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Client Centered Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy and Social Learning Theory

By:   •  May 8, 2018  •  Essay  •  866 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,182 Views

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Compare and contrast the following three therapy approaches: Client Centered Therapy (humanistic approach), Self-modeling (social learning approach), and Rational Emotive Therapy (cognitive approach).

The Humanistic approach is a theory that emphasizes people's capacity to make rational choices and develop to their maximum potential. It is an approach that divulged from the traditional model of psychotherapy with the therapist as the expert and the client actually being the expert/teacher themselves. This approach is nondirective, warm and empathetic towards the client in their therapeutic process. The main themes are ofcourse empathy, concern, warmth, respect for others and unconditional positive regard toward their clients.  Developed by Carl Rogers, I loved how this view had the concept based on congruence and self-theory in regards to suffering. Rogers proposed that when there is congruence between actual self, ideal self and self-image (how one perceives oneself), one is happy with themselves and do not suffer immensely/feel anxiety thereby affecting the triad of thoughts, emotions and behaviors. When there is a lack of congruence between those three forces, that is when suffering arises. All in all, this therapy is based on Roger’s belief that every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential. Therapists who practice from this approach help their clients change by emphasizing their concern, care and interest rather than taking charge and acting as the authority on their clients’ inner experiences and troubles. By listening with presence, echoing back their concerns, and holding genuine space for the client, the therapist helps the client see themselves as another would and this can help them perceive inconsistencies/biases in their perceptions of the world and others. As for the population of clients that the humanistic approaches would be most useful for is depression, anxiety, panic disorder, addiction, substance abuse, cognitive dysfunction and relationship issues. Some argue because there is less structure and because some believe it is more suited towards the upper middle class/upper class ‘worried well,’ but I believe this is a great therapy framework for most diagnoses and those needing support; but it is probable that the more severe cases such as schizophrenia, DID and personality disorders would need more structure, direction and depth in therapy to get better. It is said in research it can be used for more severe diagnoses, but I feel as if other approaches would need to be integrated with humanistic aspects for therapy to be successful.

        Social Learning theory derived from a man named Albert Bandura, who emphasizes the social components, especially modeling, to the learning process. Modeling involves learning through observation and imitating the behavior of others. Therefore, people learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors in both negative, neutral and positive ways. The Social Learning model combines a triad of cognitive factors (also known as “personal factors” = knowledge, expectations, attitudes), behavioral factors (skills, practice, self-efficiency) and environmental factors (social norms, access in community, influence on others, ability to change own environment)) all of which determines human behavior. Through the therapeutic intervention of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (which contains the components of: social learning theory, classical and operant conditioning principles and cognitive appraisal theory), these therapists access clients’ irrational or maladaptive thoughts, instruct clients in more adaptive/rational thinking via psychoeducation (homework, goal setting, inflicting awareness of thought processes/intermediate beliefs and core beliefs), cognitive self-monitoring) and challenging thoughts) and support clients as they apply these new and developing skills in their lives. These therapists treat a variety of psychological and non-psychological issues such as anxiety, phobias, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, substance abuse, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder obsessive-compulsive disorder, social skill development such as public speaking and/or confidence-building, behavioral skills.


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