Psychological Growth

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Counseling Theory

Psychological Growth and Change

Tiffini Chamblin

Liberty University

Abstract
Psychological growth means different people. Some people think that psychological freedom gives them the freedom to do what they want; others seek to understand themselves better, others want to search themselves for their deeper true self. Psychological growth is the increase of the capacity for external accomplishment and inner fulfillment. In today’s society, many people focus on material things that do not bring meaning in life. One can only grow psychologically and spiritually when they are able to overcome their materialistic security. Humans typically stop growing once they are satisfied. Growth comes from aspiration and aspirations give us the will to seek greater efforts. As Christians, we should want to continue to grow, to be better today than we were yesterday. We should desire to be more like Christ everyday. Cognitive and Existential therapy are related in many ways, but the most significant similarity is the goal to promote change.

Psychological Growth and Change

People typically seek counseling because they are hurting, frustrated or feeling overwhelmed (Rupke, 2006). It has been stated that the most successful counselors are ones who use theories as a road map for guiding their therapy sessions. Theories allow counselors to provide precise technique that help reach their defined goals. A theory is composed of a set of concepts and their defined relationships (Murdock, 2). Theories are essential for counselors because they help explain and predict behavior, and ultimately help counselors discover how to best help their clients. As a Christian counselor it is imperative that when choosing a theory that you choose the theory that is consistent with biblical standards, that the theory fits with your values, compliment your personality, and that it is consistent with a Christian worldview. This paper will discuss how psychological growth and change creates a well-balanced individual by integrating Existential and Cognitive theories. Philosophical Assumptions and Key Concepts

A sound theoretical approach is essential for professional integrity as a counselor (Nichols, p.226). Viktor Frankl was very instrumental for his work of existential theory; the principal motivation for all human beings is the search for meaning (Murdock, p. 184). The existential theory is the foundation for many other theories because it allows this theory to be used to assist any race and any sex. The existential theory helps explain what motivates people to seeking meaning in life (Murdock, p. 197). This theory helps people cope with the deeper questions in life, like death, freedom, isolation. (Murdock, p. 197). One of the main goals of existential therapy is to help clients get in touch with their real self, and for them to be in unison with the authentic feelings and emotions. Existential therapy permits the client to grow and improve.

In Cognitive theory, the belief is that all of our thoughts play a significant role in our emotions and behavior (Sharf, 2007). The theoretical framework for cognitive therapy is that our thoughts and behaviors are the product of our perception of situations (Murdock, p. 320). This theory not only looks at the past of an individual, but also the present. This theory suggests that human assumption occurs during the first 6 years in our lives; that our early memories contribute to how we view our lives as adults. The goal in cognitive therapy is for clients to recognize when they are having faulty thinking, and to learn how to modify the thinking when it is occurring so that they can effectively eliminate any irrational thoughts. Psychological growth requires us to be constantly aware of the world around us. When a patient comes to counseling battling internal conflict,...
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