Identify the original theory and current theoretical model you use in counseling
The purpose of the lecture is to explore counseling psychology in terms of its development and inception from different perspectives. The discussion attempted to provide the unique characteristics of counseling psychology as being different from clinical psychology. In as much as these two fields of counseling have been known to have similar theoretical practices and knowledge, counseling psychology for a long time has been known to hide under clinical psychology. However, the most distinguishing factor between the two practices is the characteristics of client population whereby clinical psychology addresses patients who are mentally ill with psychological disorders (Goldenberg, & Goldenberg , 2008), yet counseling psychology deals with typical clients with the purpose of improving their interpersonal skills by changing their behavior and perception towards life. The counseling theoretical models could utilize client-centered approach that is characterized by active listening, empathy, acceptance and genuineness; use of holistic health approached which are characterized by use of biopsychosocial strategies in which counseling integrates physical, intellectual, social, emotional, vocational and spiritual dimension of life (Magnavita, 2006). Counseling could exploit values of strengths based approaches that seek to identify positive perspectives based on current status or past information and involve positive thinking approaches (Sahakian, 1969). Cognitive behavior theory could also be employed that further exploits values of solution-focused strategies and existential strategies. Essentially, these clients are assisted with the right knowledge that will help them cope with temporary issues which would need resolutions at that particular time. In the end, counseling psychology attempts to help people understand that they are well capable of handling issues that come their way throughout life and overcome every challenge they face (Magnavita, 2006).
Characteristics and behaviors that influence the process
Effective counseling can only be achieved by total cooperation from two parties. The one in need of counseling should have a defined goal and objective at the end of the counseling session. They should identify what exactly disturbs them and hinders their progress such that it can be easy for the counselor to give them advice. The counselor on the hand should have a genuine heart to help people and make them better (Crago, 2006). For someone to entrust most of their decision making on an individual then the counselor has to be open minded and refuse to discriminate clients regardless of their background.
After the search for a good counselor, there are a few signs that can help in identifying whether the person is good or not. In as much as every individual is liable for the decisions they make in life, a counselor can really influence the decisions you make. A good counselor should be able to note the obstacles and things that stop you from moving forward. After that, he can suggest the best ways to overcome these obstacles by building a different pattern of behavior. If overcoming the obstacles is beyond what an individual can do, the counselor should teach on some mechanisms that can help during difficult situations. He should encourage you on building personal strengths and a more positive attitude to help in dealing with different circumstances. Communication is one of the important tools that a counselor can teach so that one can understand how best to relate with others. Ultimately, a good counselor should ensure you become a better person who is reliable and responsible (Sahakian, 1969).
Effectiveness in counseling sessions has to be checked by establishing whether insights on personal thoughts have changed in terms of behavior. Within a given amount of time, one should be able to identify different patterns in their behavior by noting the stumbling blocks to personal happiness and dealing with them. The end result should be growth on a personal level as well as being empowered to be independent and control your life. Mindsets should be changed and one should grow to be more positive (Goldenberg, & Goldenberg, 2008).
Attending and listening- Active listening is encouraged in this particular skill. There should be a clear and defined purpose as one listens so that the response given reflects to the client that they were heard and understood (Goldenberg, & Goldenberg, 2008).
Reflective skills- This kind of skill focuses on the other person’s reference frame. Reflective skills in essence capture exactly what the client is trying to express in form of words and therefore they are played back in their minds. The basic skills here are restating then followed by paraphrasing and in the end a summary is done (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2008).
Probing skills- Often during counselling sessions, it is imperative that questions are asked in amore direct way likely to lead to a particular direction. The counsellor should ensure that the conversation is heading somewhere or the entire session may be a waste of time (Goldenberg, I & Goldenberg, H, 2008). Some of the scholars who attempted to come up with several questions that would bring direction for a conversation stated that mere talk would bring no solutions. Probing is meant to enhance the level of worker control especially in the early phases of counselling. If in the beginning an individual is directed towards which way to follow, they would follow it to the end.
How does your theoretical choice affect the way you counsel?
It creates Realness in the facilitator of learning- In general, the most basic attribute of counseling is the level of realness and openness that comes from the affected individual. It is during counseling sessions where all their inner feelings which have been hidden for long are exposed and expressed (Magnavita, 2006).. The troubled person hopes that they would not be dismissed or discriminated despite their high level of genuineness. There is a direct personal encounter with the counselor and the one seeking help expects to be assisted by the end of the session. This is a great challenge to the counselor who should endeavor to keep the information shared private and also remain nonjudgmental throughout.
It helps in prizing, acceptance; trust- Counseling sessions attempt to create an attitude in an individual that facilitates learning. Often, it’s more like giving an award or prizing the individual in terms of their attitude, feelings and opinions on things and life in general. It is more of showing care to the person yet in a manner that is not possessive. One is accepted as a separate person with different feelings and emotions yet having inner worth. Basically, it is trust being created, a feeling that this particular individual is trustworthy in all aspects (Gehart & Tuttle, 2003). The kind of prizing being explained here is that of an individual who is imperfect yet with many feelings and great potential. The counselor offers confidence and trust in the troubled individual such that at the end of the session one can feel they deserve better things and have not been discriminated regardless of their imperfection.
Empathic understanding is built- Empathy deals more with one trying to understand things from the other person’s perspective. This aspect attempts to build an environment that is good for self initiated learning in terms of experiments (Magnavita, 2006). . For instance, if teachers can have empathy and try to understand the students’ inner feelings, they would understand better why they behave the way they do. Students should also try and understand why their teachers are the way they do. That atmosphere of sensitivity from both parties enhances education as a feeling of awareness of emotions is unveiled
Define and defend your choice
Counseling sessions are very crucial and can help individuals in the following ways;
One is able to understand their persona and inner feelings in a better way.
There is a great feeling of tranquility and inner peace.
There is a great feeling of personal worth and security.
It becomes easy to connect with other people and hence success is achieved through networking.
Levels of stress are reduced causing better physical health.
Helps in a better approach to problems in that one can deal with them in amore professional way.
One is able to identify their life goals and be focused on achieving them.
It’s easy to come up with better techniques of accomplishing the set objectives.
An individual can now comprehend their own thoughts and feelings and response to them in a better way.
Loved ones are more appreciated and understood in a better way.
Listening skills are improved as one is able to be friendly and ready to help others who may be going through the same thing.
One is able to work towards achieving a higher sense of self fulfillment as well as be the best master of their feelings and behavior
Wallen, J. (1946). Counseling with returned servicemen. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishers.
Crago, H. (2006). Couple, Family and Group Work: First Steps in Interpersonal Intervention. Maidenhead, Berkshire; New York: Open University Press.
Goldenberg, I., & Goldenberg, H. (2008). Family therapy: An overview. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole
Gehart, D. R., & Tuttle, A. R. (2003). Theory-based treatment planning for marriage and family therapists: Integrating theory and practice. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole/Thomson.
Lebow, J. (2005). Handbook of clinical family therapy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Magnavita, J. (2006). In search of the unifying principles of psychotherapy: conceptual, empirical and clinical emergence. New York: American Psychologist Publishers.
Sahakian, W. (1969). Psychotherapy and counseling, studies in technique. Chicago: Rand McNally Corp publishers.