Evaluate the Main Elements of a Person-Centred Approach to Counselling

This essay will make an assessment of the value and worth of the main elements of the person-centred method to counselling by comparing it with the object-relations school of counselling from the psychodynamic perspective. Firstly it will give a summary of the approaches and then demonstrate their similarities and differences.

The person-centred approach derives from Roger’s (2008) humanistic theories and concentrates on the core conditions of unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence. The client develops an awareness of their problems which person-centred counsellor’s believe have resulted from recent events in the client’s life or lifestyle (2008).   Maslow (2008) argues this developing awareness allows individuals to realise the primary needs of self-actualisation and to believe that they are loved and valued by other people. McLeod (2008) asserts that psychological problems arise because clients are experiencing incongruence, an inconsistency between behaviour and thoughts which can lead to self-doubt and low self-esteem.   One of the characteristic qualities of person-centred therapy lies with the counsellor showing congruence in their thoughts and actions and for them to allow the client to really get to know and understand (2008).  

The intention of person-centred therapy lies with increasing their sense of worth by coaching them to value their own judgements and attitudes and not to rely extensively on those of other people. McLeod (2008) argues a person in good psychological health continually changes and develops.   Therefore the counsellor using the person-centred approach needs to allow the client to discover what has happened to prevent them from going through this process of becoming by listening empathetically and showing ‘unconditional positive regard’.   This act of listening allows the client to discover and understand specific features of their psyche that they have previously denied (2008).  

The psychodynamic approach to...