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Counseling and Ethical Standards
Core Assessment
Jessica Ferguson
PS 206 Introduction to Guidance and Counseling

Abstract
This core assessment will be my understanding of the concepts that I have learned in this course. I will define and give examples about the different therapy techniques that I have learned about. I will show that I can adequately explain that I am knowledgeable in my understanding of confidentiality and ethics in counseling.

1. (a) Empathic understanding is when a therapist correctly understands the client’s thoughts, feelings and meanings from the client’s point of view. When the therapist is able to look at the clients point of view it tells the client that his/or her point has value and the client feels accepted.
Example: Client: I don’t know why my husband wants to come to therapy now; we have never been able to communicate. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve accepted it, I wish he could.
Therapist: Coning to therapy now doesn’t make much sense to you. Maybe you used to have feeling about your lack of communication with your husband, but it sound like you feel pretty numb about the whole situation now.
(b) Unconditional positive regard is when a client is able to talk about their thoughts and feelings without having to do anything in particular to earn the therapists understanding. This is done when the therapist accepts the client unconditionally and does not pass judgment.
(c)Transference is when a client projects feelings or attitudes from the past onto the therapist.
Example: When a female client begins to treat her female therapist with disdain and begins to close off from therapy because the female therapist reminds her of her mother that was overbearing and mean to her.
(d) Anxiety is a feeling that people experience in many different ways. Some people may feel nervous, anxious, and fearful. Most of the time anxiety is normal and a good part of our ability to deal with the world. However, anxiety can become a problem for some people if it becomes excessive and begins to interfere with our daily lives.
Example: Normal anxiety would be if someone had a big project due at work and the good anxiety may push us to prepare more before you present your project. An example of excessive anxiety is when a woman has to fly on an airplane and she begins to get extremely nervous and sick to her stomach and she begins to feel dizzy. She does not get on the plane because she had experienced excessive anxiety.
(e) Projection is when a client blames other people for their actions.
Example: Sandy is holding an expensive glass vase and Joe is trying to get his jacket on, in the meantime, Sandy drops the vase and screams at Joe, “See what you made me do! I dropped the vase because you were taking too long to put on your coat. Sandy blamed Joe for dropping the vase.
(f) Irrational beliefs. As we develop we form beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. Most of the time our beliefs are truthful, healthy, and rational. However, through events and unfortunate circumstances we begin to develop false, unhealthy, and irrational beliefs about ourselves, others and the world.
Example: A client that thinks that she has to be perfect in every way to please everyone and if she is not perfect in every way then no one will love her. 2. (a). Behavior therapy and person-centered therapy
Behavior therapy believes that our behaviors are learned and that we are products of our environment. The client and therapist both take a very active role in learning more desired behaviors. Person- centered therapy believes that the client is their own best authority and they are capable of fulfilling their won potential for growth with minimal direction from the therapist.
The behavior therapist will set goals, treatment plans and expected outcomes up front and does not believe that the therapist has to be overly warm with the client. A person-centered therapist will allow the client to decide what their own goals and treatment plan will be and also believes that it is an important part of therapy to have the therapist is as open and warm as possible.
Person –centered therapy places more emphasis on the client’s expressing and experiencing their feelings. Behavior therapy believes that people have to learn new behaviors.
(b). Family and Psychoanalytic therapy
Family therapy focuses on the fact that we are part of a family and that we each play a role in each other lives. Change happens with in relationships in the family not just one person. Family therapy is usually brief. The psychoanalytic approach focuses only on one person and change occurs within their own personality. Psychoanalytic approach can take several years to complete.
The family therapist has to be able to listen and not pass judgment on any of the family members; the therapist must be open, honest and warm with everyone in the group. The psychoanalytic therapist does not believe that you should share any personal experiences or their reaction with their clients. They believe that they should listen and analyze. 3. Part 1
(a). It is highly unethical to pursue a romantic relationship with a client during therapy. It is the therapist’s ethical duty to help the client with his or her problems not to add to them. Corey (2009), states that becoming emotionally or sexually involved with a current client is unethical, unprofessional, and illegal. As to a former client, a romantic relationship is unethical because the therapist already knows very personally and intimate details of the client’s life and the therapist could use that to their advantage.

Part 2
(a). Confidentiality in counseling is very important in gaining trust from the client. The client needs to know that what they are discussing in therapy does not leave the room. But the client needs to know that confidentially does not mean keeping secrets. The client should know that confidentially may be broken if they client is going to harm themselves or someone else. The therapist needs to be discussing the fact that confidentially has boundaries and the client has to understand what those boundaries are before counseling begins. The counselor should provide written information on important aspects of therapy at the beginning of counseling, such as what the boundaries of confidentiality are, payments, complaints, ect…

Part 2 (b) “Duty to warn” would be necessary if I had a client that was 14 years old and she disclosed to me that her step-father had been touching her sexually. I would have a duty to warn the proper authorities because she is a minor. The ethical issue involved would be that I would have to break confidentiality of my patient by disclosing to outside person’s what we discussed.
Another example of duty to warn would be if I had a client that told me that he hated his co-workers and that he was going to shoot them. I would have to break confidentiality by contacting the authorities and letting them know that this person was a serious threat to others.
Part 2
(c) Ethical standards are important in counseling because there has to be a professional standard for appropriate behavior, professional expectations and preventing harm to clients. When you are a profession where the therapist and clients relationship is built on trust, the therapist should engage in conduct that is safe and non-threatening to the client, so that the client can get the emotional and psychological healing that they deserve.

4. I could apply REBT therapy to my life because this therapy is very direct and challenges you to do something rather than just sitting and talking about problems. I have a problem saying no to people. I feel that I should help everyone when I am asked and if I just have to say no I feel very shameful and guilt ridden. I think that REBT’s method of disputing my irrational beliefs would help me. It could help me learn to ask myself, “Why must I say yes all of the time? and “what is the worst thing that could happen if I say no?. I also think that REBT’s method of doing homework would help me too. It could help me to put myself in situations where I would have to say no. And REBT’s shame attacking exercise would also help me. I feel very shameful when I have to say no to someone. This method would have me to do things that I would feel shameful dong and by doing those things the feelings of shame would eventually disappear or not be such a big deal anymore.
I would also benefit from Gestalt therapy. I think that this therapy could benefit me by helping me to ask for help and to give me more awareness of myself. I have a huge problem asking anyone for help. I think that the empty chair technique would assist me to be able to tell my mother that I needed help when I was younger but I did not want to ask her for it because I did not want to bother her because she was always so busy. I would also use the rehearsal technique. The rehearsal technique would help me by giving me practice saying out loud that I need help. 5. (a) Low self-esteem – I think that behavioral cognitive therapy would be the best method for low self-esteem. CBT helps a person to diminish negative beliefs about themselves; it helps the person to establish and strengthen more positive beliefs, and encourages the person to learn how to accept themselves for who they are. Some of the techniques used in CBT that would be helpful for a person with low self-esteem. One technique would be trying to direct the client to more positive strengths and qualities, the client would have to write down everyday what their positive qualities are. Another technique would be to have the client to look at the past and present to find out what or who is helping the client to support negative beliefs about themselves. Another technique would to be to have the client to re-evaluate their dysfunctional assumptions about themselves and begin to formulate new more realistic alternatives.

I think that the psychoanalytic approach may not work the best for someone with low self-esteem because it focuses mainly on the person’s past and does not really focus on present situations. A person with low self-esteem may need a therapist that is accepting and warm, the psychoanalytic therapist does not believe that the client should be treated with very much warmth. And this approach can be a very long process.

(b). Phobias – Behavior therapy would be the best approach for a person with a phobia. Behavior therapy focuses on, “observable behaviors, current determinates of behavior, learning experiences that promote change, tailoring treatment strategies to individual treatment and change the problem” (Corey, 2009). Some of the methods that the behavior therapist would use with a client with a phobia would be exposure therapies. Exposure therapies are for helping client to treat their phobias and the bad responses to those phobias. The therapist would try
In vivo exposure with the client, by exposing the client to their actual phobia. The therapist could also use flooding. The therapist could have the client to imagine the phobia or have the client to experience the phobia for an extended period of time allowing for the fear to diminish on its own.
I think that the least effective therapy for a person with a phobia would be person-centered therapy. Person – centered therapy focuses on the person, not their phobia. A person with a phobia wants to get rid of it, not just talk about it.

(c) Marital problems would best be worked on through family systems therapy. Family systems therapy believes that we can be understood when we can be observed with our families. Its focus is on each person, but it also focuses on how each person interacts with one another. I would use structural- strategic family therapy. This method helps to reduce problems and set boundaries and helps to define power and control.
I think that psychoanalytic therapy may not work well with marital problems because this therapy is based too much on a person’s past and early development. The couple may want to focus on the present and get their problems solved quickly.

6. Three counseling and guidance models.

Gestalt therapy emphasizes awareness and personal responsibility and it adopts a holistic approach giving equal awareness to mind and body. It also believes that the client should not focus in the past or the future but on the present. Gestalt therapy believes that we have unfinished business. Unfinished business is what happens when you have feelings that are left unresolved. Those unresolved feelings show up later in present day life causing emotional upheaval. Gestalt therapy does not believe that there a specific methods to therapy that should be followed. The gestalt therapist may use experiments in the course to therapy. One of the exercises is the rehearsal exercise. This allows the client to rehearse what their feelings are. Another exercise would be the internal dialogue exercise. This exercise allows the client to express out load what they have been telling only themselves.

Adlerian therapy believes that people posses an innate tendency toward completions or wholeness and that people strive for superiority to compensate for feelings of inferiority. It also believes that people have the ability to freely shape their own behavior and personality. It believes that humans have their own unique style of life that include a person’s goals, self-concepts, feelings for others and attitude toward the world. Adlerian therapy has several techniques that it employs during therapy. One technique is the life style assessment, which allows the therapist to identify what needs to be worked on during therapy and to identify successes and mistakes in the client’s life. The adlerian therapist also uses encouragement as a powerful technique in therapy. Encouragement is used to build a relationship and to help facilitate client change. A therapist may also use role playing, this gives the client an opportunity to add missing experience into their lives and to explore and practice new behaviors.

The psychoanalytic approach believes that all behavior and mental processes reflect constant and often unconscious struggles within people. These usually involve conflicts between our need to satisfy basic biological instincts, for example, for food, sex or aggression. The psychoanalytic therapist may use techniques such as free association where the client says anything that comes to mind. And dream analysis to find links in the client’s thoughts and behaviors and then interpret the dreams in terms of the client’s problems.

References
Corey,G. (2009). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. (8th. Edition). Belmont,CA.

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