Furthermore Rogers believed that if the clients turned inwards and examined themselves they would find the means to end hurting. This treats persons as inimitable, values their dreams and goals and elevates their particular feelings about the world. Rogers sees the role of the therapist primarily as an empathic listener who must enters into the client's journey of self-actualisation. Jones and Butman in Modern Psychotherapies succinctly describe the goal of the self-actualisation process. It is the ongoing process of bringing self-view, the ideal self and the real self into line with one another.
DeMarinis in her book, Pastoral Care, Existential Health and Existential Epidemiology attempts to conceptualise pastoral care. In her research she noted several themes that most people accept as belonging to pastoral care. The main ones of these are care of the soul and inner life, primarily Christian, spanning the complete life cycle, under the direction of God, providing a shelter from a hard world, connects God to life, is part of the whole work of the church not only in specific sessions and is not to be confused with psychology. This essay will keep in mind these main themes as it explores the helpfulness of Roger's approach.
Jones and Butman begin their exploration of Roger's theory by claiming that the emotional content of person centred therapy is intuitively appealing. They have a valid point here. Person centred counselling differs from the mainstream notion of psychotherapists as distant experts and is alluring in its humanity based ideas. It promotes a positive view of humankind and its central tenet is that humans are, at heart, good and filled with the possibility to change and achieve anything. Furthermore it concentrates on goals and dreams and endorses the need for positive regard for others.
In addition Roger's theories are based on his clinical work and endless research. Rather than remaining a fixed theory he developed his ideas as they were tried out, constantly responding to criticism and results. This dedication to base his hypothesis on what actually worked enhances the appeal of the theory and lessens the distance between pure theory and practical administration.
Finally, the simplicity of Roger's theory and the fact that it is accessible to everyone gives it credibility. Its founding principles are not complicated and so the majority of people can follow his train of logic and see how he came up with his conclusions.
Person Centred Therapy's Contributions to Pastoral Ministry
Roger's contribution to psychotherapy has traditionally been attractive to a religious audience because his formulation of a helping relationship embodies the Christian ideal of a loving servant to others. Rogers and Butman notice how it, 'appears to give us valuable clues and guidance on how to respond to those in misery or distress, or how to concretely 'love the brothers and sisters'.1 It is a guide for the pastoral worker because it treats people as inimitable, complete beings in the same way that Christianity would. The pastoral worker takes this view because she believes humans are made in God's image and must be treated with the appropriate respect. The qualities that a therapist must have to undertake this kind of help are almost identical with the qualities the Bible describes a Christian should have; grace, unconditional love, servant-like. Moreover it focuses on 'unconditional regard'