Think about Roger’s view of human nature and how it influences the practice of counseling. Questions: Make sure to make references to the text to support your points. Put yourself in the place of a client and think of a particular problem you might have that involves some form of fear or avoidance. As the client, would you want your therapist to use gradua exposure flooding to treat the fear?
Roger’s view of human nature has had a profound impact on the practice of counseling. According to Carl Rogers, human beings are capable of self-actualization, which is the innate drive to fulfill their potential and become the best version of themselves (Rogers, 1961). This optimistic perspective assumes that individuals have an inherent tendency towards growth, and that given the right conditions, they can find the resources within themselves to resolve their psychological difficulties.
In Rogerian therapy, the therapist adopts a non-directive and client-centered approach, creating a supportive and empathetic environment that encourages clients to explore their own experiences and emotions (Rogers, 1951). The therapist is seen as a facilitator, providing unconditional positive regard and empathy, but refraining from imposing their own values or interpretations onto the client. This approach is based on the assumption that clients have an innate capacity for self-understanding and problem-solving.
In the case of fear or avoidance, Rogers’ perspective would advocate for the therapist to create a safe and non-judgmental space for the client to explore their fears and understand the underlying causes. Rather than using techniques like gradual exposure or flooding, which aim to desensitize the client to their fears through repeated and intense exposure, Rogers would emphasize the importance of the therapeutic relationship and the client’s self-exploration.
As a client facing a fear or avoidance problem, I would want my therapist to use a Rogerian approach rather than employing gradual exposure flooding. Rogers believed that individuals have their own unique internal sense of what is right and wrong for them, and that they possess the ability to tap into their own resources for growth and self-actualization. By providing a supportive and empathetic environment, the therapist can help me explore my fears and understand the underlying causes.
In the case of fear or avoidance, Rogers would encourage the therapist to focus on building a trusting and empathetic relationship with the client. Through active listening, reflection, and providing unconditional positive regard, the therapist can create a safe space for me to explore my fears and gradually confront them at my own pace. This approach acknowledges my autonomy and respects my ability to determine the best course of action for myself.
Gradual exposure flooding, on the other hand, involves exposing the client to the feared stimulus at an intense level, aiming to reduce their anxiety through repeated exposure. While this technique may be effective for some individuals, it can be overwhelming and potentially retraumatizing for others. Furthermore, it does not take into consideration the client’s unique experiences and individual process of self-discovery. Rogers’ approach, in contrast, empowers the client to explore their fears in a way that is comfortable and meaningful for them.
In summary, Rogers’ view of human nature and its influence on the practice of counseling emphasizes the belief in individuals’ capacity for self-actualization and personal growth. In the context of fear or avoidance, Rogers would prioritize the establishment of a supportive therapeutic relationship, allowing the client to explore their fears at their own pace and uncover their unique resources for growth. This client-centered approach contrasts with techniques like gradual exposure flooding, which focus on desensitizing the client through repeated and intense exposure. Ultimately, the choice of therapeutic approach should be guided by the individual’s preferences, needs, and readiness for exploration and change.