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As Carl Jung stated " As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being".

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Introduction

As Carl Jung stated " As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being". Reflecting on what it is to be a person raises profound questions which have been very much the concern of two major psychological perspectives: the psychoanalysis and the humanistic psychology. Some of this questions are: Why do we act and feel in the way we do, how far are we open or fixed to change, if we can change aspects of who we are how we can do it or how can we make sense in the subjective worlds in which we exist. As we will see both perspectives will approach these matters and will focus on the subjectivity, exploring aspects of our inner life. The major contributors to these perspectives are Sigmund Freud who created psychotherapy and psychodynamics at the start of the 20th century, and inside the humanistic perspective, Carl Rogers who developed the person centred therapy during the 1960's as a cultural emphasis on emancipation from tradition and exploration of new ideas and attitudes. ...read more.

Middle

They encourage their clients in a NON-DIRECTIVE WAY to explore and express whatever feelings they have. Given this contrast between the approaches is easy to imagine that they will use very different types of methods to understand the subjective world of their clients. Psychodynamic techniques include dream analysis, free association, and the analysis of transference and resistance to reach and understand the unconscious conflicts. The experiential world of childhood and its significance in adult life plays a very important role. This approach focuses on interpretation on the basis of clinical evidence. They work with the understandings produced by this to try to give patients greater insight into their own unconscious motivations. Their assumption by doing this is that it will create a climate that will lead to positive change. The analyst plays a crucial role in bringing about change in clients for the aim of psychoanalytic therapy - to bring unconscious material into conscious awareness - requires the help and the skill of the analyst. In contrast Rogers' therapy focus on the here and now, encouraging full awareness of senses and feelings, freedom to use bodily expressions as well as words, and discouraging both interpretation and evaluation. ...read more.

Conclusion

They see the person as a patient and not as a client as the client centred therapy does. As we have seen the respective therapy methods of the two perspectives reflect the theoretical differences between them. The main debate focus on their respective models of the person and their different assumptions about the origins and nature of our actions and feelings, in particular the role of the unconscious and the validity of psychoanalytic interpretations. Maybe the weak point of both therapies is that they have been more concerned with developing ideas and methods rather than evaluating how and to what degree they can produce change. However both have made very important contributions to counselling and psychotherapy; psychodynamic approach offers a detailed theory of the human condition and it also constitutes a clinical method with a set of concepts and methods for penetrating to the unconscious meanings of the subjective experiences. Although the person centred approach does not provide with a comprehensive theory of why we are as we are it provides very extended ideas and methods which are intended to heighten our awareness of what it regards as key aspects of the human condition and of our potentialities. ...read more.

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