File Name: theories in counseling and psychotherapy .zip
Professional counselors apply a variety of clinical approaches in their work, and there are hundreds of clinical counseling approaches to choose from. To answer that question, it is first necessary to understand that no one counseling approach is better than the rest.
That is because counseling approaches are based upon theories about human function and change as opposed to hard evidence.
Determining whether one counseling approach works better than another is difficult, because there are so many variables to consider in the counseling process. For example, if we try to compare the effectiveness of two counselors applying the same theoretical model, there can be major differences in the counseling outcome due to differences in the clients' histories and situations, differences in the counselors' communication styles, and even differences in client and counselor mood on the day of the comparison.
Such differences are hard to control for experimentally, thus making it almost impossible to prove that one approach to counseling is the absolute best way. Without such proof, it becomes the responsibility of counselors to do all they can to see that the treatment model s they apply are the best ones to address each client's needs. That responsibility starts with becoming familiar with the models that have shown to be most beneficial in actual practice. Fortunately, almost all of the many individual theoretical models of counseling fall into one or more of six major theoretical categories: humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytic, constructionist and systemic.
Humanistic: Humanistic counseling theories hold that people have within themselves all the resources they need to live healthy and functional lives, and that problems occur as a result of restricted or unavailable problem-solving resources.
Humanistic counselors see their role not as one of directing clients in how to address their problems but, rather, as one of helping clients to discover and access within themselves the restricted resources they need to solve problems on their own. Some currently preferred humanistic counseling therapies include person-centered, existential, emotion-focused, Gestalt and positive psychology. Cognitive: Cognitive counseling theories hold that people experience psychological and emotional difficulties when their thinking is out of sync with reality.
When this distorted or "faulty" thinking is applied to problem-solving, the result understandably leads to faulty solutions.
Cognitive counselors work to challenge their clients' faulty thinking patterns so clients are able to derive solutions that accurately address the problems they are experiencing. Currently preferred cognitive-theory-based therapies include cognitive behavior therapy, reality therapy, motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Behavioral: Behavioral counseling theories hold that people engage in problematic thinking and behavior when their environment supports it. When an environment reinforces or encourages these problems, they will continue to occur.
Behavioral counselors work to help clients identify the reinforcements that are supporting problematic patterns of thinking and acting and replace them with alternative reinforcements for more desirable patterns. Currently preferred therapies based in behavior theory include behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, multimodal therapy and conjoint sex therapy. Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalytic counseling theories hold that psychological problems result from the present-day influence of unconscious psychological drives or motivations stemming from past relationships and experiences.
Dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns from the past have become unconscious "working models" that guide clients toward continued dysfunctional thought and behavior in their present lives.
Psychoanalytic counselors strive to help their clients become aware of these unconscious working models so that their negative influence can be understood and addressed. Some currently preferred therapies grounded in psychoanalytic theory include psychoanalysis, attachment therapy, object relations therapy and Adlerian therapy.
Constructionist: Constructionist counseling theories hold that knowledge is merely an invented or "constructed" understanding of actual events in the world. While actual events in the world can trigger people's meaning-making processes, it is those meaning-making processes, rather than the events themselves, that determine how people think, feel and behave. Constructionist counselors work collaboratively with clients to examine and revise problematic client constructions of self, relationships and the world.
Some currently preferred constructionist-theory-based therapy models include solution focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, feminist therapy, Eriksonian therapy and identity renegotiation counseling.
Systemic: Systemic counseling theories hold that thinking, feeling and behavior are largely shaped by pressures exerted on people by the social systems within which they live. Accordingly, individual thinking, feeling and behavior are best understood when examined in relationship to the role they play within a person's family or other important social networks. Systemically focused counselors work to revise social network dynamics that influence a client's undesirable thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Some currently preferred therapies drawing from systemic theory include structural family therapy, strategic family therapy, human validation process family therapy and Gottman method couples therapy.
During their initial training, counselors are typically introduced to a variety of currently preferred counseling models falling under each of the six main theoretical categories. Most counselors will find that some therapy models are a particularly good fit, while others may not be a good fit at all.
Above all, this important decision must always be determined by what action is needed to best meet the counseling needs of each client. The esteemed faculty in the Online Master of Education M. Neukrug, E. Apply Now. Online Program. About Us. Get a Program Brochure This will only take a moment. Text input field. Email Address. Phone number input field. Get Brochure.
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Even in short-term counselling, which may take a few hours, the counsellor will try to see problems from the perspective of the client, treat him with great respect and care, and maintain strict confidentiality regarding the proceedings. For instance, Carl Rogers laid down the principles of client-centred therapy with a focus on unconditional positive regard for the client, empathy and congruity genuineness as the central features in the relationship. Counselling helps them to open up repressed thoughts and feelings and lay them bare as counselling progresses, thus developing self-awareness and allowing access to the inner self. Sometimes, counselling goes into the past and recalls traumatic experiences. The counsellor listens and helps the client to develop a conversation. Most counsellors do not offer direct advice, and such non-directive approaches help the client to make his or her own decisions. A fifty-minute session once a week is the standard arrangement for meeting, though I have used many variations of this in my professional practice.
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Although there are dozens of theories still in use today, we will cover five that are the most popular. Counseling is a process, as well as a relationship, between persons. Choose from different sets of theories of career counseling flashcards on Quizlet.
Learning Skills:. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. There are a number of different approaches used by professional counsellors. Perhaps the three main approaches are psychodynamic, humanistic and behavioural. Each of these has a different theory and ideas underpinning it, and the therapists and counsellors using each will approach problems and issues in different ways.
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