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Person-Centered Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 823

Essay

Person Centered Therapy (PCT) and Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are the most widely used therapy frameworks. While both have been found to have unique advantages, they also have a number of limitations. This arises from inherent differences in the approach employed in helping a patient. However, a model that incorporates aspects of both PCT and CBT would ideally provide optimal results.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Stress Inoculation Therapy)

This approach employs the use of numerous explicit systematic and goal-oriented procedures, this strategy addresses maladaptive cognitive processes and behaviours, and dysfunctional emotions. Stress inoculation therapy aims to train individuals to manage stressful situations in a more positive manner. It majorly comprises three steps.

In the video A guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the patient is found to suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The patient clearly has a phobia of germs which has been compounded by the fact that she has an empathetic character. CBT works best for the client because it is a short-term and goal-oriented technique that seeks to solve a single issue, her OCD. The patient appears to have gone through the 3 stages of CBT. Conceptualization (cognitive preparation). This stage entails the patient, with the guidance of the therapist, finding out the ways in which the patient thinks of her obsessive behavior.

Person Centered Therapy (PCT)

This approach employs emphasis on therapeutic relationships. This theory is founded on the congruence found between their self-concept (the manner in which they perceive themselves), ideal self (the way they would wish to be) and real self (the way they are in reality). When there is lack of congruence between these three facets, an individual’s natural capacity to self-actualize is considerably affected, if not hindered.

PCT is founded on the assumption that every individual has the naturally occurring resources required for personal growth and development and the PCT aims to tap into these resources and restart the naturally occurring process of positive growth and development. The fundamental difference between PCT and CBT is the fact that in PCT the counsellors take a supportive approach as opposed to a proactive approach. While most experts in CBT provide judgment, direction, advice and interpretations of situations. However, this fails to consider an individual’s unique inner experience that dictates the process through which will, resolve and character is formed.

In the video Person Centered Therapy by Lisa Fox, the therapist acts as a facilitator. She creates an environment where the client is able to freely express his fears in a progressive manner. She accomplishes this by paying attention to the words her client is using. She then repeats these key statements, as though seeking confirmation from the client that what she says is correct. This sort of approach is quite effective as the client gets to open up about intimate fears and the core reasons for him seeking help.

By listening to his own words from a different person, the client is able to forge a clear path that clearly links two aspects of his existence, (1) his past, (2) his present, and (3) his future. The therapist manages to help the client clearly understand the source of his fears by repeating his words back to him. This allows him to appreciate his present and create a clear path to his desired future, beyond his fears.

While CBT employs a directive approach to therapy, PCT employs a non-directive approach. There are four distinct stages in the application of PCT. They include;

  1. Expressing feelings; the patient vividly articulates their emotional state towards a specific issue.
  2. Reflecting on situation or problem; client walks the facilitator through the process that led to the situation or problem for which they seek help.
  3. Clarifying on situation or problem; facilitator walks the client through the information has provided in a step-by-step manner.
  4. Client instigates the change process by determining the most desirable course of action, relative to the prevailing conditions.

One of the fundamental similarities between CBT and PCT is the fact that they both rely I creating a string therapeutic relationship between the patient and the therapist. However the difference is that PCT builds a relationship based on acceptance and genuine depiction of empathy. CBT on the other hand builds a relationship based on the ability to critically analyze a patient’s situation and provide a clear and objective insight into the patient’s situation or problem.

Both CBT and PCT have their distinctive advantages and underlying limitations. Separately, they provide considerably positive results. However, when principles from both concepts are combined, they provide a more robust and tremendously ordinate clinical framework. A clinical framework that incorporates concepts from both forms of therapy tend to complement one’s weaknesses for the other’s strengths. The most ideal clinical framework that incorporates aspects of both CBT and PCT would provide an all-rounded and holistic approach towards helping patients suffering from emotional and psychological trauma.

References

Fox, L. (Director). (2012). Person Centered Therapy [Motion Picture]. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdhuLZNdaiA

OCD-UK (Director). (2011). A guide to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) [Motion Picture]. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds3wHkwiuCo

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