This assignment gives brief consideration to the definition of counselling and psychotherapy, critically disseminating component elements and highlighting the similarities and differences, evaluating the validity of these assertions. The reasons why a person may seek counselling will then be explored alongside a discussion of the importance of the readiness to practice in regards to my ‘self’ as a practitioner. The paper concludes with the provision of a personal reflective log, reviewing the pertinent knowledge and skills I possess in regards to working towards becoming a counsellor and identifying necessary progression. 1. Analyse the similarities and differences between counselling and psychotherapy making reference to the use of the terms ‘counsellor’ and ‘psychotherapist. Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. Counselling is a learning-oriented process, a helping approach where a counsellor competent in relevant psychological skills, knowledge and techniques from client-centred therapy (Rodgers, 1951) highlights the emotional and intellectual experience of a client, to learn about himself, how they are feeling and what they think about the problem they have sought help for. The objective of counselling can be explained therefore as enabling the client to utilise full coping potential, adjust to life situations and move toward achieving optimum development of their personal resources (McLeod, 2003). Arbuckle considers that ‘counselling and psychotherapy are in all essential respects identical’ (1967; 144). A high degree of respect for the autonomy of the client is a basic principle in both counselling and psychotherapy, they are also similar in the sense that each client brings with them the assets, skills, strengths and possibilities needed with them to therapy. Like counselling, psychotherapy is also grounded in dialogue and is a way of responding to human need, however, it is established in the Freudian psychodynamic approach for the treatment of emotional, behavioural, personality and psychiatric disorders. Based on the experiential relationship a psychotherapist helps the client to become conscious of experiences through an in depth consideration of past issues and can further involve the client in re-organising his or her personality. Psychotherapy can then perhaps be defined as an inclusive, comprehensive re-education of the individual, where awareness is the goal (Brammer & Shostrom, 1977). Feltham (1999) considers that counselling can be short term or long term but psychotherapy is about ‘deconstruction and ‘reconstruction’ of the client’s self-concept, in a greater depth than counselling might explore. The intensity and length of therapy depends on how well the client can deal with all of the new found information. A further distinction to be made between counselling and psychotherapy is the focus. In counselling, the counsellor will focus on the present, reality situations, sometimes described as problem solving. During psychotherapy, the therapist is looking to determine the cause of ones behaviour from the results of that behaviour, analysing each act and attempting to link or make connections with the unconscious past and unresolved issues (Bettelheim & Rosenfeld, 1993). References
Arbuckle, D. S. (1967). Counseling and Psychotherapy: An Overview.New York: McGraw Hill. Bettelheim, B. & Rosenfeld, A. (1993). The Art of the Obvious...Developing Insight For Psychotherapy and Everyday Life. New York: Knopf. Brammer, L . & Shostrom, E. (1977). Theraputic Psychology: Fundamentals of Counseling and Psychotherapy Third Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. McLeod, J. (2003) An introduction to counselling. London: Open university press. Rogers, C. (1951). Client Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Shostrom, E. (1967). Man the Manipulator. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon...
References: Bandura, A. (1977) Social learning theory. Englewood cliffs: Prentice-Hall.
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