Counseling Theories Essay Sample

Counseling Theories

In mental health profession, it is important to establish a theoretical orientation while working with clients, as this knowledge can help professionals create a basis for further actions and operations. The counseling theories might refer to cognitive actions, but they are different and have their own peculiarities. Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is the comparison of the person-centered theory with another four major counseling theories.

The person-centered theory, which is the primary psychological therapy employed for the further comparison, has its own distinctive features. Developed in 1940’s by Carl Rogers, this type of theory is about motivation and empowering the patient during the process of healing. The main idea of the therapy is that every individual has a strong potential inside of him or her and has an ability to use that potential for healing and achieving the desired targets in life. The interventions last for 40 to 60 minutes and may take a couple of sessions, depending on a progress (“Person-centered therapy,” 2014).

The first theory that was selected for the following comparison is most commonly known as the cognitive-behavioral theory that was initially developed from the Rational Emotive Therapy (RET). It was founded in the mid-1950 by Albert Ellis, Ph.D. The approach was devised because the professor disliked Psychoanalysis regarding it as inefficient and in-directive for treating patients. However, the original roots of the following theory are traced back to the Stoic philosophers, in particular Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus. In 1960s, the approach was further studied and developed into the Cognitive Therapy (NACBT, 2009). This theory incorporates the behavioral and cognitive interventions, as this treatment targets psychiatric and emotional problems. Being a time-limited therapy, the treatment sessions last usually for 12 to 20 weeks, but might take longer depending on the individuals. The standard interventions last around 40 minutes and are related mainly to behavioral treatment (Bailey, 2001). Comparing the person-centered and cognitive-behavioral theory, it is obvious that both have many similarities. According to both, the future success depends on the mindset of an individual and can be altered with the help of fight against the existing problems. Thereafter, in the person-centered therapy, the patient is as a ‘center of universe’ and therapist is only there to serve as a supporting instrument to get the potential from the inner world of the individual. Therefore, the cognitive-behavioral theory has also certain techniques that are used in person-centered approach, such as asking probing questions and an intense listening. However, the main idea of the interventions in cognitive approach is to conduct the cognitive restructuring. Moreover, the therapist often uses the challenge as well as therapeutic confrontation during the sessions.

The next counseling theory, which is to be compared with the person-centered approach, is the motivational interviewing that was developed by professor William R Miller, Ph.D and another clinical psychologist, professor Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. It was mentioned for the first time in 1983 in the Behavioral Psychotherapy journal as a part of treatment that Miller used for treating a drinker. The main idea of this therapy is to use motivation and other intrinsic concepts to change the behavior of the patient (“William Miller,” 2014). This therapy is based on the idea that the client needs a spur to make a decision, and the start of everything is the establishment of a clear conversation. Patients might deny that they have a problem, thus confronting them during sessions is a first step to further treatment. The length of the motivational interviewing sessions is around 2.5 hours. However, they might take less depending on a problem as drinking and eating disorders are different issues. Thereafter, the interventions might last from 10 minutes to even four hours. The main aim of the standard intervention during the session is to change the behavior of the patient, and even simple motivational-enhancing interventions can help patients realize that they need aid and persuade them to return to the clinic for further sessions (Latchford, 2010). Thereafter, the person-centered type of therapy has a close connection with the motivational interviewing. The major similarity is a relation to patient-focused approach as a main pillar of both therapies. Still, the major difference between the selected theory and the motivational interviewing is that therapists do not direct sessions, but fully follow the inner perceptions of the patient.

The solution-focused brief therapy is a type of a psychotherapy that is based on an approach close to solution-building, but not problem-solving. Patients undergo a treatment that comprises three to five sessions, which are aimed at revealing and making emphasis on future hopes and current resources the patient has as an advantage instead of focusing on problems. Moreover, such type of interventions are very safe and can be used as an additional type of treatment during other therapies. The approach was first introduced in 1986 by a group of scientists in Milwaukee, as a result of the investigations that were looking into behavioral problems. The exceptions were found and further named as “the seeds of the client's own solution.” The members of the team, de Shazer and Berg, were also interested in further development of this approach and they discovered that if the patient had a clear vision of the future and targets, he or she was more likely to achieve them in order to have a bright and successful future. Thereafter, the main pillar of this therapy is visualization and description of future goals. The interventions include focusing on problems less and less, until the problem is almost erased from the area of concerns. In order to implement this, the whole session is focused on finding the resources and solutions for the future improvements. The standard interventions include four areas of explanations, such as discovering the person’s hopes, small and mundane details of everyday life, what person is doing to achieve his or her hopes, and what different solutions can be found. Moreover, these types of interventions might take several month gaps between the sessions depending on progress an individual makes (Iveson, 2014).

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