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    The members themselves Essay (894 words)

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    Select two approaches/methods for working with clients/users, which have been discussed on the course. In a comparative discussion provide a justification for which approach would be more effective at empowering the client/user. In this essay I aim to contrast and then compare the methods of both person centred counselling and group work to provide a justification of which approach would be more empowering to a service user.

    The way I have decided to structure this essay is to describe each approach separately, starting off with an outline of their backgrounds followed by an account of their theories and how they are applied to service users and then justify which approach would be more effective at empowering. The person centred approach, is the approach developed by Carl Rogers, and is sometimes for that reason called Rogerian counselling or therapy. It is an approach that recognises the innate potential of each individual to resolve his or her difficulties.

    The intention is to support and enable the service user to formulate their own solutions and apply them of their own choice. Most of us are far more creative than we realise, and in the pressure and tension of daily life lose sight of our greatest asset and resource, which is ourselves. What the Person Centred approach aims to provide is that if we approach another person in a certain way, we can enable them to grow and develop and work through any problems they may have.

    And the suggestion is really that any approach, which is genuinely going to help people, must involve working in that same way. People centred approach entails three qualities; the first quality is empathy; many people believe that this is the single quality, which is most important in all forms of therapeutic listening. It means getting inside the world of the person who comes for therapy, so that the person feels accepted and understood. Two things are important about this, firstly that the empathy should be accurate, and secondly that the empathy should be made known to the client.

    Both of these are learnable skills, and they do make a huge difference to the relationship between service user and counsellor or therapist. The second quality is genuineness, if empathy is about listening to the service user; genuineness is about listening to yourself, really tuning in to yourself and being aware of all that is going on inside yourself. It means being open to your own experience, not shutting off any of it. And again it means letting this out in such a way that the service user can get the benefit of it.

    Genuineness is harder than empathy because it implies a lot of self-knowledge, which can really, only be obtained by going through one’s own therapy in quite a full and deep way. It is the term, a fully functioning person, Rogers’ word for the person who has completed at least the major part of their therapy who can be totally genuine. The third quality is unconditional positive regard, it means that the service user can feel received in a human way, which is not threatening. In such an atmosphere trust can develop, and the service user can feel able to open up to their own experiences and their own feelings.

    In a therapeutic situation where these qualities are operating, Rogers found, clients go through a sequence of stages that more and more closely approach being fully functioning persons, able to take charge of their own lives and really be themselves. The approach is unique in its own way, because when using the approach with a service user/ client the counsellor/ therapist does not intervene and has no intention of intervening. The service user/ client is given the freedom to take control of his or her own problems, and direct him or her towards a solution.

    The basic concept is that the counsellor/ therapist trusts the actualising tendency of the service user and truly believes that the service user/ client, who experiences this trust and warmth, would eventually resolve his or her own problems. The sole aim of the person centred is to make possible of personal growth through the relationship between the therapist and the client. Group work is founded to be one the most effective way of integrating members together with a shared or common problem.

    Social workers, counsellors and therapists are using group work methods with clients or user groups to promote a change or to provide therapeutic therapy; group work can also be a form of method used by professionals, of aiding a group or members of a group toward individual adjustment and increased participation in community activity by making use of the mechanisms of group life, as suggested by Payne (1991 p24) group work aims to, ‘provide settings enabling individuals to use the group or environment to gain personal competences and perhaps insight to function more effectively in groups and in ordinary life.

    ‘. The composition of groups varies as well, with family therapy and marriage counselling common forms in recent years. Peer group therapy usually consists of a group of individuals who have similar problems, and can be mediated by a psychoanalyst or by the members themselves. Many people seeking help prefer this sort of group therapy to individual therapy, largely because of the comfort derived from knowing that others share their problems.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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