Congruence Reflective Essay

Subject: Psychology
Type: Profile Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 937
Topics: Communication, Emotions, Ethics, Social Issues


A good psychologist and counsellor must possess certain skills that make them unique compared to other therapists. Some of these skills include communication, listening, and congruence. Being congruent refers to ability to interact with a patient during a therapy session and display emotions and feelings by putting oneself in the patient’s situation. Research suggests that being congruent helps the therapist to be directly connected to the patient, the environment, and oneself. It is important for psychologists to be congruent in their counselling sessions with clients during their clinical practice to make it more comfortable for these patients to recover. 


Congruence refers to staying connected with the client, self, time, and space. It involves being able to share a persistent feeling or thought. According to Carl Rogers, for a person to attain self-actualization, they must be congruent (Alison, 2011 p. 25). In simpler terms, self-actualization happens when an individual’s ideal self is congruent with their self-image or actual behaviour. For a person to be congruent, they must incorporate equal size and shape. Congruent sides have same length, which is a concept used to explain congruent angles in geometric figures. A therapist congruence is the genuineness in the therapeutic relationship. It explains how deep the therapist is involved in the therapy and can be shown through attitudes, feelings, and emotions. There are core skills that are required by a psychologist for them to be considered congruent, for example they must be good listeners, must have basic empathy behaviours, must be able to probe questioning,  and must have integrating communication skills.

Congruence in Clinical practice

The main purpose of congruence in clinical setting is to establish trust. According to Rodgers, being real with each other facilitates trust and communication. Being real is complicated because it depends on the behaviour of the therapist. In my opinion, being congruent is like being open to my opinions and experience and doing different things at different times, which depends on the situation, place and time.

Among the three offered conditions in therapy, congruence is often the most troublesome to other disciplines of psychology. Most researchers misinterpret it for a session where the therapist openly expresses their feelings in an undisciplined manner. In the 1960s and 1970s, encountering and self-disclosing was proclaimed as central to good therapy by different human therapists (Maksimov, Murd and Bachmann, 2011 p. 525). Since then, this has resulted to the concern that uncontrolled openness might not be beneficial in psychology. The misunderstandings of the term therapeutic congruence need clarification to solve the underlying assumptions.

It is important to have a transparent therapeutic session but being transparent requires specifications on the set preconditions and beliefs, attitudes and intentions that are required for the therapy to be congruent. For example in person-centred therapy, congruence is seen as part of triad of therapeutic attitudes that can be incorporates with unconditional positive regard and empathy.  Dialogical Gestalt therapy emphasizes on authenticity and genuineness, which involves meeting the client, the presence of the therapist and non-exploitativeness. In order for a therapy to be facilitative congruent, they need to be committed to respecting and understanding their client.

Importance of Congruence in Counselling

The process of counselling requires skills, knowledge, and experience. The process also requires offering real-life examples that will help the patient improve their current condition. Congruence is important in counselling because it allows the therapists to express themselves based on the situation, time and place so that the client can learn from personal experiences of the therapist (Maloney and Smith, 2012 p.234). This can be facilitated through better communication techniques that create a bond and trust between the patient and the therapist. The main idea of being congruent in clinical setting is to stay connected with self, time, space, client and the environment. This is done when a therapists shares their thoughts and feelings to the client.

Ways of showing congruence in counselling

There are different methods through which a therapist can display congruence, for example having good listening skills contributes to congruence in therapy because the therapist will understand the needs of the patient and respond with the appropriate feelings and attitudes that relate to the situation. The second method is by staying connected to the patient at all times. A good therapy must have more than one session to that the therapist can understand their patient wholly (Rees, Ingledew and Hardy, 2013 p.190). Staying connected and understanding the patient shows congruence in counselling. It is also important to be completely genuine as a counsellor because it allows the client to develop trust with the therapist. A good counsellor must be non-judgmental and must learn to value the client. All these ways strive to understand the client’s experience.


In conclusion, counselling is complicated as it requires a combination of different skills and knowledge to help the client. Some researchers support congruence in counselling because it creates a bond between therapist and the client. In my opinion, it is important to create a strong bond with the client before the therapy but congruence allows therapists to get emotional with the client. This does not always work because offering the client with personal information might scare them off instead of help. It is important to introduce congruence in therapy session after the client has developed trust with the therapist.  Despite all activities involved in counselling, congruence is key depending on the environment and the therapist. Psychologists still argue on the importance of congruence in therapy but a good therapist must assess the situation and determine if congruence is applicable. Counselling sessions are important in the society because they help decrease mental health problems.

Essay writing service:
  • Excellent quality
  • 100% Turnitin-safe
  • Affordable prices

Did you like this sample?
  1. Alison, L. (2011). Professionalizing offender profiling. London: Rutledge.
  2. Maksimov, M., Murd, C. and Bachmann, T. (2011). Target-mask shape congruence impacts the type of metacontrast masking. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 52(6), pp.524-529.
  3. Maloney, K. and Smith, B. (2012). In search of “congruence” – and success in selling. [United States]: Ecademy Press.
  4. Rees, T., Ingledew, D. and Hardy, L. (2013). Attribution in sport psychology: seeking congruence between theory, research and practice. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 6(2), pp.189-204.
  5. Supplemental Material for Therapeutic Bond Judgments: Congruence and Incongruence. (2015). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Related topics
More samples
Related Essays