Can a Humanistic Model of Counselling Be Integrated with a Cognitive (or Cognitive – Behavioural) One? Discuss with Reference to Rogers and Either Beck or Egan.

2371 Words Oct 16th, 2011 10 Pages
Can a humanistic model of counselling be integrated with a cognitive (or cognitive – behavioural) one? Discuss with reference to Rogers and either Beck or Egan.

In the first part of this essay I will summarise the main features of humanistic counselling and the cognitive approach. Rogers used a humanistic person centred approach to therapy and I will look at his view of people, their potential, what goes wrong and what can help them to change. Egan was a cognitive therapist and I will address the above points in relation to his “Skilled Helper” model. Similarities and key differences in theory, practise and value base between the two approaches will then be discussed.

In the second part of the essay, I will use my own
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Egan views people as being subject to operant conditioning. In essence “in any situation or in response to any stimulus, the person has available a repertoire of possible responses and emits the behaviour that is reinforced or rewarded” (Mc Leod p.126). Egan considers that the client’s repertoire of available responses and processing of information mostly learned during childhood will be uniquely theirs, and may not presently be serving their best interests. The cognitive therapist will
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look for unused or unrecognised life enhancing potential within the client. Egan views peoples actions as a direct result of their feelings and the thinking (cognition) preceding them. People have the potential to unlearn behaviour that does not serve their vital interests and replace it with learned appropriate behaviour. The therapist using ‘The Skilled Helper’ model is able to facilitate the client’s understanding of what is going on for them right now, what they would like to be happening and to assist them in developing strategies, achievable goals and an action plan to get them there.

Both cognitive and humanistic therapists are in agreement that the counsellor needs first to establish the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard with their client. During the first stage of the cognitive

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