Theories of Counselling

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychotherapy, Solution focused brief therapy Pages: 8 (2752 words) Published: June 16, 2013
“Psychoanalytic therapy is based largely on insight, unconscious motivation & reconstruction of the personality” Corey (2013, pg ) As aspiring counsellors and psychotherapists it is important to familiarize ourselves with the mainstream therapeutic approaches. No theories are considered “right” or “wrong” although there are better suited therapies for some individuals & therapies that can be successfully integrated. This essay will be focusing on one humanistic theory (Person Centered Therapy) One Post Modern approach (Solution Focused Brief Therapy) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Furthermore, it will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages in the integration of therapies. Person Centered Therapy (PCT)

Unlike many other counselling approaches, who view the therapists as the prime facilitator for change, Carl Rogers believed that as human beings we are more than capable of understanding ourselves and resolving our own problems without direct interventions from a therapist. He believed that we are capable of self-growth and change if we are involved in a specific kind of therapeutic relationship. Corey (2013, pg. 160) Although the main source of successful psychotherapy is the client, it is vital that the therapist have a genuine, empathic understanding of the clients inner world and has the ability to communicate a nonjudgmental stance to the client in order to build an effective therapeutic relationship, one that will facilitate the client to explore and utilize their inner and outer resources. Corey (2013, pg. 162) PCT aims to empower and encourage independence in the client by helping clients to define and clarify their own goals. Its main focus is to provide the client with the ability to cope with and identify problems. This can be achieved through the therapeutic relationship and the therapist's ability to understand sensitively and accurately the client's experience and feelings in the here-and-now and to communicate to them that the therapist understands what they are feeling. (Empathy) Cepeda, Lisa M.; Davenport, Donna S. (2006) The therapist may not approve of some of the client's actions but the therapist does approve of the client and should be careful to always maintain a positive attitude towards the client (Unconditional positive regard). Rogers (1959)

Disadvantages to PCT
Although it is vital that the client experiences the therapist's essential humanity and feels their emotional involvement (congruence), it is important for the Therapist to remain firmly in touch with their own experiences and emotions during therapy and to set aside their own values and attitudes as they may hinder progress with their client. This can be very challenging as we are all human beings with our own set of values and attitudes, some of which we are aware of and others which we are not. Other limitations to PCT could include the therapist becoming so dogmatic in application of reflective approach that they fail to be real with client & irritate them by repeating their words in an attempt to make reflective statements. PCT also focuses on present and future rather than issues from the clients past which could be of some significance. PCT could also be hindered with clients who have difficulty articulating their feelings as PCT is a form of talking psychotherapy in which the therapist takes a non-directing role. Cognitive behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on helping clients to understand their own thoughts (cognitive) and emotions that influence their behaviours. It is generally short term and most commonly addresses specific problems. CBT is a gradual process and is viewed as a “reeducating” approach. CBT begins with an aim to teach (or reeducate) clients in how to identify and change destructive and disturbing thought patterns that result in negative behaviours. It is considered effective in treating many people with psychological disorders, particularly depressive, anxiety, and sexual...


References: Corey, G. (2013). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Brooks/Cole: Cengage Learning.
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Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cepeda, L.M.,&Davenport, D. S. (2006). Person-centered therapy and solution-focused brief therapy: An integration of present and future awareness. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 43(1), 1–12.
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Frankl, V
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