I am writing about the different approaches used in counselling skills such as Humanistic Approach and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Approach. I will be discussing the key concepts in each approach and contrast both approaches. While Maslow was more of a theorist, Carl Rogers was more of a therapist. His professional goal was more on helping people change and improve their lives. He was a true follower of humanistic ideation and is often considered the person who gave psychotherapy its basic humanistic undertones. Rogers believed in several key concepts that he believed must be present in order for healthy change to take place.
His approach to treatment is called Client or Person-Centered-Therapy because it sees the individual, rather than the therapist or the treatment process as the center of effective change. These basic concepts include: Unconditional Positive Regard: The therapist must believe that people are basically good and must demonstrate this belief to the client. Without unconditional positive regard, the client will not disclose certain information, could feel unworthy, and may hold onto negative aspects of the self. Accepting the client as innately worthwhile does not mean accepting all actions the client may exhibit.
Non-Judgmental Attitude: Along with seeing the person as worthy, the therapist should never pass judgment on the individual. Rogers believed that people are competent in seeing their mistakes and knowing what needs to change even if they may not initially admit it. He also believed that by judging a person, the therapist is more likely to prevent disclosure. Disclosure: Disclosure refers to the sharing of personal information. Unlike Psychoanalysis and many other approaches to therapy, Rogers believed that in order for the client to disclose, the therapist must do the same.
Research has shown that we share information at about the same level as the other person. Therefore, remaining secretive as a therapist, encourages the client to hold back important information. Reflection: Rogers believed that the key to understanding the self was not interpretation, but rather reflection. By reflecting a person's words in a different manner, you can accomplish two things. First, it shows the client that you are paying attention, thinking about what he or she is saying, and also understanding the underlying thoughts and feelings. Second, it allows the client to hear their own thoughts in a different way.
Many people have said that their beliefs become more real once they are presented back to them by someone else. Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy & Congruence are necessary and needed to facilitate change. Without these conditions being present a healing relationship cannot form. The main therapies considered to be humanistic are person-centred, gestalt and transactional analysis. Gestalt Therapy is a type of counselling that is directive, as opposed to non-directive and person centred, and offers the client an opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings, and how these are processed.
Transactional Analysis Counselling is based around a client’s self-development and personal growth, transactional analysis provides a connection between a client’s past and how this influence’s present decisions and choices. A humanistic approach provides a distinct method of counselling and focuses predominately on an individual’s unique, personal potential to explore creativity, growth, love and psychological understanding. People who would benefit by using this approach are people suffering from depression, anxiety, alcohol disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and personality disorders.
Some therapists argue that person-centered therapy is not effective with non-verbal or poorly educated individuals; others maintain that it can be successfully adapted to any type of person. The person-centered approach can be used in individual, group, or family therapy. With young children, it is frequently employed as play therapy. Cognitive-behavioural therapy stresses the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings.
The reader says “the therapist assists the client in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying his or her thinking” the class reader 2010 p154. The therapist then helps the client modify those thoughts and the behaviours that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help clients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Two modern day theorists that have had a major impact on psychology is Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck. Ellis is known as the founder of Rational-Emotive Therapy and Beck is known as the founder of cognitive therapy. "Ellis's theory is based on the belief that psychological problems are caused by irrational beliefs that people have gained by some experience in the past. These irrational beliefs cause people to overreact to situations. In one work describing how the theory is applied, Ellis offers the example of a woman who is rejected by her partner.
According to Ellis, if the woman has emotional difficulties she responds to this rejection in an excessive way. Instead of thinking that it is undesirable to be rejected she believes she is a worthless person because she is rejected and believes that she will never be accepted by anyone” (Ellis, 1979 p20). To deal with these emotional problems, Ellis proposed rational-emotive therapy. This therapy is based on the idea that the therapist's role is to teach the individual to think logically. Unlike many therapists, Ellis did not believe that the client should guide their own thinking.
According to Beck,"If beliefs do not change, there is no improvement. If beliefs change, symptoms change. Beliefs function as little operational units," which means that one's thoughts and beliefs (schema) affect one’s behaviour and subsequent actions (Dr Paul Blenkiron 2005 p30). He believed that dysfunctional behaviour is caused due to dysfunctional thinking, and that thinking is shaped by our beliefs. Our beliefs decide the course of our actions. Beck was convinced of positive results if patients could be persuaded to think constructively and forsake negative thinking.
Cognitive therapists tend to focus on specific problems. These therapists believe that irrational thinking or faulty perceptions cause dysfunctions. A cognitive therapist may work with a client to change thought patterns. This type of therapy is often effective for clients suffering from depression or anxiety. In recent years Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has also been applied to the management of physical problems such as chronic pain, irritable bowel syndromand tinnitus. Behavioural therapists work to change problematic behaviours that have been rained through years of reinforcement. A good example of behavioural therapy would be a therapist working with a client to overcome a fear of heights. The therapist would encourage the client to gradually face their fear of heights through experience. The client might first imagine standing on the roof of a tall building or riding an escalator. Next, the client would slowly expose themselves to greater and greater levels of their fear until the phobia diminishes or disappears entirely.
The benefits of the humanistic approach it provides a therapeutic environment where the core conditions of empathy, congruence and acceptance and promotes client autonomy. Deficits are some practitioners can be very supportive without being challenging as they have misunderstood the basic concepts of the approach. Practitioners can become 'client centred' and lose a sense of their own self and uniqueness. Cognitive and behavioural approaches can be highly effective when treating specific problems. Oftentimes, cognitive and behavioural approaches are combined when treating a disorder.
A therapist treating a client with social anxiety may help the client form more accurate thinking patterns as well as focusing on specific behaviours, such as social avoidance. Clients that are intelligent, and able to understand the concepts of the cognitive structuring really benefit from cognitive-behavioural therapy. It can be an interesting process to use with people who also are motivated to do some work on their own, because these are strategies they can take home and they can employ in their own life, everyday.
However this may not suit everyone because people find it hard to keep change and may not be motivated to work on their own which can cause cultural barriers. CBT theory is much more scientific whereas humanistic approach is holistic looking at the whole person this is also a cultural barrier because some cultures believe more strongly in the importance of the family rather than the importance of the individual. I believe both approaches have cultural barriers such as financial restraints and language barriers because people from different backgrounds and ethnicities may find it hard to access counselling services.
Also people who have a learning disability and may not be able to understand the concepts of the structure for both approaches. Conclusion I have found out that both approaches are very effective when used in the right way with clients. A counsellor needs to have an understanding of how the problems that clients talk about may arise, and how a helping relationship based on talking can help. There are many different ideas in psychology which has resulted in there being a number of different approaches to counselling using the humanistic and CBT approach.