In addition,Rogers states that the most vital factor in a successful therapy relationshipis moulded by the therapist’s attitude towards their client. Rogers added that, “It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, whatproblems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried.” Rogers(1951, 2004) p62 citated in Culley & Bond (2011). Although, person centredcounselling is a non-directive style of counselling, it empowers the client.
The advantage of this approach is, it is more beneficial to individuals whohave the strong will power to explore themselves and linking this into my practice,Rogers statement to say the client knows what hurts, does not apply to allcircumstances. In our practice, some of our clients that have dementia, physicaland mental disabilities so some of these clients may not even be aware of whatthey need to live a life that is worthy. They do not have the mental capacityto know and decide what is wrong and what is right for them. Therefore, theseclients might not even know what their problems are, in this case these clientsare protected by the Mental Health Capacity Act (2005) and Safeguarding ofVulnerable Adults. The threecore conditions of counselling that Rogers identified are all inter-linked andhe believed that these are necessary if clients are to make progress incounselling, Rogers (1951). These conditions are supported with some skills forcounselling to be more effective. Online,http://www.thecounsellorsguide.
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co.uk/active-listening-skills.html. In acounselling relationship Rogers, describes congruence as genuineness and heregarded it as a quality of honest, sincerity and authenticity. He suggeststhat for the counsellor to be congruent with clients, counsellors need to behonest. Hough (2013) p. 151.
Rogers believed that transparency of the therapistand willingness to listen to their story client would build and strengthenrelations between the therapist and client Rogers (1957). Edgar Egan(1994) an American Professor of Organisation Studies, formed a 3 stage skilledhelper model which also believes in the 3 core conditions which are congruence,empathy and the unconditional positive regard (UPR), which Rogers (1959)believes into as well. The skilled helper is used by professionals such asdoctors, social welfare workers, teachers, psychologists, ministers of religion,just to name a few Hough (2013) p.
18. Unlike Rogers, Egan’s Skilled Helper Modeluses a directive approach. Egan’s skilled helper model is much focused onproblem solving, predicting when a problem is about to happen and preventingthe problem before it happens. In other words, it is a solution focused model.The skilled helper model assists their client to develop and acquire skillswhich are then applied to solve both current and future problems Egan (1994).The use of open questions helps the client to talk more.
The clients areencouraged to utilise external resources and support groups to realise theirpotential. This model helps clients to apply skills that will lead to realisticand achievable goals. The skilled helper model is different from person -centredcounselling in the fact that, it’s a non-directive approach. There is nochallenging involved in the person-centred counselling Rogers (1957). In addition,the first stage of the skilled helper is exploration and this is whereby thecounsellor has an initial meeting with client and the counsellor is trying tofind out more about the client, Egan (1994). This stage the same as Rogersperson centred theory whereby both client and therapist are getting to know oneanother. It is important for the counsellor to introduce themselves, thecompany they represent and what they do. It is at this stage whereby thecounsellor is trying to establish the difficulties that the client might be having.
This stage requires clarification and identification of the client’s problemsthat needs priority and to know the level of seriousness and the urgency of theissues that the client has, Culley & Bond (2011) p16. To help thecounsellor to achieve this, there are some important basic skills which areuseful and one of them is active listening. This is a very important skill and ifcombined with reflecting, it helps to achieve empathy. Active listening is atechnique which is used in counselling and l use it in my practice Culley (2011) p17. I am a support worker in my work place, and my responsibilityis to make sure that the learning disability clients in our care setting areproperly cared for and supported to make their lives as comfortable as possibletherefore, active listening and communication is of paramount importance toboth staff and clients.
This technique is used daily and can be divided by twocomponents which are verbal and non-verbal communication. When actively listening,one should pay attention to what is being said and observing the body language,Culley (2011) p27-60. Active listening and attending affects andadds value to each other, Hough p.50.
Listening carefully with all your sensesand paying much attention even to the client’s body gestures during aconversation will make it easier to paraphrase and reflect on what the clienthas said, and the body language can represent feelings. Paraphrasing andreflecting should be done through checking with client, repeating what theyhave said to you using your own words to verify understanding and feelings.Although paraphrasing and reflecting is recommended as a way of checking yourunderstanding of what is being said, Nelson-Jones (2005) argues, that it is notalways necessary to paraphrase all the time, but only to do it when necessary.This is evidenced by the reaction of some of my clients as they usually getupset if you repeat something to them often.
In my evaluation, l share the sameidea with Jones (2005) that the counsellor must make their own judgement as tohow many times one should make the use paraphrasing in each situation as thisappears to irritate others in some circumstances. The secondstage of the skilled helper model is challenging and this involves brain stormingand creative thinking. This is done by the counsellor to encourage the clientto explore other options of solving their problem Egan (2002). The client isstill the main priority in this problem solving but, the counsellor may help toidentify the area in which progress may be implemented.
This is the stage to lookat the blind spots and challenge them by finding a way to solve the problems orconcerns Egan (1994). In the 3rd and final stage of the skilledhelper, the action and implementation of the new plans looking to move forwardare applied. The skilled helper model is also applied in some areas of my work.We do safeguarding of our vulnerable clients; therefore, we look at the currentand future situation.
An example is when our client X moved into our setting,she was young and managing to walk down some steps through the lounge but,after a recent near miss accident, an assessment was carried out and a new handrail was installed in the lounge for her to pass through with easy access. Weare assisted with tools such as care plans and some monthly or weekly reviewswhich we carry out regularly. This is focusing on both current and futuresituations. There are measurable and realistic targets that we set as perindividuals according to their needs.
This allows us to solve current problemsand focus on the future. Rogersdefined empathy as a level of understanding that must be accomplished by thetherapist to the client, Rogers (1957). In the early 1900s, there were somedefinitions of empathy in psychology and psychiatry by other researchers.Empathy was a great therapeutic connection with the client’s experience.
(Clark2004, Feller & Cottone, 2003; Pigman, 1995). Although, Rogers (1957)believed empathy was a requirement in person centred counselling and mentalhealth, Clark (2004) questions if empathy was the only necessary and sufficientcondition of the therapeutic process. Rogers suggests that the counsellor oughtto feel the client’s world like his own and show this understanding to theclient. He refers this as taking a client’s frame of reference meaning anunderstanding of the client or how they perceive the issue on their client’shand (Rogers, 1957,1959). Unlike Truax (1967) and Carkhuff (1969) who successfullydescribed empathy for use in training programs, but Roger’s work did notprovide specifications on basic or advanced empathy.
Rogers believed that ifthe three core conditions namely congruence, unconditional positive regard andempathy are met, clients are more likely to engage willingly and this willfacilitate personal growth hence moving towards self -actualization, Rogers(1957). Although Rogers core conditions are important they are not sufficienton their own. Inconclusion to this essay, I have learnt to keep some reflective journals as recommendedby Barbra Bassot (2016). The reflective journal will help me to understandmyself more and to take a deeper approach to my personal development where lgained a lot of knowledge and understanding through learning and applying newskills. These skills learnt will not only be beneficial to me l will apply themat work and use them when helping my family and friends.