Journal of Counseling Psychology Vol. 5, No. 3, 1958
The Place of Values in Counseling and Psychotherapy1
C. H. Patterson
University of Illinois
fact, ethics might be considered as an expression of a group's values, an attempt to represent or express them in a systematized form. This is no doubt why Sutich (28) became involved in values in his discussion of ethics. Bixler and Seeman (3) state that "ethics are principles of action based on a commonly accepted system of values," thus relating professional ethics to social values. The APA code of ethics (1, p. 49) states that a cardinal obligation of the psychologist "is to respect the integrity and protect the welfare of the person ...view middle of the document...
Values have permeated our economic, social, eduand ethics are related; the ethics of indi- cational and occupational institutions and viduals and groups reflect their values. In relationships. And as Sutich (28) points out, "It is evident that modern theraa chapter in a book on counseling and psychotherapy, to be published by Harper and peutic and analytical principles have their roots in democratic principles. And it is Brothers.
The place of values in psychotherapy has been receiving increasing attention recently. The accepted point of view has been that the therapist's values should be kept out of the therapeutic relationship. Wilder, (in 7) commenting upon a paper by Ginsburg puts it as follows: "It has been taken for granted that the analyst must not try to impose his value systems on the patient," and he adds: "and I still think this to be true." In line with this "hands off approach, therapists have been exhorted to become aware of their value systems, for the purpose of keeping thenown values out of the therapy and to avoid deliberate or unconscious indoctrination of the client (7). Perhaps few therapists feel that values should not be dealt with in psychotherapy. As Green (8) has pointed out, therapists must deal with values, since they are part of the personality of the patient, and the source of many of his problems. That some therapists still are uncomfortable in doing so seems to be indicated by Zilboorg's (35) defense of subjectivity. Recently there has been developing the realization that the therapist's own values cannot be kept out of the therapeutic relationship.
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The Place of Values in Counseling and Psychotherapy equally evident that most American psychologists are committed to the support of democratic principles throughout the entire range of human behavior." What are the democratic principles which are accepted by counselors and psychotherapists? Bixler and Seeman (3), in their discussion of counseling ethics, present the postulates of Hand (10), which succinctly express these principles: 1. The belief that human life, happiness and well-being are to be valued above all else. 2. The assertion that man is master of his own destiny, with the right to control it in his own interests in his own way. 3. The determination that the dignity and worth of each person shall be respected at all times and under all conditions. 4. The assumption of the right of individual freedom; the recognition of the right of each person to think his own thoughts and speak his own mind. The philosophy of the client-centered approach to counseling appears to many counselors to be an expression of this democratic philosophy in the counseling relationship. Rogers (21, p. 5), speaking of the development of client-centered therapy, writes that "some of its roots stretch out . . . into the educational and political philosophy which is at the heart of our American culture." Green (8) feels that client-centered therapy is supported by...