The most important elements of self change in therapy

Essay by rudog October 2004

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The fundamental components of the client-centered therapeutic tradition are the

most influential dynamics for facilitating self-change. In this method, the

key elements to bring about change lie within the client-therapist

relationship. "From this perspective, treatment is best understood as a

partnership for change" (Hubble 416). This relationship must be based on

mutual trust, respect and belief that the client has the ability to change.

"The client's view of the relationship is the 'trump card' in the therapy

outcome..." (Hubble 412). The client-therapist relationship is crucial in

producing change in an individual. This relationship consists of two major

components (the therapist and the client) and in order for successful change to

occur there are essential elements to both sections.

First, the therapist must create a warm emotional bond with the client that is

empathetic, genuine and unconditionally accepting. "Nonjudgementalness reduces

interpersonal anxiety, thereby increasing the client's capacity for facing

intrapersonal pain and anxiety, whereas therapist empathy helps the client to

turn his or her attention to internal experience" (Greenberg 102).

The second

set of key elements lie within the client. The client must have

self-determination and actively participate in the therapy. The therapist

motivates and promotes self-exploration, but the client must be willing to

change. The client and the therapist work together to achieve goals

established by the client. "With the recognition that motivation for change is

partly a product of what people do together, clinicians can work in harmony

with their clients to increase their participation in treatment" (Hubble 413).

A person who has trouble growing toward self-actualization needs a positive

caring environment to grow psychologically. The therapist's role of being

empathetic, genuine and unconditionally accepting creates a welcoming

environment for facilitating self change. It helps the client feel comfortable

in sharing truthfully about his or her...