THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY, UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD AND CONGRUENCY IN THE PROCESS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
Before a discussion of the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence can be embarked upon, it is imperative that the process of psychotherapy is defined. This is because psychotherapy is multifaceted and can be approached from a number of schools of thought, each with their own definition of the role of the therapist.
It is for this reason that we will first attempt to define psychotherapy, as well as provide a brief explanation of the most prominent forms of psychotherapy, prior to engaging in discussion on empathy, unconditional positive regard or congruence.
Contextual definitions and processes of psychotherapy
In Eisenberg & Strayer (1987), Marcie defines psychotherapy as a kind of psychological dietary supplement in a more or less nourishing environment and a more or less adopted individual.
Psychotherapy is the use of psychological principles to help the client during therapy. According to Frank in Bloch (1996), psychotherapy is the form of giving help which differs from informal help in two significant ways. Firstly, the practitioners are especially trained to conduct this activity and they are sanctioned by the society to which they and the patients belong. Secondly, their activity is systematically guided by an articulated theory that explains the sources of the patients' distress and disability, and prescribes methods for alleviating them. Psychotherapy is the process that is undertaken by the therapist and the client in the therapeutic context that is aimed at assisting the client with a particular difficulty in his / her life.
Therapists approach psychotherapy in different ways. Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Behavioural, Cognitive and Biological schools of thought are the most widely applied approaches to psychotherapy.
Despite different theories, approaches and rationale,