An Introduction to Counselling Theory


Unit 2: An Introduction to Counselling Theory

Level three certificate in counselling skills

Word count: 2675

The Historical Development And Basic Philosophy Of The Main Therapeutic Model Used By The Centre

Historical Development

The views developed by several American psychologists Maslow, Rogers and May in the 1950s constitute what has become known as humanistic psychology. Whilst there are some differences between their ideas, their is an overwhelming agreement about key themes. Carl Rogers is best known for his theories, Rogers was born in rural Illinois in 1902 in the United States of America. Rogers studied to be a psychologist and his first position was with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Whilst practising here he became unhappy with the current theories and practices being used and began to develop his own methods. Rogers particularly disliked the fact that clients were often treated as objects for study and examination and believed that they should be treated as individuals deserving respect and understanding. Rogers published a book, ‘Client Centred Therapy’ in 1951, which set out his own theories on ‘non directive counselling’, later to be called the ‘Person Centred Approach’ (PCA).

Basic Philosophy

The basic philosophy of the PCA is that ‘Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self understanding and for altering their self concepts, basic attitudes, and self directed behaviour; these resources can be tapped if a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided.

Importance of Approach

Rogers and his colleagues influenced the development of counselling and psychotherapy in the following ways:

1. Emphasising the central role and importance of the counselling relationship itself as a significant factor for promoting change
2. Describing ‘the person’ as resourceful and tending towards actualisation of potential
3. Emphasising and developing the...