Three Counseling Theories

Length: 4 Pages 975 Words

Working models in counseling theory can be as varied as the number of authors who write on the subject. Like all fields of psychology, counseling in still relatively new and those involved in the field are still testing and applying the theorems put forth by earlier writers in an attempt to determine a best-fit practice for helping people master the world around them. Regardless of the theory chosen the professional must make sure that that which is purported as a usable theoretical paradigm is congruent with one's own personal values, personality, and professional skills. The remainder of this paper will focus on three different counseling theories with respect to their similarities, differences, and applicability in the advent of the twenty first century. The chosen theories are representative of the cognitive, psychodynamic, and behavioral approaches to counseling. Cognitive Approach to Counseling This particular approach to counseling is based on the theory that a person's thoughts are directly related to how they feel. Counseling therapists who are followers of this particular theorem work with clients' everyday problems from the persp Continue...

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The road to follow seems to be one wherein an open mind is present along with and understanding that theory and practice are in constant change. Cognitive therapies are generally best fit to deal with lesser problems such as mild depression, conflict-anger situations, and anxiety disorders. So similar are cognitive and behavior theories that they are often lumped together into that which is conveniently termed cognitive-behavioral counseling. As the cognitive approach pays little attention to the "roots" of a problem, they are not generally effective when dealing with severe psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, psychotic personalities, bi-polar disorders, dual personalities, are nested within the disorder are usually such things as repression, denial, sublimation, and a host of other debilitating psychological factors. The end result is to help the client gain an understanding of one's own mind. The psychoanalytical approach to counseling has its believers as well as opponents. For the cognitivist behavior change is strictly a conscious choice. As such behaviorists believe their primary responsibility is to assist the client in analyzing their behaviors followed by the process of defining the problems brought about by the identified behaviors, and then setting about to resolve the issues through the setting of goals. With respect to the aforementioned counseling subsystems less emphasis is placed on historical insights into the behavioral dysfunctional and more on present conditions causing the emotional discomfort. ective of helping them identify fields or instances of distorted thinking that are the cause of their emotional angst. Psychodynamic Approach to Counseling Knowing that a cognitive approach to counseling emphasizes the "hear and now" approach, the psychodynamic approach is directly opposite. Sub-systems of the cognitive counseling domain include rational-emotive-behavioral counseling (Ellis, 1998), reality therapy (Glasser, 1989), cognitive-behavioral (Bandura, 1974), and transactional analysis (Sills Hargaden, 2003). This procedure is similar to those who don the title of acognitive' therapist. In fact Karl Popper (1977) labeled Freud's approach to psychotherapy as that which explains nothing and everything.


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