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Counseling Theories


Counseling Theories & Techniques CG 501 Introduction to the Profession of Counseling Chapter 6 The Purpose of Counseling Theory Psychological theories are based on ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Counseling Theories

Counseling Theories Techniques
  • CG 501
  • Introduction to the Profession of Counseling
  • Chapter 6

The Purpose of Counseling Theory
  • Psychological theories are based on how the
    theorist views human nature and the environment
  • Theory components include assumptions about
  • Unconscious and conscious processes
  • Development
  • Learning
  • Socialization

The Purpose of Counseling Theory(contd)
  • Theories related to counseling and therapy are
    based on the preceding psychological assumptions,
    and offer
  • systematic ways of understanding a persons
    psychological framework
  • a view of the way(s) that problems arise for the
  • methods to help resolve those problems

Personal Value of Understanding Counseling Theory
  • Both counselors-in-training and practicing
    counselors tend to experience personal growth
    when they explore and understand how their own
    experiences, beliefs and values relate to the
    assumptions contained in various counseling

Text Categorization of Theories
  1. Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic
  2. Humanistic / existential
  3. Behavioral / cognitive / cognitive-behavioral
  4. Constructivist and social constructionist
  5. Creative / expressive arts and narrative
  6. Brief counseling / therapy
  • 1-4 are based on theorists differing views about
    human nature and human behavior
  • 5-6 are approaches or contexts in which
    perspectives 1-4 might also be used

Constructivist and Social Constructionist
  • Constructivists (Kelly) innate capacity/tendency
    to make meaning by forming constructs, thus
    shaping experience and perception.
    Phenomenological in approach to counseling.
  • Social Constructionists emphasis on social and
    cultural influence on self (personal
    constructions are constrained by the social

Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic
  • Theorists and practitioners in this category
    believe that intrapsychic / unconscious forces
    are central to human behavior and problems
  • Freud focus on innate instincts (id, libido)
  • Later psychoanalytic theorists more emphasis on
    psychosocial influences
  • Feminist theory normal growth and development
    through mutual connections in relationships
  • Archetypal (post-Jungian) psychology emphasis on
    developing sense of soul / moral commitment

Humanistic and Existential Theories
  • All focus on human potential for positive growth
  • Humanists (e.g., Rogers, Perls/Gestalt, Maslowe)
    human movement toward self-actualization produces
    self-awareness and development
  • Existentialists (e.g., Frankl, May, Yalom)
    anxiety from freedom to choose potentially a
    growth force
  • Holistic/transpersonal approach body, mind and
    spirit into counseling arena

Behavioral, Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral
  • Learning is viewed as central to development
  • Behavioral (e.g., Skinner, Wolpe) learning and
    behavior are shaped via reinforcement and
  • Cognitive and cognitive-behavioral (e.g., Ellis,
    Beck, Bandura) thinking/perception influence
    further thinking, feelings and behavior

Creative / Expressive Arts and Narrative Therapies
  • Creative / expressive arts nonverbal expression
    (such as art, dance, music, drama) helps person
    express underlying feelings, get past blocks to
    awareness and growth
  • Narrative therapy emphasis on idea that meaning
    is acquired and expressed uniquely in stories
    about the self. Therapists help people reclaim or
    re-envision their own stories.

Brief Counseling and Therapy
  • Recent prominence related to world demands
    (managed care, available time in certain work
    contexts) as well as theoretical base
  • Has long history of adherents, too, though
  • Psychodynamic as well as cognitive and
    cognitive-behavioral theoretical approaches have
    been adapted to this framework
  • Are acknowledged limitations to problems/clients
    for whom this beneficial

Integrative Theoretical Approaches
  1. Transtheoretical goes beyond specific
    theoretical constructs, selects compatible
    concepts and techniques tied to client problem
  2. Theoretical integration combination of
    personality/theoretical concepts from two or more
    theories into systematic theoretical whole (are
    they congruent in central assumptions?)
  3. Technical eclecticism maintains one theoretical
    view of personality, but selects techniques from
    variety of theoretical orientations
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