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Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Social Working

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Cognitive Theory views human nature as full of innate potentials and flaws.   Clients suffering from psychological problems are assumed to focus more on the flaws that pull them down than on their potentials that may spur them up to success.   The focus of Cognitive Theory is more on thinking and acting more than just expressing feelings, which was more of the concentration of other kinds of therapies.   It deals with the client’ s present and not his past, although it acknowledges that his irrational thinking might have come from past negative experiences.   The duration of the therapy process is usually short, as it immediately cuts to the core and does away with useless preliminaries.

The therapist uses a variety of therapeutic strategies depending on what he decides will work on his particular client.   He also delegates responsibility to his client by expecting him to do homework outside the therapy sessions.   Homework is aimed at positive behavior that brings about emotional and attitudinal change. Client-centered therapy stems from the theories of Carl Rogers, a noted psychologist who espoused humanistic views in therapy.   His non-directive approaches to the therapeutic process raised a lot of eyebrows when it was introduced because it seemed to have thrown scientific techniques out the window and instead focused on the inherent needs of the client as a human being instead of a mere subject of therapy.

This approach has great respect for a client’ s subjective views and potential for self-actualization.   It offers a fresh and hopeful perspective on its views on human nature.   The main ingredient to successful therapy is a warm and caring therapist imbued with attributes such as congruence, unconditional positive regard, and accurate empathic understanding.   Such qualities are hard to come by in therapists nowadays.   Being a sensitive and tactful listener who exudes total acceptance of the client is a necessary requirement for a client-centered practitioner.

The ability of a therapist to accurately empathize with a client’ s subjective experiences on an interpersonal, cognitive and affective level is essential in fully unlocking the client’ s perceptions, feelings, and motivations for his behavior.   The therapist’ s enormous capacity to understand and accept the client no matter what communicates to the client that he is a worthy person.  

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