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An Exploration into the impact of working with a dying client on the Humanistic PersonCentred Psychotherapist - Essay Example

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This discussion and review critically evaluates the theoretical approaches used in a client centered humanistic therapeutic or related approach of treatment, and the conclusions reached in published studies. The review also addresses similarities and differences in theoretical methods and perspectives adopted by different researchers and provides an evaluative analysis on the effects of working with a dying client and the impact this could have on the therapist.
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An Exploration into the impact of working with a dying client on the Humanistic PersonCentred Psychotherapist
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Download file to see previous pages The death or dying condition of the client has a profound impact on the therapist who not only witnesses the gradual demise of a person he knew closely but also the dissociation of a relationship that may have developed over years in which the client and the therapist were part of deeper thought processes and the therapist became aware of the inner mental processes of the client.
Considering that the therapist may well have been the closest person to the client, and the client revealed many secrets to the therapist, the bond may have been especially strong between the client and the therapist. Clients in many cases are closest to their therapists than even to their family members and the client therapist relationship is defined by trust as the client reveals many personal facets to the therapist which the world may not even know. The therapist and client thus develop a mutual attachment and that is why being attached to a dying client and witnessing a close person's death could have a significant impact on the psychotherapist. It is difficult to gauge what sort of impact this could be and whether this would be positive or negative for the therapist but it is expected that the therapist would learn from the experience so it would be positive in an experiential sense although the emotional impact being significant, the whole experience could be negative and disturbing for the psychotherapist.
The case placed here is that of a terminally ill cancer patient, 60 year old John P who joined a clinical centre and therapeutic group initially to overcome his emotional problems following the discovery of his life threatening illness. John P was then recommended to a psychotherapist who practiced person centered humanistic approaches and therapeutic sessions began after a first introductory visit by John p to the therapist's chamber. The client therapist mutual relationship soon developed as a bond and an attachment as John P revealed his inner fears, his emotional strengths and weaknesses and his general attitude towards life and death and reflected on his illness. The therapy continued to help John greatly as he found a confidante and a friend in the therapist and their mutual relationship strengthened as the therapist focused more on the humanistic approach and showed concerns about John's emotional and personal needs, his aspirations, and goals and what he wanted in life.
The opportunity to share his thoughts and feelings with the therapist infused confidence in John P and the therapeutic sessions turn out to be advantageous for John especially during his end of life stage when he faces the prospect of rapid health deterioration due to his terminal illness. The focus however is the impact of the professional relationship which can even border on the personal, on the therapist who will live with the memories of the client and having developed an attachment or bond with the client may find it difficult to cope with the loss of daily interaction with the patient when John P dies or becomes incapable of attending sessions any further. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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