesty and openness to one's own reactions in the therapeutic situation, both models share a set of fundamental similarities to do the similarities and differences between client centered empathy and insight: Therapists should own their reactions and try to experience them, be it called congruence, genuineness, authenticity or honesty Rogers, 1957, p.

Client-centered Therapy vs. Gestalt Therapy

Therefore, the following discussion and clarification starts with congruence in relation to other factors. One area of difference is that there is a fundamental tension between Rogers' emphasis that counsellors should be egalitarian in their meetings with clients; whereas a strict 5 psychodynamic approach is in favour of fixed roles and a 'specialisation of labour'.

A major difference concerns psychodynamic interpretations that may appear as all-knowing and may go well beyond what is conscious to the client and be based on general theory rather than the specific experiences of a particular client.

Also, psychodynamic interpretations may go too deep too early to make sense to clients Thorne, 1996, p. Psychodynamic interpretation specifically concerns the naming of alleged unconscious reasons for causing current client experience Smith, 1987. Only in the general hermeneutic sense of the word 'interpretation' does it mean making sense 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 that tries to make positive changes for clients Owen, 1992.

The topics of power, boundaries and psychodynamic interpretation are not new to person- centred debate but are rather its ancient history the similarities and differences between client centered has been forgotten or not explored. These topics were covered by Rogers in 1942. At that time Rogers was clearly against the psychodynamic interpretation of transference and for the acceptance of underlying feeling instead 1942, p.

He noted that spontaneous client insight into transference patterns do occur Op cit, Ibid, p.

Inevitably, Rogers did make his own general sense of the life-situation of clients, the general hermeneutic interpretation of the client: What this means is that a specific meaning was made of the presenting problem and this was discussed with the client.

It is not clear whether the remark was phrased as a hypothesis about the cause of the client's distress and current behaviour.

If it were then it would be a psychodynamic interpretation Smith, 1987. But all these remarks aside, there is a major problem because the person-centred therapist needs to be congruent and value the client. The problem concerns how it is possible for person- centred therapists to have negative countertransference feelings about clients whilst prizing and empathising with them.

The usual answer is that it is not a contradiction to empathize with a client and to value their humanity - and to express ambivalences or disagreements.

If the core conditions are in place it is well within their scope to accept the client and to disagree with the some of their opinions. How are congruence, transference and countertransference related in person- centred therapy? There are a variety of perspectives on the nature of transference, countertransference and how the two are linked. The specific perspective chosen in this paper is a contemporary development of Freud's original Hoffman, 1983; Sandler, 1976; Weisberg 1993.

If we accept that transference is a major phenomenon in person-centred therapy, as well as in psychodynamic work, although it is not given the same conceptualisation or the same attention or emphasis, then what are the implications? This is the first question to be tackled.

The original Freudian view is that the unconscious is social and that each person is able to subceive empathically the unconscious of others: Thus, the transference of clients co-creates the countertransference feelings and attitude of therapists and there is a two-way interaction between both persons. The specific choice of the definition of transference is that it is a complex form of inaccurate empathy and social behaviour based on selective interpretation and attention: The transference represents a way of not only construing but also of constructing or shaping interpersonal relations in general and the relationship with the analyst [therapist] in particular.

It is argued below that the problems concerning how to understand transference and how to respond to it, are based on the ability of the therapist to interpret appropriate emotion and 7 behaviour.

The crucial distinction in being able to employ the concept of transference at all concerns how to distinguish its occurrence in the first place. As one French analyst has pointed out, transference entails judging between what is appropriate to the current situation; as opposed to that which seems to be more relevant to the similarities and differences between client centered past situation Chertok, 1968, p. If it is not possible to make such a distinction, then transference as a phenomenon cannot be asserted to be present, and consequently no action concerning it could be taken.

  1. Journal of Counseling Development, 69, 411-413. Empathy as releasing several micro-processes in the client.
  2. Both psychodynamic therapy and person-centred therapy agree that the release of trapped, hidden or forgotten, unchanging 'negative' emotion, enable self-esteem to be increased and the unconscious or organismic valuing process, to be contacted again. Rogers, at first glance, is apparently inconsistent in requiring congruence at all times.
  3. Although both work with the therapeutic relationship, each type maintains a different attention in responding to clients and the attitudes, values and theoretical understanding create two subtly different forms of practice. I do not form my responses consciously, they simply arise in me, from my nonconscious sensing of the world of the other.
  4. It is argued below that the problems concerning how to understand transference and how to respond to it, are based on the ability of the therapist to interpret appropriate emotion and 7 behaviour. What is fundamental for person- centred work is the assumption that to be heard, valued and accepted is the beginning of positive change.