Tuesday, November 05, 2013

communion | rogerian therapy techniques

COMMUNION begins with a scene between Leda and her therapist where the therapist uses that age-old technique of repeating statements back at her client without offering any feedback.  While this may seem like an annoying and stereotypical representation, it is a technique practiced by some therapists who use the Rogerian (or person-centered) therapy model.  Here's some of the background behind this technique.

The technique of repeating back to the client statements made is called "restatement", and it has three basic goals:
  1. To clarify. By repeating back what the client has said, they have the opportunity to correct the therapist on what they are trying to communicate. This helps both the client better understand their issues as well as the therapist to ensure they understand exactly what their client is struggling with.
  2. To let the client feel understood. By hearing that their therapist understands what they are saying, the client may feel safe to delve deeper into their issues.
  3. To allow the client to find their own solution. One of the key tenets of Rogerian therapy is that the client should come up with their own solutions – the therapist is not meant to give any advice or direction. So the theory is that the therapist provides a mirror for the client to see themselves as they are, and to use that new self-awareness to find solutions to their problems.

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