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Theoretical Approaches to Counselling - Essay Example

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There are three dominant approaches to counseling, each with theoretical, practical and relational aspects. They are the person-centered, the psychodynamic and the cognitive-behavioral approaches. These approaches are used in the practice of mental health counselors who whether are teaching clinical skills in academic settings, providing on-site supervision for practicum and internship students, or serving as clinical supervisors for unlicensed or less experienced counselors…
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Theoretical Approaches to Counselling
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Download file to see previous pages Psychotherapy-driven supervision is illustrated for three theoretical approaches: humanistic-relationship oriented, cognitive-behavioral, and solution-focused.
This approach is often referred to as Rogerian counseling after its founder Carl Rogers, who was convinced that human beings were essentially positive, forward-looking and realistic by nature. This type of humanistic counseling deals with the ways in which people perceive themselves consciously rather than having a counselor try to interpret unconscious thoughts or ideas. There are many different components and tools used in person-centered counseling, including active listening, genuineness, paraphrasing, and more. The real point is that the client already has the answers to the problems and the job of the counselor is to listen without making any judgements, without giving advice, and simply help the client feel accepted and understand their own feelings. The fundamental premise upon which Carl Rogers based his theory was that the individual has within himself the resources for self-understanding, for challenging and altering self-concepts, attitudes and behaviors. This he called the actualizing tendency, which Rogers believed was the motivating force driving all human beings to achieve wholeness. Factors that inhibit or obscure the individual's actualizing tendency include the development of a negative self-concept. Accordingly person-centered counseling endeavors to help the client to become what they are capable of becoming, though releasing the psyche's own self-regulating mechanisms or "the organismic self"
When viewed from a humanistic perspective, nursing can be seen as the ability to struggle with another through "peak experiences related to health and suffering in which the participants in the nursing situation are and become in accordance with their human potential" (Paterson and Zderad 1976:7). Nursing theorist Rosemary Parse captures this concept of "potential" in her theory of "health as human becoming" (1998). The goal of the nurse living out the theory of human becoming is "true presence in bearing witness and being with others in their changing health patterns" (Parse 2001:231).
In practice, person centred counselors are often criticized as being too "safe" and nondirective. Frequently the client wants more assistance, knowledge and direction. The concept that we all have what it takes to self-actualize means that in strict person centred counseling there are long gaps of silence where the therapist dutifully waits for "as long as it takes" for the "penny to drop". Many clients get annoyed with this delay, and others become disillusion with therapy generally. In some cases clients may decide they can not be helped. Many clients who have sought psychoanalysis from the author have previously had person centred therapy and become annoyed at what they perceive as the therapist being unhelpful. The standing joke is that all a person centered therapist ever says is "Well what do you think".
Person-centred counselling is effective in assisting those clients who are already fairly self-aware, and have some ability to verbalise their feelings. These ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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