Three approaches to psychotherapy. All Three sessions (1965)
An actual patient allowed herself to be filmed while engaged in therapy with three different therapists, distinguished by their different orientiations but sharing their therapeutic endeavours.
1: A general introduction to the series. Describes client-centred therapy as practiced by Dr Carl Rogers, shows his interview with the patinet Gloria and gives a summation of the effectiveness of the interview.
2: Describes Gestalt therapy as practised by Dr Frederick Perls, shows his interview with the patient and gives a summation of the effectiveness of the interview.
3: Describes rational-emotive psychotherapy as practiced by Dr Albert Ellis, shows his interview with the patient Gloria and gives a summation of the effectiveness of the interview. The patient then evaluates her experience with the three therapists.
The client in this film was Gloria Szymanski. She was 31 years old when the sessions were filmed; she had been through a divorce six years earlier, and her daughter, Pammy, was in the fourth grade at the time Gloria married again in 1968, and divorced ten years later. She died of leukemia at the age of 46. Gloria’s daughter, Pamela Burry, later published a book entitled, Living with the Gloria Films, A daughter’s memory.
Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centered approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1956.
The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. In a study by Haggbloom et al. (2002) using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.
Friedrich (Frederick) Salomon Perls (July 8, 1893 – March 14, 1970), better known as Fritz Perls, was a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist. Perls coined the term ‘Gestalt therapy’ to identify the form of psychotherapy that he developed with his wife, Laura Perls, in the 1940s and 1950s. Perls became associated with the Esalen Institute in 1964, and he lived there until 1969. His approach to psychotherapy is related to, but not identical to, Gestalt psychology, and it is different from Gestalt theoretical psychotherapy.
The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment. Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other.
Albert Ellis (September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007) was an American psychologist who in 1955 developed rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). He held M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University and American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He also founded and was the President of the New York City-based Albert Ellis Institute for decades. He is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and the founder of cognitive-behavioral therapies. Based on a 1982 professional survey of USA and Canadian psychologists, he was considered as the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third). Psychology Today noted, “No individual—not even Freud himself—has had a greater impact on modern psychotherapy.”
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