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The Strengths of Person-centered Psychotherapies

For the personcentered psychotherapies, human nature is fundamentally good, and simply needs to be uncovered and nurtured. The emphasis on the client's possession of the answers, and on empathic understanding of the client's worldview was extended by Gendlin and the process psychotherapists.

In Gendlin, and his technique of focusing, the therapist almost becomes unnecessary, although there is a role for a guide, or assistant, in the process. However, the technique of focusing, which was connected to spirituality by two of Gendlin's disciples, emphasizes a deep listening to oneself, with the guide serving to facilitate, or simply witness, that process of uncovering one's own internal wisdom.

Again, obvious strengths here are in empowering clients, assuming that they have the answers to their problems, and reducing the role of outside experts. In addition, it is certainly less expensive and less timeconsuming than traditional methods of psychoanalysis, or more depth psychotherapies. The focus is on making a shift in the inner images or metaphors, which is assumed to provide the foundation for action in the world.

Another major strength of the personcentered approaches is that it does not reject any group as beyond help. While psychoanalysis essentially wrote off some groups, like schizophrenics or borderline personality disorder types, personcentered psychotherapies assumed that all people could be worked with and that the answer to their dysfunction lay within them. Again, the positive and optimistic nature of these approaches is apparent. It belongs to that view of human nature and progress that sees everything as possible, and the person, or institution, as almost infinitely malleable and capable of evolution.

Oftentimes the strengths of an approach have a slip side which represents their weaknesses. In terms of personcentered psychotherapies, this is also true. The optimism of these approaches may not be adequ...

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The Strengths of Person-centered Psychotherapies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:55, August 19, 2017, from
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