Counseling Theory and Reflection Paper
In the field of counseling there are many theories and ideas used to try to understand and treat people with psychological disorders. Over the years the horizon counseling has broadened with the emergence of new theories which includes Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory, Adler’s Individual Psychology, Jung’s Analytic Psychology, the Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Existential Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Therapy, Reality Therapy, and the Feminist Therapy. After review and discussion of these theories and therapies, I have decided to focus on the Person-Centered therapy.
The Person-Centered Therapy was pioneered solely by Psychologist Carl Rogers. His family had six children and he was the fourth of them. Carl Rogers had success in the field of therapy. He wrote two books in his career. The first book he wrote was “The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child’’ based on his past experiences working at a guidance center. The second book he published was “Counseling and Psychotherapy”. Person-centered therapy is much different from the other theories and therapies and regard that it is tailored to needs of individual clients. Rogers thought that therapy should take place in a supportive environment this was done by making a close relationship between counselor and client. In person-centered therapy, the client determines the general direction of therapy, while the therapist seeks to increase the client’s insight and self-understanding. The theory of personality ultimately ties into the use of Person-Centered Therapy. The theory of personality can be described as Rogers seeing people as people and not just as objects. He believed that people start positive in nature. And that people naturally seek self-actualization. He believed that when we act irrationally or in a negative that meant the conditions to reach self-actualization did not exist. Rogers supported the phenomenological approach to personality. This approach meant that an individual perceives the world in a unique way. This all ties into Person-Centered Therapy. The most important concept in person centered therapy is trust. It is the key to effectively help someone progress in their therapy. The client is needed to be trusted because in Person-Centered Therapy the client is expected to keep track of their own goals and. this helps the client create self-actualization characteristics The core concepts of Person-Centered Therapy include first, that people react to the phenomenal field as they experience and perceive it. This key concept states that a person’s perception of something is characterized by past experiences. For example, if someone were to get burned by a hot stove once, the next time they see a stove they will cautious to touch it. In a more complex example, if a women was in a relationship with a man and the man is unfaithful and cheats on her she might have the perception that all men are the same. This proposition is made because of her past experience with men. The second key concept is “the best point from which to understand behavior is the person’s internal frame of reference”. This concept is similar to the first one and they tie in together. Basically the ones perception of past experiences can only be fully understood by the person because everyone has a unique internal frame. This is why developing a phenomenological perspective with a client is important. This will help the counselor/therapist understand things from the client’s perspective. The third concept is that “people tend to behave in a manner consistent with their concept of self”. This part shows how a person sees themselves in comparison to others. The fourth concept is “The more people perceive and accept experiences, the more they will tend to be accepting and understanding of others”. Basically this concept is saying that self-acceptance and understanding are factors important in the process of accepting others. Person-Centered therapy can be described as a cause and affect approach. If you can put a client into the right environment and condition self-actualization will be achievable. There are three core concepts that have to occur for the growth toward self-actualization can occur. The first condition is to have “counselor congruence”. Counselor congruence is when the counselor’s behavior matches their communication. This is saying that a counselor shouldn’t feel a certain way then communicate in a different manner. The second condition is having “empathic understanding”. This is when the counselor attempts to feel empathy by being on the same page emotionally with the client. By the counselor putting themselves in an empathetic position this helps them understand their client from a phenomenological perspective. The third condition is “unconditional positive regard”. In this condition a counselor should stay positive with the client, but this doesn’t mean they should accept everything the client says. It means they should respect the client even though their perspective of thinking might be inappropriate. With regards to Person-centered therapy there is not a emphasize on techniques. The focus is more on relationship with the client.
Reasons for Choosing This Theory
My reason for choosing the Person-centered therapy is because there emphasis on uniqueness. No two people are the same, not even twins, so why would we treat everyone the same? Someone might respond to certain methods of therapy might not work on others. And all known methods might not work on one person. I also choose this therapy because I hate the idea of categorizing people. People should be treated like humans, not labeled like objects and de-humanized. In regards to Person-centered therapy and my profession, I want to be a strength and condition coach. I know certain methods will not work on some people and I will have to uniquely work with people. For instance, some players respond to yelling by increasing performance while it affects others negatively.
Strengths and Areas of Growth as a Future Counselor
If I were a counselor I feel that my methods would fall into the category of person-centered therapy. I would treat humans as humans. We are unique creatures and no one is the same. I would tailor my methods toward that person’s personality.my strength would be my willingness to listen. I am a very good listener and I process people’s feelings very well in order to come up with solutions to problems. My weakness would probably be my kindness. And sometimes I feel that I would become too flexible with my client allowing them to get away with too much. I think the reason it is like this is because I am very understanding and can sometimes be described as a “push over”.
What I Would Look for in a Counselor
The first characteristic of a good counselor in, my opinion is that they must have empathy toward their client. Empathy is an important characteristic to being an effective therapist. In order for me to open up to my counselor I must feel that they really understand what I am going through Clients come to therapy with of emotional and mental problems and being empathetic toward them would help with the treatment of these clients. These issues cause them to feel vulnerable, and if someone were to act like a prison guard toward their clients it would make them feel distant and uneasy toward their counselor. This is bad because the as a counselor you want to build a relationship with your client. This can easily be done by a counselor by saying they understand or just giving a simple head nod. The second characteristic of a good counselor is that they are observant. A good counselor can see red flags that show negative feelings in their client by listening to and observing their clients. Observant therapists can see if your behavior is reflecting negativity whether the client knows or not. Counselors do this by listening to the client’s voice and noticing their body language. Effective counselors also realize that clients know how to find their own solutions. Listening is a learned skill. Effective therapists are able to listen without interrupting and process the information that they have heard and understand where their client is coming from. If the counselor is effective then they have the ability to hear the client’s words but are also understand the meaning of what their client is telling them. The last thing I look for in a counselor is that they are organized and give the impression that they know what they are talking about when giving advice. If my counselor radiates confidence in what they are saying I would absorb there advice better because the confident they speak with would give me assurance in the counselor’s words. If a counselor is timid when talking it would give me the impression that they are not confident in what they are saying and I would not trust in the advice being given to me by them.