Individual Counseling Theories - Personal Reflection 

The treatment systems that I found most appealing and interesting in the BETA model were the ones that emphasized thought. In my personal view a client’s problems originate in the mind or in their thoughts. Clients are best helped when they are able to identify distorted thinking patterns. I agree with a portion of Adler’s views in that a person’s beliefs largely determine his behaviors and in his use of encouragement in therapy. I like the fact that the cognitive behavioral therapeutic approach is supported by research and is effective in working with families, adolescents, children, couples, groups, and individuals with depression and anxiety disorders. Again, this theory is appealing because of the cognitive focus. Helping clients capitalize on their existing strengths and resources to bring about meaningful change is the most appealing part of solution-focused therapy.

 In conclusion, I understand that as a clinician, my personality and worldview are important factors that will shape my choice of theoretical orientation. Finding an approach that is compatible with who I am and how I understand the process of helping people will enhance my effectiveness as a therapist and my enjoyment of my future work. I completed the questionnaire in the last chapter, Understanding Treatment Systems in our textbook to help me determine the theoretical approach that seems right for me. The questionnaire is a tool to explore and better understand one’s thoughts and preferences about counseling and psychotherapy.
The results of the questionnaire showed that my preferred theoretical orientation emphasizes thoughts. Cognitive therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy utilize these types of theories.

 The results of the assessment showed I would prefer strategies such as the ABCDE technique of REBT or visual imagery. I feel it is important to build a positive therapeutic alliance, but also take an active role in structuring sessions, planning treatment, and identifying dysfunctional thoughts. In my opinion, understanding and addressing a person’s environment and socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural background are important to understand a person’s worldview.

My second highest preferred orientation was theories that emphasize emotions. Person-centered theories that promote expression of feelings, build self-awareness, and self-confidence appeal to me. Problems and disorders I am most interested in treating include confusion about goals and direction, lack of meaning in life, and low self-esteem. I would prefer the duration of treatment to be relatively brief depending on the diagnosis or as long as needed to provide holistic treatment.

Counseling and psychotherapy are vital and exciting professions that help many people and provide a rewarding career to many clinicians. As clinicians, we do very important work that can make a great difference in the lives of individuals, groups, families, and even societies. Seligman (2006). I am looking forward to continuing my journey of exploration and growth into the counseling profession. Seligman, L. & Seligman, L. (2006). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: Systems, strategies, and skills. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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