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Siginificant Aspects of Client-Centered Therapy


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hypotheses to a verification or disproof by research methods, the debt is obviously to the
whole
field of American psychology, with its genius for scientific methodology. It could also
have been
pointed out that although everyone in the clinical field has been heavily exposed to the
eclectic
"team" approach to therapy of the child guidance movement, and the somewhat similar
eclecticism of the Adolf Meyers -- Hopkins school of thought, these eclectic viewpoint
have
perhaps not been so fruitful in therapy and that little from these sources has been
retained in
the non-directive approach. It might also have been pointed out that in its basic trend
away from
guiding and directing the client. the non-directive approach is deeply rooted in practical
clinical
experience, and is in accord with the experience of most clinical workers, so much so
that one
of the commonest reactions of experienced therapists is that "You have crystallized and
put into
words something that I have been groping toward in my own experience for a long time."
Such an analysis, such a tracing or root ideas, needs to be made, but I doubt my own
ability to
make it. I am also doubtful that anyone who is deeply concerned with a new
development
knows with any degree of accuracy where his ideas came from.
Consequently I am, in this presentation. Adopting a third pathway. While I shall bring in a
brief
description of process and procedure. and while I shall acknowledge in a general way
our
indebtedness to many root sources, and shall recognize the many common elements
shared by
client-centered therapy and other approaches, I believe it will be to our mutual
advantage if I
stress primarily those aspects in which nondirective[*] therapy differs most sharply and
deeply
from other therapeutic procedures. I hope to point out some of the basically significant
ways in
which the client-centered viewpoint differs from others, not only in its present principles,
but in
the wider divergencies which are implied by the projection of its central principles. [p.
416]
THE PREDICTABLE PROCESS OF CLIENT-CENTERED THERAPY
The first of the three distinctive elements of client-centered therapy to which I wish to call
your
attention is the predictability of the therapeutic process in this approach. We find, both
clinically
and statistically, that a predictable pattern of therapeutic development takes place. The
assurance which we feel about this was brought home to me recently when I played a
recorded
first interview for the graduate students in our practicum immediately after it was
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