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Sue Renger

Sue Renger

Can learning theory contribute to making person-centred therapy a more efficient process?


Discipline/professional area 

Outline of research project

Person-centred counsellors do not regard themselves as learning facilitators, indeed they are specifically non-directive, (Rogers, 1951, ch.2).  However, a study by Burnett (2000) suggests that never-the-less, clients do learn through the process of therapy and that if clients learn, then it should be possible to facilitate that learning.  My aim is to investigate the possibility of combining Rogers’ Person-centred therapy with the notion of facilitated learning in order to provide a more ‘efficient’ methodology for therapists. By focusing on learning outcomes of greatest value to the client, a plan for therapeutic change and lifelong learning could be established and facilitated.

Key references

BURNETT, P.C. and VAN DORSSEN, L., 2000. What do clients learn from counselling? International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 22(3), pp. 241-254.

GERBER, S., 2001. Where Has Our Theory Gone? Learning Theory and Intentional Intervention. Journal of Counselling and Development, 79(3), pp. 282-291.

ROGERS, C.R. and FREIBERG, H.J., 1994. Freedom to learn. Merrill.

ROGERS, C.R.(.R., 2003. Client-centred therapy: its current practice, implications and theory. London: Constable.

ROGERS, C.R.(.R., 1967. On becoming a person. Constable.

Director of studies
Professor Ann Macaskill

Dr Bill Naylor

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