GESTALT THERAPY VS. PERSON-CENTERED THERAPY
These are the Common Factors Between Gestalt and Person-Centered Therapy:
1. Both are experiential and relationship oriented.
2. Both theories share a respect for the client's subjective experience and trust in the client's capacity to make positive constructive choices.
3. Both emphasize the vocabulary of freedom, choices, values, personal responsibility, autonomy, purpose, and meaning.
These are the differences Between Gestalt and Person-Centered Therapy:
1. Gestalt takes the position that humans are faced with the anxiety of choosing to create an identity that is never secure in a world that lacks intrinsic meaning.
2. Humanistic therapists believe in self-actualization.
Carl Rogers' person-centered counseling is grounded in self-actualization, seen as the innate predisposition to develop and use all of one's capacities for the individual personality's maintenance and growth. This approach assumes faith in the client's problem-solving abilities, using the "if-then" principle ("if" the client believes in the counselor's genuineness, empathic understanding, and unconditional positive regard, "then" the client will approach positive change and self-actualization).
Rogerian counselors believe in being themselves, with their "inner experiencing" present during counseling. Understanding of the client's feelings (empathic understanding) comes through the counselor's inner experiencing of his/or her own feelings (genuineness). Unconditional positive regard is shown through acceptance and respect for the client's individuality; it stems from trust in the client's self-directing capacity for positive change developing as inner experiencing develops.
In person-centered counseling, since present experience provides the means to personal growth, the counselor serves as facilitator, helping to find meaning in the client's inner experiencing. In this role, the counselor freely shows responsive warmth while avoiding evaluative judgments and probing questions or descriptions of the client. This encourages a permissive atmosphere absent of pressure or coercion. Person-centered counseling often calls the counselor the "helper" and the client "the other".
An innate motivation toward self-actualization (enhancement of the organism) assumes that, with growth, a client learns to develop self-concept and self-regard, and to differentiate between positive and negative inner experiencing. Affected by the reactions of others and by introjection of external conditions, one's self-regard encounters conflict when the needs and desires of the individual are at odds with interactions with significant others in the environment. Intervention is called for when negative organismic needs routinely eclipse self-regard needs. Person-centered counseling seeks to allow conflicted individuals to incorporate these negative organismic needs (that were once denied) into their self-concepts.