Learning and Change within Person-centred Therapy: Views of Expert Therapists

MACASKILL, Ann, RENGER, Susan and NAYLOR, Bill (2020). Learning and Change within Person-centred Therapy: Views of Expert Therapists. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.

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    Aims Traditionally in person‐centred therapy (PCT), clients are counselled for as long as required. It is a nondirective process. Recently, financial constraints have introduced time limits for therapy in health care, so it seemed appropriate to revisit the practice of PCT in the current UK context. The aim was to explore the concepts of learning and change within PCT and to consider whether learning is facilitated. Method Five experienced person‐centred therapists, who were involved in educating therapists, participated in semi‐structured interviews. Questions explored their views on learning and change in therapy, whether learning processes can be facilitated in PCT—both philosophically and practically—and the outcomes of PCT. Therapists were not specifically asked about time pressure, but rather it was left to see if it emerged as an issue. Results Ten major themes emerged: learning and change, goals, learning process, PCT process, issues on nondirectivity/directivity, questioning, outcomes, assessment and diagnosis, and other methods used. The issue of time pressure permeated many of these themes. Views were often contradictory reflecting the inconclusive views in the literature, particularly in relation to how clients learn and the relationship between change and learning. Discussion The issue of directivity seemed to cause cognitive dissonance, with participants wanting to be directive to deal with time pressures, but not wanting to be disloyal to Rogers' PCT principles. Processes of learning and change were acknowledged as important, but little clarity was obtained on their current application.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 12:56
    Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 14:02
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25674

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