The Rogerian School of Thought

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The Rogerian school of thought was developed by Carl Rogers and deviated from Freud’s psychoanalytic and the behavioral theories that were popular at the time. The Rogerian or client-centered approach was seen as an alternative to the then-dominant models in American psychology of behaviorism and psychoanalysis and as such became aligned with the emerging third force of humanistic psychology (Joseph & Murphy, 2012). The Rogerian approach does not rely on stages of development or conditioned responses to create a behavior change in the client. The Rogerian approach is primarily focused on the individual personal experience of the client. Behavior change is accomplished through the process of self-actualization. Self-actualization …show more content…
The therapist strives to understand the client’s subjective reality by trying to literally walk in his shoes. This is achieved by reflecting with sensitivity and accuracy, a therapeutic understanding of what was said as well as the meaning and feelings underlying the words (Peltier, 2009, p. 105).
Clark (2010), expanded on the Rogerian model of empathy by introducing additional empathy processes; (a) subjective, (b) interpersonal, and (c) objective. Subjective empathy processes require the coach find common ground with the client. When a counselor empathizes with a client, there is often a kinship, a similarity of experiences (Clark, 2010).
Interpersonal empathy is concentrated on the coach’s understanding of the client’s experience. The coach perceives and understands the client’s frame of reference. Lastly, objective empathy utilizes referential data to seek a profound understanding of the client. However, in an effort to overcome pre-dispositional opinions, the coach should invariably seek alternate reference sources to integrate with the subjective and the interpersonal knowledge base(s) being credited. Often, when dealing with objective data, biases and stereotypes have a tendency of dominating the presumption. In all cases, a multi-perspective should be sought when employing empathic understanding. Rogers and the person-centered approach have been pivotal in identifying empathy as a core condition and

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