Running head: PERSON-CENTERED 1
As the story begins, "Forty-one years ago, my uncle Hector said he was hitchhiking to Spokane, walked out the door, and disappeared." So what became of uncle Hector? The narrator spends the story speculating, and along the way recounts other losses the family has experienced. But he decides it's time to "bury" Hector, so a memorial is planned and held, with an open, empty casket. From the short story we also learn of the author's deep inappropriate love for his cousin, his cousins in prison and those living in poverty, and his father admitting that all his kids were accidents.
Personally, I would take a person-centered approach with this character. Due to a history of oppression by the dominant culture, Native American clients may present for therapy with distrust in the therapist, so it is important to first build trust and to allow the client to speak and be heard.
Person-centered therapy moves away from the idea that the therapist is the expert and towards the idea of human beings finding fulfillment of their personal potentials. The psychological environment described by Rogers was one where a person felt free from threat, both physically and psychologically. This environment could be achieved when being in a relationship with a person who was deeply understanding, accepting, and genuine (Raskin 1995).
At first, the narrator of "Happy Trails" seems to be a simple character. However, as the story goes on we see how complex he gets. It is hard to pinpoint the narrator's exact feelings. I feel like some points that the narrator expresses has two different viewpoints and meanings, what he says and what he really means. For instance, when he says, "Everything-our worst losses and our greatest beauty-is deemed sacred and necessary."...