Uploaded by Alex Stein

Humanistic Psychotherapy Notes

As left to the medical model as possible
About self-actualization
Open ended therapy
Not about reducing depression/anxiety, getting rid of anything wrong/pathology but about
being the best you can be
Created in the 40’s by Rodgers in reaction to psychoanalysis
Rodgers originally was working with psychotic individuals
Purely patient focused and guided by the patient, up to the patient what the patient needs,
patient sets the goals of treatment and the duration of the sessions
Client at the center of the treatment and not the therapist
About listening to patient, validating them, and supporting them
What is curative is the patient being an environment with unconditional positive regardwarmth, acceptance- then self-actualization will take place
Rodgers was one of the first to do outcome research in therapy
Part of what is called the 3rd force in psychology (which includes humanism and existentialism)
Both humanism and existentialism focus on the experience of the patient
Emphasis of concept of freedom, values, autonomy, purpose, and meaning
Individuals have the potential to self-actualize and find meaning
Like an acorn, can grow in the proper conditions
Person seen as striving for full functioning
Have the resources for self-growth and insight
Focus on the capacity to encounter reality and solve life’s problems on their own without the
help of a professional
Focus on the here and now
Mental health is the congruence between what the person is and wants to be
Phenomenological world of client is central (client’s reality)
Way of being is a shared journey
Called the non-directive approach at first, focused on the development in the 40s on the
nondirective environment, challenges idea that therapist knows best, no diagnosis, suggestion,
diagnostic procedures are prejudicial and misused.
Changed to “client-centered” with the emphasis shifting to the client as the center instead of
the non-directiveness
Best way to understand patient is by their own frame of reference
Focus in 50’s on actualizing tendency and motivating patient for change
Empathy, acceptance and congruence from the therapist are necessary for change
Congruence= what the therapist is saying, and feeling are consistent, related to honesty,
therapist modeling truthfulness that they want patient to achieve in their life
60’s- emphasis shifted again to self-actualizing potential of the patient, and patient trusting
their own experience (extension of congruence), patient having an internal locus of evaluation
and moving away from conditions of worth, Rodgers started outcomes research to test his
theory that focused on the process as well as the outcome of therapy
Rodgers interested in how people best learn in psychotherapy
Rodgers studied qualities of patient client relationship and how it impacted change
4th period in 70-80’s- conflict resolution
As a result of interaction of the environment the self is formed. Self is formed out of evaluative
Self is consistent but fluid pattern of “I” or “Me”
Different values person has is related to perception of themselves
Experiences are either symbolized to the self or ignored because they don’t fit with the selfconcept
Behaviors that are adopted typically consistent with idea of self
Inconsistent experiences are perceived as a threat and self-structure becomes more rigid in
response to that threat
Incongruence= split between how the individual sees themselves and the real self
-When there is a disparity is can lead to anxiety, depression, etc.
-Goal of therapy is to decrease the split so they can self actualize
Organismic Valuing Process- in infancy if improves self state its good, and if not its bad
Later child is provided of provisions of others which are the conditions of worth. This may
contradict their own values which is where the problems occur
Defenses: Denial and Distortion
RogerianSelf-Actualized- Openness to experience, trust in self, internal source/locus of evaluation,
willingness to continue growing
Developing reintegration in the patient- from external standards to internal standards
Overcome rigidity and discrepancy between self and real self
Six conditions necessary for personality/psychological change to occur: 1) two people in
psychological contact 2) client experiencing incongruity 3) therapist experiences unconditional
pos regard and real caring and acceptance of client 4) empathic understanding of client 5)
recognize internal frame of reference and communicate this back to the patient 6)
communication to client of empathic understanding and unconditional pos. regard (make sure
that this is minimally achieved that the patient reports back to you that they’re experiencing
Therapist characteristics and quality of therapist patient relationship
Willing to be real with patient
Qualities of therapist: genuineness, non-possessive warmth, accurate empathy, unconditional
acceptance and respect of client
Congruence- therapy is genuine and inner experience matches external experience
Caring is unconditional acceptance without stipulations
Main task of therapist is to understand client’s experience
Therapist to understand client’s feelings as their own without getting lost in them
Techniques: No specific techniques in Rogerian therapy
Focus on therapeutic relationship
Does not use diagnosis or history taking
Positive and optimistic view of human nature
Relationship centered rather than technique centered
Focus on therapists attitude and therapeutic context
Limited efficacy with non-verbal clients
Dependent on therapist’s ability to bring themselves to the interpersonal interaction
Exploration stage:
Goals: get to know patient, establish rapport (trumps information gathering)
Interventions- attending and listening, restatement, open questions and reflection of
Attending and listeningTo develop trusting relationship: establish rapport, try to understand client’s internal
experience, respect and interest in patient, focus client on inner experience
Facilitation emotional expression- nonverbal communication, encourage focus on what
feeling in the moment
Learning about client- don’t assume pts. experience is the same as anyone else
Follow the lead that client provides- client knows self best
Difficulties/Mistakes: inadequate listening, getting too involved with own thoughts,
being judgmental, asking too many closed questions (y/n)- can result in client feeling
they don’t have anything better to say closes them down, talking too much, giving too
much advice, trying to be buddies with patient, not allowing for silence (examine own
fears about silence), discouraging the intense expression of affect (explore difficulties
with tolerating intense affect)