Critically Evaluate Three Counselling Intervention / Techniques and Use This Evaluation to Reflect on the Application of the Humanistic Theory in Counselling Practice and How They Contribute to the Effectiveness of the Process.

Topics: Psychotherapy, Therapy, Gestalt therapy Pages: 6 (2361 words) Published: May 23, 2011
By definition; counselling interventions and techniques can be described as a unique interrelationship between a client and a counsellor, with the sole aim to promote a change and growth and encourage a shift in behaviour towards fulfilling his or her human potential. (Feltham & Horton, 2006) It is the responsibility of the counsellor to contribute to the process of change during the counselling process, to enhance his or her client's personal development. The current essay will critically evaluate three counselling intervention / techniques and use this evaluation to reflect on the application of the humanistic theory in counselling practice and how they contribute to the effectiveness of the process. Historically, within psychology and counselling a wide range of attitudes and approaches have been developed; in order to provide the client the ability to explore his inner world. Theories such as Rogers' theory the Gestalt theory and the Psychoanalytic theory, all serve to allow exploration and aim to increase the level of awareness as well as the level of motivation to change. By facilitating the client to explore his or her hidden world by using interventions the client can begin to recognise and change thoughts, feelings and behaviours and begin a healing process and step forward toward self-actualisation. Self disclosure is one such intervention used widely within humanistic counselling. It is believed by some to be beneficial to the relationship whilst other schools of thought debate its usefulness. Beutler (1978) states that "the degree either of the experimenter or therapist self-disclosure precipitates a similar disclosure level in subjects and patients". But Strong and Claiborne (1982) write that ‘therapist disclosure to encourage patient disclosure does not seem like a good use of the therapist’s power unless specific disclosure is needed". Disclosing self is a point in the process by which we let ourselves be known to the other. By discussing self I mean that the counsellor makes a conscious decision to reveal something to the client. Essentially, we share with the client a similar experience to the one that is causing her present difficulties. In one sense, the counsellor cannot help but disclose themselves as they communicate their characteristics to the client in every look, movement, emotional response, and sound as well as with the words they use (Strong & Claiborne, 1982). It is the use of more direct self-disclosure which is up for discussion. Self-disclosure can be challenging to the client by presenting an intimacy, which some clients may find difficult to handle (Egan, 1994). However, some clients may be very comfortable with this intimacy which can only serve to strengthen the relationship, by way of the counsellor reinforcing their congruence. Within my helping role in the spinal injuries unit, unwittingly I was using self-disclosure very early on in relationship. Inskipp (2006) would argue that self-disclosure at the beginning of a relationship is usually not helpful. Newly injured patients were eager to seek out my experiences of both the spinal unit and discharge into the home environment. This involved a great deal of self-disclosure and honest reporting of my own experience. On reflection, this served to show me as a kindred spirit with a true understanding and in some cases allowed them to offload their deep fears. I believe this worked uniquely within this given environment; however this level of self-disclosure would not translate into a professional counselling relationship. As I am a full-time wheelchair user, I wonder how helpful it would be too self-disclose early into the therapeutic relationship my personal circumstances with regard to why I am confined to a wheelchair. It is human nature to be curious and see the wheelchair is an abnormality. If this disclosure was done early on I question whether I would be seen to be congruent, satisfy curiosity and allow the process to...
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