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Congruent Communication and Its Link with Other Authors' View

Evaluate the role of ‘communication’ and ‘relationship’ in different therapeutic approaches.

The essay will evaluate the role of communication and relationship in different therapeutic methods. It will highlight the usefulness of various types of therapy like art therapy, drama therapy and plant therapy along with valid evidences. The essay will be in the form of an argument presenting both the negative and positive aspects of all the therapeutic technique. It will present points supporting particular therapeutic approach and certain point which will be against that particular therapy.

This section introduces the term congruent communication, and its link with other author’s view. Congruent communication is a type of conversation style in which a person use both verbal and non-verbal means to communicate. It is a speaking style in which speaker does not criticize others while speaking, but rather they present facts in a harmonious manner.  Congruent learning can be utilized in different profession by way of specific communication styles. These are displaying body language and expression which matches with one's speech. Another way is to make use of culturally responsive communication techniques (Leathers and Eaves 2015).

This section discusses different author’s view on congruent communication. Ginott gave the term ‘congruent communication’ for teachers in creating positive class environment. According to Ginott, the three basic requirements for congruent communication in classroom are-

  • Harmonious way of communicating with students.
  • Demonstration of good behavior by teachers which encourage student cooperation.
  • Promotion of discipline in the classroom in place of punishments (Olds 2015).

The positive results that come when teachers abide by the three views is what Ginott referred to as congruent communication. Those teachers who want to promote co-operation with student will follow Ginott’s congruent communication while those who demands obedience in class will not follow Ginott’s theory.  Teachers can apply this theory in practical life, but Ginott's theory lack a cohesive model (Ayers and Gray 2013).

Ginott's theory has been kept alive by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish even after his death in 1973. They reviewed the whole theory again and came up with certain criticism regarding Ginott's theory. There were allegations that he did not become a professional school teacher in order to research his work. He viewed everything as a layman to come up with his psychology theory. Ginott's idea of communication shows that student know how to communicate with the teacher (Palmatier 2013).  However, in reality, it is not necessary that every student may know the ways of talking or they might be introvert in nature. So language and communication barrier will always come in the way of student-teacher relationship. Ginott also did not check the cultural aspect of the classroom environment. Different culture will have different communication style, language, different discipline and moral values. All these factors will affect classroom behavior (JOHNSON 2015).

Ginott's Theory of Congruent Communication and Its Criticism

Rogers also gave his view on the topic of congruent communication. His idea evolved from time to time. His theory varies in different publications, so there is little confusion in understanding the meaning. He has basically described congruence on the basis of experience and awareness. He emphasized that therapist should explain their feeling only when there is a need to do so. He asserted that negative attitude helps in maintaining reality in a relationship. He advised people to be spontaneous when communicating to be more natural in their attitude (Maier 2013).

Art therapy:  Art therapy is a psychotherapy technique that uses the art-making process to improve the physical, mental and emotional health of people. It can be used during counseling by the therapist and in a rehabilitation program. Its beauty lies in the fact that person expresses their emotion and feelings through an art form. Music, art and dance are various forms of expression in art therapy (Schottelkorb et al. 2015).

Human communicate in different ways. Art is one way of talking with people and expressing their feelings. Some human feelings and expression are beyond words. People who suffer from life-threatening diseases suffer silently and develop frustration within themselves. Alzheimer’s and Dementia lead to personality change, behavior change and impaired judgment. Art therapy opens communication in patients with Alzheimers and dementia. It improves the quality of life in such patients. The art forms like painting and sculpting helps in stimulating the brain of people and also in hand movement. Art gives people an inner feeling of joy leading to a good outcome in patients (Pratt and Wood 2015).

Art therapy also helps in building a good relationship with the family. Individual art projects can be taken in which whole family and friends of patients can take part. In this way, a connection will establish between patient and their loved ones. During the making of any art form, the whole routine of people changes. Their minds get distracted from their ailment, and they focus on those actions which pleases them. It led to good feeling and improved cognitive function in patients. A patient who cannot take part in art project also benefits by just seeing family members create an art form (Waller 2014).

Art therapies help people in many ways. However, there is one disadvantage of art therapy. Therapist misinterprets the content of art created by client. It is very likely to occur because therapists study art form to determine the frame of mind of people. So therapist must be careful not to make a quick interpretation. They should study their art creation patiently before coming to any conclusion. Interpretation should be such that it satisfies patients demand and helps them to discover their inner talent and happiness entirely. A therapist can allow the client to understand their art themselves. It can help the therapist to know their thought process (Case and Dalley 2014).

Rogers' View on Congruent Communication

Drama therapy: Drama therapy is the use of theater techniques to gain therapeutic goal. It helps in personal growth and promotes personal health. It assist patient in telling their stories, solving their personal problem and express their feelings properly. It includes many interactive task which patient has to perform in front of everyone. Patients are applauded irrespective of the level of performance and success in any drama. The key is to create an encouraging atmosphere for patients where they can focus on the scene and stay away from any distraction (Jennings 2014).

Drama therapy is all about interaction with people which depends on good communication skill. The therapy is used for practicing social skills with people and improving communication disorder in children. Children with intellectual disability have impaired cognitive and communication sense. They achieve social competence through this therapy. After the treatment, children displayed good social behavior, and they managed to solve their conflicts themselves (O'Leary 2013).

Selective alertness is often seen in children with autism. An autistic child is engrossed in one particular activity and uninterested in other activities. Drama therapy sessions help children in paying attention. During the practice they get to interact with other kids and their mind is distracted to other areas of activity. Drama therapy is used in case of older people to enhance interpersonal and communication skills. The older patient can build community and strengthen their self-esteem during drama sessions. In drug addictive people, drama therapy helps them to express more openly and create a drug-free future for them. Through drama, people can act out their frustration on stage without any adverse result. By this technique, people overcome feeling of loneliness and can manage their anxiety and conflicts (Jaaniste et al. 2015).

Through drama therapy people tackle their relationship issues. Many people don’t trust even their family members. So they don’t share or reveal their problem to family members. Drama therapy involves group-based activity. People work in groups to act out the scene. It requires good communication and teamwork between group members. So a drama session will help in developing interpersonal skills of people. Other underlying issues can also be dealt with after interaction session with a personal therapist. The therapist uses consistent communication to explore their other problem in a safe and therapeutic environment (Orkibi et al. 2014). 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommends art therapies as a form of treatment for Schizophrenia patient. They suffer from hallucination, paranoia and disordered thinking. These therapies help to exploit the creative side of schizophrenia patients. They can release their mind and expression through enacting drama on stage. It helps patient to face their problem in a healthier way through acting (Hart 2013).

Different Types of Therapeutic Treatment

Drama therapy has many limitations too. An introvert people or one who suffers from Agoraphobia will not be comfortable in enacting dramas in the group (Pellicciari et al. 2013). However, still they can benefit from it. The idea is that if you act sad, you will feel sad and if you act happy you will feel happy. Emotions are so deeply buried in person that they are afraid to show it, or they don't know how to express their emotion. It helps people to open up and bring out their inner frustration (D’Amico et al. 2015).

Plant therapy: Horticulture therapy is the process in which trained professional develop well-being in patients using plants and horticulture. Therapist utilizes this technique on older people, adolescent children, patient with dementia and learning disabilities. In rehabilitation center, they perform this therapy in community gardens and allotments under remedial environment (Majee et al. 2013).

Horticulture projects are given to people who have emotional and behavioral difficulties. It helps in shifting focus from their problem to paying attention to a living thing (plant). All the parts of the plant become a receptacle for feeling and emotion. Different activities in plant care like watering, fertilizing, potting, etc. can be transformed into a concept through which people can identify their feeling and expression. It builds rapport and sense of expectancy in the listener. Plants part is used for metaphor which people can relate to their life and problem. Horticulture helps people to bypass resistance to change. People easily change their mind and focus their attention on the intricacies of gardening. Horticulture offers useful method for those individual who are marginalized within the society (Yasukawa 2015).

There is one case study of a boy who was disturbed after his father died. He showed violent and obnoxious behavior. The therapist found a different type of distraction for the kid in the form of a Mexican hat plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana. This indoor plant gave the therapist ample scope for the use of metaphor and interest, which will ultimately help in diverting the boys though process. The therapist harvested the sapling with the kid and told him to drop off the parent plant anywhere and see the change. The boy was fascinated as he enjoyed shaking the plant and sees how the saplings detach themselves. The therapist then shared with him the metaphor that he also came from his parent; he was a part of his parent and looks similar to his parent just like tiny sapling is analogous to the parent plant. This metaphor proved useful for the boy. From then onwards he started enjoying the progress of plant growth and noted every change each day. Plants being non-judgmental respond to care and attention given to them irrespective of the strength and weakness of care-taker. So eventually, plant therapy proved beneficial for the boy.

Art Therapy

Communication plays a vital role in curing people through plant therapy. The therapist must learn the skills of communicating with the mentally depressed patient using the plant as media. Often communication barrier comes in the way of therapist and clients. They can develop strategies to keep the message simple so that people can relate to that message. They should notice if people are responding to their message or not. When therapist uses plants part in their metaphor, people can link it to their life incident and relations. Therefore good use of metaphor will engage the listener to take more interest in plant care. They will forget their problem and start giving attention to minor changes during plant growth.

Outdoor therapy: Outdoor therapy is an adventure therapy. It is a form of psychotherapy which uses outdoor activities for the well-being of the depressed individual. It involves risk, physical and emotional changes. It builds self-esteem in people if they are able to perform any challenging adventure sports. Its goal is to promote physical, social and psychological well-being through planned adventurous activities.

The therapy is conducted in a group or with family members. Therapist plan therapy programs like cooperative games, outdoor pursuits and expedition in the wild for each session. The idea is that there is a psychological and physical risk which will generate a challenge for some person. All these challenges will help in bringing out desired behavioral changes. Different type of therapies includes rock climbing, peak ascents, trust building activities, balancing activities, etc. and wilderness expeditions like canoeing, sailing, paragliding, etc. It is beneficial in treating a patient with post-traumatic stress disorder, developmental disabilities, relationship issues, drug victims, etc (Norton et al. 2014).

Adventure therapy takes place outdoor with a group of 5-10 members. In a group setting, the therapist can understand group dynamics and family relation. Therapists adapt a way of communicating which help them to understand their negative behavior and reason behind it. After having a conversation with different group, the therapist can identify the weakness of a particular person. They notice a behavioral pattern and physical strength or weakness before assigning them any adventure activity. Their intention behind the therapy is to heal patients from their ailment through the engaging with adventure activities (Gass et al. 2012).

Adventure therapy is an experimental exercise which benefits both adult and adolescent. The therapy offers beautiful scenery and adrenaline pumping activities. It helps to bring new excitement in emotionally challenged person. Individuals discover their new past- time and their whole outlook towards life changes. Adventure therapy benefits individual in many ways. People learn to communicate and build a sense of trust with people. Their fine-motor skill enhances and alertness towards any activity increases. With adventure exercise, people can connect their mind to body for the performance of any challenging adventure. Numerous other advantages are improvement in the areas of relationship building, communication skill, self-esteem, leadership and teamwork. Adventure therapy takes people out of their comfort zone, and they get committed to other areas of activity. It brings positive outcome in people. It helps them to realize their feelings and emotion which empowers them to change their responses (Bowen and Neill 2013).

Drama Therapy

Numerous advantages have been given regarding benefits of adventure therapy. However, this field also has certain negative aspects and problem associated with it. First outdoor therapy is a costly venture. Organizing outdoor activity is expensive effort both for the adventure provider and adventure taker. They have to take utmost care to manage the whole adventure setting efficiently and also see that all the safety criteria for any dangerous task have been provided. Before execution of any adventurous sport, they have to monitor all the security measures. Certain tools and equipment are also required in adventure sport. These should be of standard quality to avoid any accident. So many people discourage their family members to take part in adventure therapy mainly due to the risk factors and health-related concern associated with the therapy (Cooley et al. 2015).

Creativity: Creative therapy is more or less related to art therapy. Therapist utilizes innovative interventions in their therapy for counseling individuals of different age groups, from children to old people more than 70 years old. Creative intervention is brought through various disciplines like art, drama, painting, dance, music, sand art, etc. All these disciplines have a root in the art and theories of creativity. Therapists relate the creative art forms with the context of psychotherapy and rehabilitation methods. A therapist can not only see the creativity of individual but also try to analyze their expressive quality. They notice if their art form is expressing something about their personal problem and their relationship conflicts (Edwards 2014).

Every discipline of art therapy has a different type of approach to counseling. Art therapy has the purpose of using visual art material as a means for counseling. In music therapy, music as a medium is used to bring out positive health outcome in people. Dance therapy is based on the assumption that body and mind are related. So their dance form will express how their mindset is, whether they are happy from within, or some issue is disturbing them. Dance therapy not only involves a change in feeling, but it also improves the cognitive and physical functioning of the disabled person. Some people express their inner emotion in the form of poetry. The structure and the theme of poetry give clue to a therapist about people's thought process. Sand play therapy uses a sandbox and a collection of miniatures to form a new format of sand pictures. The client can illustrate their psychological condition through sand art (Rylatt 2012).

Creative therapy encourages emotional growth and helps in building a relationship with others. The first relationship develops between client and therapist. Then therapist plans out strategies to meet the needs of the client. They can introduce flexibility in all these art forms to achieve their goals. Both communication issue and relationship skills of client improve so that their lives are sorted. They become a transformed individual instilled with a new passion for life. The only disadvantage of this therapy is the lack of consistency in treatment. The result may vary, and since the patient can move at their pace, the therapy will be delayed for an indefinite time (Chaneb et al. 2016).

This section summarizes what the outright assignment is discussing. The main theme of the assignment is to evaluate the role of communication and relationship in different therapeutical treatment. The first part gives an introduction about congruent communication. It is presented in the form of arguments highlighting the actual theory of Ginott and then an argumentative discussion on this theory by different authors has been given. Ginott's theory was given long time ago. New authors have analyzed Ginott's theory and have done a critical review of his theory. They have taken out the negative points of that theory and evolved the ideas so that it suits with changing times and morals of modern people.

The second part introduces numerous types of therapy that are now available for the well- being of people. Different therapies that have been covered in this essay are art, drama, outdoor, plant and creative therapy. In all theses case, key advantage and effect of the therapy on patients has been given. Some negative points are also presented to understand the limitation of the therapy treatment. So from the whole essay, it can be concluded that all therapy helps to build a relationship and improve communication-related disorder in clients. The therapy helps in the transition of a depressed people to an enthusiastic individual (Blomdahl et al. 2013).


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