Summary and Critique of a Journal from Journal of Marriage and Family or Journal of Counseling and Development - Essay Example

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This report looks at a journal article from the Journal of Counseling and Development. In the article, the authors look at previous theories of Carl Rogers, look at case study examples, and examine issues of professional competence and family therapy interventions. …
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JOURNAL This report looks at a journal article from the Journal of Counseling and Development. In the article, the look at previous theories of Carl Rogers, look at case study examples, and examine issues of professional competence and family therapy interventions. Because this article is from a peer-reviewed journal, it is assumed to have high validity and reliability. The report summarizes the findings of the authors, and offers critique.
The authors focus on client-centered counseling. This type of counseling is related to issues of professional relationships. Generally, competence can be measured by an individual’s ability to work inside of their known boundaries and not try to overstep or exceed them. One can be the judge of one’s own competence. The authors focus on how professional relationships can also, at times, be an effective evaluation
of competence in the group setting. Competent individuals are dynamically involved in
providing helpful solutions to their clients, and are always in a state of learning from their
ever-changing environment. In this way, true professionals never stop developing their
skills to rest on a plateau, and always strive to achieve new goals. “In his theory of
client-centered counseling, Rogers (1951, 1957) proposed three conditions as ‘necessary
and sufficient’ for therapeutic change: empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive
regard. This theoretical framework provides the instructional foundation for many
counselor education programs” (Wickman and Campbell, 2003). This also extends into
the group setting.
Although group family therapy has proven to be an interesting and progressive
approach to this population as well, the report of Wickman and Campbell continues to focus on the ways in which humanistic approaches can be assimilated into a foundation of group therapy, since the age range preferred by structural family therapy tends to be lower than the age range of the given population. Rogers emphasized the uses of group therapy in a number of contexts through humanistic counseling. “Borrowing a central principle from his therapeutic method, he came to believe that… (therapists) should serve as facilitators rather than judges or mere conveyors of facts” (Wickman and Campbell, 2003). In Rogers’ methodology, the client is in control of the therapy’s direction, while the practitioner is there to provide support and respect.
Wickman and Campbell claim that the family must be placed in the context of the
community and society within which it functions, both of which define parameters for
function and dysfunction, success and failure, that can be inversely applied to the
microcosmic family system. Therefore, different families have different societal contexts
and different structural paradigms which affect them in terms of function and
dysfunction. The structural family group therapy method remains malleable in the face
of these cultural and societal distinctions, so that different families are seen in terms of
different functional paradigms.
In terms of types of groups and differently weighted factors within the groups, in most group therapy situations for client individuals, “Emphasis is placed on communications systems, information flow, level of conflict and trust, and relating styles of co actors. Interpersonal processes examine how well or poorly individuals relate to their peers, subordinates, and supervisors. Emphasis is placed on how well individuals listen and establish meaningful and viable alliances” (Wickman and Campbell, 2003). I think that like many others, I was under the impression before conducting this research that just forming a group was going to mean that the group could get things done automatically.
There are also possible ethical issues which come up in terms of techniques used
by the counselor. For example in a group setting that inspires a lot of closeness and
intimacy, it may be hard for the professional to keep separate from the client or possibly
from other professionals. Dual relationships are also a very important part of the
relationship between ethics and counseling, and represent a particularly visible issue to
professionals and clients. Although dual relationships may occur between two
professionals, and this is also a risk, dual relationships in the ethical sense of the
counseling relationship tend to unanimously concentrate on relationships between
professionals and clients in terms of risk and closeness. Transference and counter-
transference are also often a significant issue in terms of techniques, especially
psychoanalytical ones. I understand that this issue is more complicated:
“Group therapy… often does not offer immediate comfort. Patients may be frustrated by
not getting enough air time in the first few meetings, or their anxiety may even be
exacerbated by the anxiety intrinsic in the task of direct interpersonal interaction”
(Wickman and Campbell, 2003). In reality, intimacy issues make groups very hard work
in terms of the therapy. So therefore, this article may provide a complete view of how
the therapy works in a real-world context.
Wickman, S.A., and C. Campbell (2003). An analysis of how Carl Rogers enacted client-
centered conversation with Gloria. Journal of Counseling and Development 81(2), pp. 178-184. Read More
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