PCN-107: Introduction to Counseling Theories is a course that provides initial knowledge in theoretical approaches to counseling. Within this course, several theoretical models are studied and include psychodynamic, existential, person-centered, cognitive, and behavioral therapy among others. Therefore, our PCN-107: introduction to counseling theories assignment help ensures that you get a clear understanding of counseling and its approaches.
What is counseling?
According to the American Counselling Association, counseling is defined as “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Counselling often involves helping people to make needed changes in ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and is an objective-based process, involving a non-judgmental, supportive counselor who works with a client in telling his or her story, setting viable goals, and developing strategies and plans necessary to accomplish these goals.
What are some of the issues addressed by counseling?
Counseling can be helpful in areas such as:
- Addiction and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
- Adjustment issues including common ones like adjustment in college.
- Anger management.
- Eating disorders.
- Gender identity.
- Relationship difficulties.
- Relationship violence.
- Sexual assault.
- Stress management.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Exploring the six major theoretical categories.
1. Humanistic theory.
Humanistic therapists care most about the present and helping their clients achieve their highest potential. Moreover, humanistic counseling holds that people have within themselves all the resources they need to live healthy and functional lives and that problems occur as a result of restricted or unavailable problem-solving resources.
Humanistic therapists see their role not as directing clients in how to address their problems but, rather, as one of helping clients to discover and access within themselves the restricted resources they need to solve problems on their own. These are some of the currently preferred humanistic counseling therapies include person-centered, existential, emotion-focused, Gestalt, and positive psychology.
Cognitive counseling theories hold that people experience psychological and emotional difficulties when their thinking is out of sync with reality. When a person with this “faulty thinking” uses it to solve a problem, it often leads to faulty solutions.
Fortunately, cognitive therapists work to encounter their clients’ faulty thinking patterns so clients are able to derive solutions that accurately address the problems they are experiencing. These are some of the currently preferred cognitive-theory-based therapies:
- Cognitive behavior therapy.
- Reality therapy.
- Motivational interviewing.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy.
Behavioral counseling theories hold that people engage in problematic thinking and behavior when their environment supports it. If an environment reinforces these problems, they will continue to occur. However, behavioral therapists work to help their clients identify with reinforcements that are supporting problematic patterns of thinking and acting and replace them with other reinforcements for more desirable patterns.
Psychoanalytic theories hold that psychological problems result from the present-day influence of unconscious psychological drives or motivations stemming from past relationships and experiences. Dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns from the past become unconscious models that guide clients toward continued dysfunctional thoughts and behavior in their present lives.
Psychoanalytic counselors strive to help their clients become aware of these unconscious working models so that negative influences can be identified and addressed. These are some of the currently preferred therapies grounded in psychoanalytic theory:
- Attachment therapy.
- Object relations therapy and
- Adlerian therapy.
Systematic theories hold that thinking, feeling and behavior are largely influenced by pressures exerted on people by the social systems within which they live. Accordingly, individual thinking, feeling, and behavior are best comprehended when examined in relation to the role they play within a person’s family or other important social networks. Systematically focused therapists work to debug social network dynamics that influence a client’s undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Currently preferred therapies drawing from systematic theory include:
- Structural family therapy.
- Strategic family therapy.
- Human validation process family therapy and
- Gottman method couple therapy.
Constructionist counseling theories hold that knowledge is merely an invented understanding of actual events in the world. While actual events in the world can trigger people’s meaning-making processes, it is those meaning-making processes, rather than the events themselves, that determine how people think, feel and behave. Most importantly, constructionist therapists work collaboratively with clients to examine and debug problematic client constructions of self, relationships, and the world. Currently preferred constructionist-theory-based therapy models include:
- Solution-focused brief therapy.
- Narrative therapy.
- Feminist therapy.
- Eriksonian therapy and
- Identity renegotiation counseling.
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