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Reaction to a Video, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 384

Essay

I had a visceral reaction to this video because in my opinion, Carl Rogers does little more than echo back to the patient exactly what she has said, merely repeating her words, parroting them rather than giving any insight or providing reflection about the content. I understand that this is the method, but I believe that the role of the therapist is to participate in the process more actively than Rogers does generally. Merely rephrasing her words in response does not feel like participation in a way that would indicate that Rogers is making any effort to understand and respond to his client. Listening can be hard work, and sometimes saying nothing is the best intervention, but in this type of therapy, spitting back her words seems almost lazy. In addition, I believe it is always a mistake for therapists to touch patients, in this case, holding her hands as per her request. Although on occasion, it may be appropriate to hug a client who might be terminating or has graduated from an educational institution, usually it is quite risky to touch patients for a variety of reasons: they may misunderstand the intention of the touch, it might reinforce their transference feelings of love towards their therapist, and overall it is better to provide clients with a “psychic” hug than an actual one.

Violating boundaries by touching clients opens up the door for a variety of complications that are unnecessary and not in the best interests of the clients. Whose needs are being met by the holding hands? It is hard to say, because when a therapist with so much prominence as Carl Rogers gives permission to the client to hold his hands, it feels as though he is elevating his status to a divine healer. My response to such a request will more likely be something like, “tell me what it will mean to you to hold my hands,” or, “how would you feel if you could hold my hands.” I realize that I mean being sounding presumptuous by criticizing the great Carl Rogers. Overall, though, my biggest problem with the video is what was stated earlier: Rogers doesn’t really respond to the client, only echoes her words, and he allows her to touch him physically. In my opinion, that is not clinically indicated.

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