Compare Two Models of Rationships

“Compare and contrast two theories/models of relationships and show how they might be utilised by a therapist”


In this essay I am going compare and contrast two theories/models of relationships and show how they might be utilised by a therapist.

The two different theories/models that I am going to use in the essay are Fritz Perl’s “Gestalt therapy” and person centred model of Carl Rogers.

“Every Individual, every plant, every animal has only one inborn goal – to actualise itself as it is” Fritz Perls
Gestalt therapy, according to Perls, is an approach not just dealing with symptoms or character structure, but with the total existence of a person. His theory focused on changes that needed to take place in the present and the clients wholeness is expressed through the clients certain needs from their emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical aspects of themselves. This therapy focuses on the way we become aware of our individual needs which would be in relation to their environment. “Gestalt” means   “organized whole”.   This theory focuses on what is occurring in the present and is based on understanding a person within their current environment.   Gestalt theory is founded on a positive view of human nature. Perls believed that developing an awareness of one’s feelings, reactions, and thoughts in a present situation could resolve personal issues.   In other words, people have the ability to solve their own problems.   They can regulate their actions when they are aware of what is happening.   Gestalt theory believes that in order to change, we must accept who we are. In contrast, the more a person works to become something different, the greater the chance that they will remain the same.   This is the paradoxical theory of change; we change when we become aware of what we are, as opposed to trying to become what we are not.

Perl described five layers of the counselling process.   This is sometimes called ‘peeling the onion’.