The paper “Mick Cooper’s Research on Modern Person-Centered Therapy" is a cogent version of a term paper on psychology. This paper researches into modern scientists’ views on person-centered therapy. This kind of psychological treatment has become extremely popular and it is the most effective today, and a recent rise of interest in this subject has given impulse to further researches in this field. Mick Cooper analyzes whether all the statements of this theory and its founder, Carl Rogers, are valid today and argues many of them giving his counter-arguments and states that recent researches modify or complement this theory. (Cooper, 2004, 1-3; Cooper, 2007, 33-36).
Key words: person-centered therapy, unconditional positive regard, psychotherapy, experiential psychotherapy, emotional psychotherapy.
The article of Mick Cooper “Person-Centered Therapy: The Growing Edge”, published in July 2007 in the journal “Therapy Today”, investigates into modern views of the psychologists and therapeutists on one of the most popular and allegedly the most effective way of psychological treatment – person-centered therapy. Recently there has been a significant push to research work in this field, and many scientists have developed the theory by their findings. (Cooper, 2007, 33). There are today, for example, such innovations in this regard as the use of Pre-therapy, that is, a person-centered work with the individuals with severe impairments, including people suffering from psychosis, people with special needs. (Cooper, 2007, 33).
The purpose of Cooper’s research is to investigate today’s state of affair in the field of person-centered therapy and to study the new approaches and developments of this phenomenon. The author has managed to distinguish modern techniques of applying this theory and new directions of development of this sphere. The researcher also has provided his vision of original Rogers’ theory and its modification over the decades since its origin – the 1960s.
Mick Cooper has used the method of observation and reference sources studying for conducting his research. The research is descriptive because it describes the modern state of affairs of the topic researched. The research was conducted in 2007 at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and took about a year.
Having conducted the research, Mick Cooper has got the following findings. Firstly, the author states that modern thought that Rogers’ theory provides three conditions is incorrect because there are six conditions as per the original version of this theory (Rogers, 1965, 22). Secondly, the author has found that a unified single approach to person-centered therapy is being substituted by the approach of ‘tribes’ or ‘parts’ to client-centered therapy. It is stated that if the clients are in touch with the internal experience they can get more out of this therapy. “Building on this work, person-centered psychotherapists in North America such as Les Greenberg and Robert Elliott went on to develop a ‘process-experiential approach to psychotherapy…” (Cooper, 2007, 34). This technique is used to support the clients in their tries to resolve their interpersonal conflicts. (Cooper, 2007, 34).
Cooper also states that Europe applies similar newly-developed techniques as well: the UK specialists integrate into their person-centered work experiential therapy, and this combination is now being mastered at the local universities. (Cooper, 2007, 34). Cooper indicates that, however, these innovations are not welcomed by the traditional representatives and practitioners of person-centered therapy: they consider that implementation of directive principles contradicts with the basic foundations of the original theory. Cooper has found that one of the innovations that are of great importance today is a pre-therapy: this is an innovative way of treatment of persons with serious impairments, people having special needs, in other words, persons with contact impairments, including those suffering from psychosis. The author of the research has also found that there is today a new theory being developed, enforced by existential psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. This is also fostered by the development of philosophical ideas, for example, of a French philosopher Levinas, who supposes that it is in human’s duties to react to the ‘call of the Other’, which is the basis of the client-centered theory. (Cooper, 2007, 35).
Michael Cooper’s research in the field of modern client-centered therapy has great importance because it describes new directions of development and explains the possible contradictions with the original theory studied at today’s psychology courses and practiced by traditional therapists. The researcher has coped with his work very well as he has managed not only to trace the new approaches and techniques in theory and practice of the person-centered therapy but also has shed light on the emergence of a new theory. The topic of the author’s research is very important as today there are many questions about whether the above-mentioned way of therapy is as effective as it is reported and what is the correct way to practice this kind of treatment. I believe that such questions must regularly arise, and the scientists and practitioners have to develop and support their points of view in order to improve their work efficiency, and Cooper’s research has become a result of raise of such questions.