When Carl Rogers published his famous book Counseling and Psychotherapy in 1942, he introduced a totally new concept of counselling. The client is seen as a good person who is capable of making the right choices when facilitated by the counsellor. Thus, the role of the counsellor is not to advise, but to facilitate the process of exploring himself or herself. Self-exploration and growth in the client can be achieved within a nurturing relationship where the client is able to freely express his or her concerns as the counsellor provides a positive and trusting environment. Roger’s approach came to be known as non-directive counselling since the counsellor did not advise or direct the client’s process of self-exploration.
2.1 CONTINUUM OF THEORIES
After Roger’s introduction of his approach, counsellors began to debate which approach was more appropriate. The Rogerian approach prompted counsellors to view counselling as more than giving advice on career matters. Subsequently, counsellors began to examine other theories from psychology and psychotherapy which could be used in counselling because these two fields focused on various human experiences. Over the last 60 years, numerous theories have been introduced into the counselling profession. Reviewing these theories used in counselling, Patterson and Watkins (1996) suggested that modern approaches can be arranged on a continuum ranging from non-directive approaches to directive approaches (see Figure 2.1). Generally, counsellors who are nondirective focus on affections and view clients as able to direct themselves with the help of counsellors. In contrast, counsellors who adopt the directive approaches tend to be more prescriptive and view themselves as the experts giving directions to their clients.
Person- Psychoanalytic Trait-
Gestalt Cognitive Behavioural
Figure 2.1: Continuum of Counselling Theories
(source: adapted from Patterson & Watkins. 1996, p. 261)
For example, using the person-centred approach, the counsellor attempts to realise the client’s full potential adopting a non-directive attitude. The counsellor looks for meaning behind a client's words and tries hard to understand the client’s world and as far as possible avoids portraying himself or herself as an expert. On the other hand, using the behavioural approach, the counselor and the client collaborate on a behavioural plan