PERSON-CENTRED (ROGERIAN) THERAPY
The person-centred theoretical understanding is that every individual has the ability to fulfil his/her deep potential and self-actualise when developing. This theory comes together with the social work value of individuality; as person centred therapists believe in the uniqueness of every individual. Person centred theory moves away from diagnostic labelling as the human personality is perceived as complex and every person as an individual. A client’s perceptual world is understood as consisting only of experiences that they either take into or reject from their self-concept.
This approach upholds social work values in that it believes in the therapist accepting each individual client fully, and believing in each individual’s inherent potential to grow. The therapist is non-judgemental in the therapeutic process so the client feels safe and able to let their defences down and reveal their true, organismic self. This therapeutic process can be short or long term.
The systemic approach believes in the principle of every system affecting every other part of another system. Therefore various systems such as individuals, families and organisations, and how they interrelate and function are analysed and broken down. A family system consists of a spousal, parental and sibling subsystem. When there is a change in a sibling it will affect other siblings, and the parents and so forth…You cannot predict a system which is also never static. Systems try and maintain a balance (homeostasis), resisting radical sudden change.
Systemically people and their behaviour are viewed holistically. Extreme, sudden change is not considered positive and is seen as leading to dysfunction and disruption in the system. On a wider systemic level, transformation and change is based on core moral values of self-awareness, peace and compassion for humanity, as well as all living organisms and our mutual responsibility to the larger environment.
In practice, one is cautious of how systems overlap onto each other and facilitates clients to work within the systems they are exposed to on a daily basis.
“YOU MUST BE THE MASTER OF YOUR EMOTIONS IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE, FOR HE WHO CAN CONTROL HIMSELF BECOMES FREE.” (Sem Brown)
This approach involves exploring an individual’s past and understanding how one’s initial attachments affect an individual’s behavior both consciously and unconsciously. This therapeutic process involves long-term therapy.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
The Cognitive Behavioural therapeutic approach focuses on the client learning to practice techniques that change irrational forms of thinking. This approach is more practical, and aims at breaking negative patterns of thought. The theory combines behavioural and learning theory with cognitive theory to do with how people think and integrate facts. The focus is on how we think, feel and behave. A negative, irrational thought leads to a negative emotion and in turn behaviour. The more pragmatic client can be facilitated to notice, reexamine and change certain patterns of thinking and negative conclusions that lead to problematic behaviour and emotions. The focus is on becoming aware of the content and effect of your thoughts, and reevaluating your perceptions which then has a positive impact on your behaviour.