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Week 3 – Response to Discussion


This assignment does not need to be long, but needs to be written well written in a flowing discussional tone, using APA.


Please see previous link if required:



Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ posts and explain whether you believe the proposed case conceptualization is the most beneficial for the case selected and why.

Your responses may be more informal than your main post.



Allie Roberson 

Week 03 Discussion: Jason (Person Centered Approach)


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Presenting Problem

Jason is a young jewish man who is involved with another man. Jason is having concerns about his relationship. Jason and his significant other have been exhibiting a disconnect with their communication as Jason discovered that his significant other was watching pornography. On top of the stress that Jason is experiencing with his relationship, he is currently holding his relationship a secret as his religion and culture would not be welcoming of this union.



According to (Hazler, 2016) based on the person centered approach, people are innately good and the counselor should place full confidence in the client to make the right decision in his situation. Counselors working from a person-centered approach will help the client in making a decision that the client feels is the right choice based on their own perceptions. The goal is to help Jason understand that the decision he  will make would have to be the one that would ease his conscious and make him happy in the end. A few questions to ask Jason is, will his decision have a positive or negative impact on his relationship with his family? would he be happy living with a relationship that is kept secret long term? Will he be able to find peace if he were to move on with the relationship, etc. The idea is to have the client think of all of the possibilities and outcomes to the decisions that he makes and encourage him that there are no “right or wrong” answers just one he will be able to live with in the long term.


Hazler, R. (2016). Person-centered theory. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.), Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (6th ed., pp. 169–194). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association

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Dawn Riley 

Case Conceputlization: Person-Centered Theory


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Case of Dale: Conceptualization of Problem through Person-Centered Theory

Presenting Problem

Dale has a phenomenological view of the world that is incongruent with his supervisor’s employment expectations.  He is employed as a prison guard and had numerous negative altercations with inmates.  Dale does not think he needs to change, but is motivated for therapy so that he can keep his job.  He is a 52, white male that has been terminated from prior employment for racial profiling and inability to work with colleagues of a different race.  In his currently perceived world, the United States should only consist of English speaking white citizens.  The fact that Dale’s phenomenological world is not congruent to his employers work expectations, it has caused him extreme anger towards prison inmates that are Black or Hispanic Americans (Rogers, 1951).

Dale divorced his first wife due to accusations of affairs.  He is estranged from his only child, a son because he is dating a non-white.  Describes his son as being raised by his ex-wife whom is a “lying whore” and she created a “big baby”.  Dale views his current wife as ignorant, a minority, and chattel.

His phenomenological perspective is that women cannot be trusted, Blacks and Mexicans are lazy, and he was denied services while suffering in poverty.  Even though Dale has an incongruent phenomenological view of the world, Rogers believed that all humans continue at attempts to actualize our most productive selves (Hazler, 2016).  In addition, Roger’s theory would say Dales thoughts and actions were mainly reflections of his distorted view of self and the world (Rogers, 1951).


According to Rogers, the primary goal of a person-centered approach is to help Dale get a sense of the positive elements inside himself that are unseen or hidden.  Once these distorted views are more congruent it should help him react better towards people and situations.  When this goal is accomplished, it will reduce feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.  It appears that Dale is attracted to jobs that associate themselves with power and authority over others.  In addition, by reaching this goal Dales aggressive anger and behavior driven by stereotypes should lesson.  He should become more productive and make better flexible decisions both personally and in the work place (Hazler, 2016).

One clinical goal the counselor will work on with Dale is his trustworthiness.  He has natural human characteristics such as being trustworthy, constructive, and is overall good.  All of his inappropriate behavior is based on his ideal view of self and does not match his real self.  Dale is using defensive thoughts and anger to protect himself from having to see that he is not living the life he should be.  Usually these actions and thoughts are not deceitful, but are based on conflicting perceptions of his world.  The ultimate goal being that the counselor will be used as an empathic tool to help Dale reach self-actualization, which is already innately inside him (Hazler, 2016).  Thus, reducing his overall frequency, intensity, and duration of his anger episodes inside the work place.  These will be accomplished with the use of the therapeutic relationship and person-centered approach interventions.


During the counseling sessions, the therapist will not have any set agenda except those set by the client.  There will be a strong therapeutic alliance built in the efforts to guide clients to a more congruent way of thinking.  Also, no judgments made, this will allow Dale to express any emotions he needs relevant to his circumstances. The counselor will not lead him towards any specific topics, point out his problems, reward, punish, or direct him.  However, the counselor will present with active listening, genuine empathic understanding without judgments.  Throughout the sessions, the therapist will often convey back to Dale what they are seeing, hearing, and understanding, so that there is correct communication and correct misinterpretations. This movement through each session serves a strategic intervention allowing Dale to learn.  The therapist and client are continually negotiating trying to reach a mutual understanding.  This produces the goal of reaching empathic understanding (Hazler, 2016).

The Person-Centered approach uses the process of change as its key intervention.  Rogers believed that his theory was more related to the therapists and not what techniques they use.  He has been quoted as saying, “If a therapist has the attitudes we have come to request as essential, probably he or she can use a variety of techniques” (Wilkins, 2003, p. 92).

Changes are achieved by three basic conditions: genuineness, acceptance, and empathic understanding (Joseph & Murphy, 2012; Kirschenbaum, 2009).  According to Rogers (1961), the counselor uses their genuineness to show client how true honest relationships can be.  Dale can experience this instead of facades and roles that have caused him to doubt information his received from others.  The counselor will show Dale acceptance and caring by way of giving him unconditional positive regard.  This will reduce his stress caused by fears in the relationship.  Dales counselor will use active and interactive listening skills such as:  making good eye contact, body posturing, and acquiring information.  This will allow Dales’ counselor to accurately reflect on the content and his feelings, so that they can be mirrored back to him.  The change process begins as he revises and expands his prior perceptions.  This here-and-now technique allows for immediacy and can be used throughout sessions.  Empathic understanding will be effectively explored by the counselors attempt to understand Dales perceptions and his world (Hazler, 2016).  If the counselor can achieve these conditions for Dale, then he will be able to drop his “masks” and recognize aspects of himself.  This is away for him to self-recognize and use self-acceptance to produce growth (Hazler, 2016).

Rationale and Expected Outcomes

The goal of Person-Centered Theory is to regard the client as a whole person, not as a diagnosis.  The focus is on the person, and the counselor being used as a tool much like a sounding board.  Dales therapist will use basic tenets of person-centered therapy that will allow him to grow, change, and become congruent with his true self.  His past will only be explored to the extent of obtaining information about his current perceptive views of the world.   He must never feel judged by his therapist, so that his free to gain insight into his world.  Thus, developing a greater ability to see if changes are needed. Dales counselor will provide him with core conditions, so that he can perceive these conditions, explore, and test new ones.  He can then begin to trust in the relationship and have the ability to think and act in a wider variety of circumstances (Hazler, 2016).  The ultimate goal of this approach fits the old adage about teaching someone to fish versus giving them the fish (Bowles, 2012).

A very positive outcome would be at the end of therapy Dale would have journeyed through his past pains.  Along side an empathic counselor who understands that past hurts can play an important role when dealing with present issues.  His family or societal expectations could have shaped Dales view of himself.  If he were to achieve self-actualization, he needs to form self-acceptance (Bowles, T. (2012).  Dale would have been empowered to have insight that his negative altercations are a result of his own behavioral choices.  This is not to say that he must change his thoughts.   But to understand treating inmates inappropriately by work standards is not only incongruent with being a good employee, but the loss of his job.


Bowles, T. (2012). Developing Adaptive change Capabilities Through Client-Centered Therapy.  Behavior Change; Bowen Hills, 20(4),258-271.

Hazler, R. (2016). Person-centered theory. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.),Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (6th ed., pp. 169–194). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Jospeh, S., & Murphy, D. (2012). Person-centered approach, positive psychology, and relational helping building bridges.  Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 53, 26-51. (Producer). (2008c). Person-centered expressive arts therapy [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Author.

Rogers, C. (1951). Client-centered therapy. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Wilkins, P. (2003). Person-centered therapy in focus. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

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