uses an existential approach and considers a clients "here
and now." The initial goal for a client is to gain awareness
of what they are experiencing and doing at that time in their
life. This type of therapy encourages the client to directly experience
a situation rather than talk about it. For example, if they experienced
childhood trauma, they will be encouraged to become the hurt child
rather than just talk about it. Therefore the therapists goal
is to assist their self-awareness of what they are doing
and how they are doing it.
This awareness includes insight,
self-acceptance, knowledge of ones environment, a responsibility
for choices and an understanding of the concept of change. For
the client - they will experience a discovery - they will realize
new things about themselves, see old situations in a new light
and look differently at significant others. As well, they will
recognize that they have a choice in their lives and that they
may behave differently, influence their own environment, deal
with daily surprises and have the confidence to improve and improvise.
To succeed in bringing the client
this awareness, experiments are used. The Internal Dialogue experiment
helps the client identify struggles in their lives for control.
In order to do so they role play the conflicts they experience
- being both the controlled and the controller at the same time.
The Making the Rounds experiment helps a person be able to make
confrontations, take risks, disclose themselves and try new behaviours
to grow and change. To do so, the client must go around a group
of people and speak to each of them or do something with each
of them. In the Reversal Technique experiment, the client is asked
to role play the opposite symptoms and behaviours from what they
are suffering. This helps the client to accept the personal attributes
that they have tried to deny.
The Rehearsal exercise involves
behavioural rehearsal where the client role plays a new behaviour
that they have learned with a person or people in their environment.
This is done to reduce stage fright, anxiety or fear that may
be felt if they feel they are not performing their new behaviour
correctly. This encourages spontaneity and a willingness to experiment
with new behaviours. The Exaggeration exercise consists of exaggerating
a movement or gesture repeatedly to intensify feelings attached
to behaviour to make inner meanings clearer. For example - they
will be asked to make a frown or a facial grimace. The last experiment
- Staying with the Feelings - keeps the client from escaping from
fearful stimuli and avoiding unpleasant feelings. They are encouraged
to go deeper into feelings of behaviour which they wish to avoid.
This helps to make way for new levels of growth, but it also takes
courage and pain.
Person Centre Therapy