Finding the road to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction may be challenging. There are several treatments that you may find effective. Each person has varying needs and people’s conditions are unique. There is no one common treatment for all. A particular approach may be successful for one but not others.
Considering this reality, a reputable addiction rehabilitation facility will work with you to find the treatments most applicable to you. While some may find group counseling effective, others may respond better to person-centered therapy. Regardless of the treatment, people who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction must be actively involved in achieving a sober life once again.
What is person-centered therapy? What makes it an effective way of helping people find sobriety after sobriety? How does it work? What are its benefits?
What Is Person-Centered Therapy?
Carl Rogers developed person-centered therapy in the 1940s with the underlying belief that everyone is born good. The American psychologist emphasized a person’s drive to achieve the full actualization of his or her existence. It is innate among people to be motivated by what is good and healthy. But one’s tendency for self-actualization may lead to complexity.
With this scenario, a professional may help a person move toward achieving a healthy mind. Person-centered therapy, therefore, is anchored on a person’s inherent capacity to have a healthy mental condition. The focus of this approach is on the person seeking recovery and not the problem itself.
A person-centered approach is also called Rogerian or client-centered therapy. During this approach, the client takes the lead. He or she directs the discussion, while the therapist is there to facilitate. Thus, the person who was dependent on drugs or alcohol is the person who finds the solutions to his or her problems.
Who Benefits from Person-Centered Therapy?
This particular approach to deal with addiction and mental health concerns is used by those who want to discover themselves. Clients opt for person-centered therapy if they want to be aware of who they really are.
Person-centered therapy may likewise help people improve their self-esteem since it requires them to work toward becoming more self-reliant. It may be an option to improve clients’ relationships with the people around them.
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Problems with interpersonal relationships
- Panic disorder
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Personality disorders
- Unhappiness at home or work
- Disordered eating patterns such as bulimia and anorexia
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Why Is Person-Centered Therapy Effective?
Regardless of the situation, the goal of person-centered therapy is to serve as an agent toward recovery. If you or a loved one are considering this technique, you need to understand how it works. As a humanistic approach, the therapist guides the client in finding the most appropriate solution to a problem. He or she draws out the client’s thoughts until self-actualization is reached.
It must be emphasized that the therapist does not impose anything on the client. Rather, the professional helps determine who the person is and what he or she wants to become. The direction of person-centered therapy is to help clients understand themselves better.
How Does Person-Centered Therapy Differ from the Other Types of Therapy?
It is critical for therapists to engage their clients in fruitful conversations in person-centered therapy. By holding their clients’ attention, therapist may receive important input. A good discussion may help therapists craft questions for their clients.
Person-centered therapy includes four major concepts to engage clients and help them create change for themselves:
This means that what the therapist says and does during the session must have a single message. He or she can never say something without his or her body language supporting it.
Professionals who treat people in recovery must be conscious of the body language they display. They must make sure that their words are consistent with their gestures. Inconsistencies may cause the clients to lose much-needed trust in their therapists.
No matter what clients say or do during sessions, their therapists will only listen. They should respect their clients at all times.
Known as unconditional positive regard, the therapists’ response should be models of acceptance and respect. This does not mean complete agreement with everything their clients say and do, though. It means that therapists should create environments where clients feel as if they are not being mocked or judged. This environment will help maintain trust between clients and therapists.While sympathy is feeling sorry for someone, empathy is more than that. With empathy, the therapist may understand what a client is feeling. By doing so, the therapist may become trustworthy to the client.
As discussed earlier, person-centered therapy is humanistic. The therapist keeps in mind that the focus of each session is the client.
The nondirectiveness of this type of therapy means that the therapist does not give advice. He or she does not provide recommendations on how to solve a problem. Rather, the client is encouraged to express his or her feelings and listen attentively. The approach uses techniques to keep the conversation going.
Compared to other forms of therapy, the four client-centered concepts of person-centered therapy make it unique.
How Does Person-Centered Therapy Treat Substance Abuse?
A person-centered approach addresses both addiction and various mental health conditions. It may be used by different people in recovery because of its focus on individuality and may be a wise choice for addiction therapy.
Here are specific ways how person-centered therapy may help people with drug or alcohol addiction:
- It considers a person and his or her addiction as a whole. Such therapy addresses the addiction itself as well as the possible reasons behind it. Therapists try to draw out their clients’ innermost thoughts and feelings on addiction to reach possible solutions.
- It helps clients understand their worth. Since self-actualization is the goal of this approach, its therapy sessions help clients boost their self-esteem.
- It helps clients improve their self-image. As therapists guide the clients toward recovery, the clients find ways to improve the self-image they want to possess.
- It encourages clients to see their truth. Their reality may just be in front of the clients, but they may not see it. With person-centered therapy, clients receive the opportunity to know themselves better. They discover their truth without outside influences. The clients are the people who discover the truth.
- It prompts clients to look for solutions to their problems. There are no suggestions to follow or adopt when using person-centered therapy. The clients find the answers to their questions. They are the people in charge of solving their problems.
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Limitations and Criticisms
Every therapy or treatment has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, each has its limitations. According to critics, person-centered therapy:
- Is too general. The approach has no specific and well-defined techniques. According to this criticism, person-centered therapists listen and engage their clients in meaningful discussions. They say that the therapists’ role must be more than that. They should create tailored and clear steps to approach each client.
- Is overly optimistic. The therapist ensures a positive environment during therapy sessions. As such, therapists do not really diagnose clients in this approach.
- Looks only into surface issues. Person-centered therapy only allows a client to explore surface issues but not deeper ones.
- Fails to offer adequate support to clients. Since the approach encourages therapists to show utmost respect to clients, there may be no room for challenge. Therapists may have relevant advice but may not be able to share it with clients because the rule will be broken.
- Lacks opportunities to teach clients. As experts in their fields, therapists or counselors are equipped to share sound advice. But they cannot exercise this when practicing person-centered therapy. Other approaches allow therapists to mentor clients to treat addiction and other conditions.
- Ignores the clients’ actual behavior. In person-centered approaches, therapists cannot give suggestions for recovery and clients look for solutions their own. These behaviors may need to be addressed and therapists may have better strategies to address them.
Find Addiction Treatment Now!
After reading about person-centered therapy, you may want to find treatment for addiction, or you may have a family member to refer. You may be looking for a rehabilitation facility with therapists and counselors to help you recover.
Whether you are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, Mountain Springs Recovery has specialized treatment to meet your needs. Our team has well-trained, skilled, and compassionate professionals. They provide personalized care that is designed to address your particular condition
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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