Can person-centred learning facilitation be integrated into counselling?

RENGER, Sue (2018). Can person-centred learning facilitation be integrated into counselling? Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Enabling a learning process for counselling clients is regarded as a useful aim for therapists, and has been addressed by integrative therapeutic models such as CBT for example. In a humanistic setting, however, how clients learn is not so clear cut, nor is it necessarily addressed by person-centred therapists for fear of being directive. The research presented here therefore seeks to discover whether learning processes can be facilitated in a humanistic person-centred counselling relationship - both philosophically and practically. Carl Rogers had much to say on the subject of person-centred learning facilitation in the context of the classroom, but did not apply these principles to his Client-centred therapeutic approach. Whether Rogers’ learning facilitation principles can be beneficially integrated into a person-centred, humanistic counselling relationship provides the foundation to this research. In a mixed methods approach, firstly five established educationalists (who are also Person-centred therapists), were interviewed about their views on learning facilitation in therapy. It was concluded that whilst these therapists acknowledge that learning plays a key part in therapeutic change, learning facilitation was not systematically addressed. Since goal-setting helps individuals to define learning outcomes, the second study, using a Delphi approach, sought to gain consensus from 35 humanistic therapists on what characterises a ‘fully-functioning’ client. The resulting list of 71 items was then developed into a questionnaire and card sort goal-setting exercise. Study 3, in the form of a quasi-experiment, involved 9 humanistic therapists and 23 of their clients in establishing whether the ‘fully-functioning’ learning outcomes could aid therapy through setting learning goals. Therapists who were most happy with being directive found the instruments useful in enabling client progress. Finally, a case study of one client in therapy (with the researcher) tested the use of person-centred learning facilitation techniques. A list of useful generic learning processes emerged including establishing client learning goals, enabling the client to understand her own learning style and processes, and planning for her own long term learning. In summary, it was established that facilitated learning processes based on person-centred principles can provide a philosophically and practically acceptable focus for humanistic therapy. Further, using an instrument to set learning goals was perceived to be useful by more directive humanistic practitioners. Given that the final case study tested only nine learning theories, there are now the foundations in place to develop further a ‘therapeutic learning’ methodology or meta-framework, and to research resulting benefits.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Macaskill, Ann
Additional Information: Director of Studies - Professor Ann Macaskill
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Justine Gavin
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 15:14
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2022 01:18

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