Explore BrainMass

Theories of Counseling

Based on the book Theory and Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy 7th Edition written by Gerald Corey, write a 10-page integrative paper summarizing your reactions to the theories presented in the book. You will need to integrate the theories into a personal working theory/approach of your own.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.


Gerald Corey presents several theories of counseling and you are asked to summarize your reactions to the theories and then integrate the theories into a personal working theory/approach of your own. I located the book on Amazon, so the table of contents informed me of the theories to consider. However, I did not have access to the book, but used other sources to describe the basic tenets of the different theories of therapy presented by Corey in the book, which are common across different theorists and authors. However, please check with your text to be sure they come the same vantage point as Corey.

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect...

I. Introduction (about ¼ - ½ page; introduce topic; include a purpose statement: The purpose of this paper is to ...)

II. Personal Reactions to Counseling Theories (about 7.5 - 8 pages in total)

E.g. For this section, you might consider giving a brief overview of each theory (use headings for organization) and then present your reactions to the basic tenets. Or, you might decide to combine the overview and your responses to each. I prefer the first, but either method works.

a. Psychoanalytic Therapy (about ¾ - 1 page each)
b. Adlerian Therapy
c. Existential Therapy
d. Person-Centered Therapy
e. Gestalt Therapy
f. Reality Therapy
g. Behavioral Therapy
h. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
i. Feminist Therapy
j. Family Systems Therapy

III. Personal Working theory/approach (about 1 page)

IV. Conclusion (sum up main points) (about ¼- ½ page)

Let's look more closely at each section, looking at information and ideas for consideration for your final copy.

In the book, Theory and Practice of Counseling & Psychotherapy (7th Ed.), Corey discusses a number of Counseling Theories. Each theory has its own view of human nature, which influences the theory of human behavior and development and the related counseling techniques that lead to change. The purpose of this paper is to summarize your reactions to the theories presented in the book, as well as to integrate the theories into a personal working theory/approach of your own.

a. Psychoanalytic Therapy

What was your reaction to Freud's theory of development? He believes that human nature has evolved from animals and behaviors are biologically instinctual. Most behavioral motives and intentions are hidden, and thus unknown, in the unconscious. Human motivation is rooted in sexual instincts (id), which are biological, but can be monitored and kept under control by the ego and superego. Personality is made up of the id, ego and superego, with them beings at odds with one another.

Psychotherapy focuses on the unconscious and believes it influences human behavior. It is believed that a person is driven by aggressive and sexual impulses. It focuses mainly on the first six years of human life and how the events of this time period determine later personality. Repressed conflicts from childhood lead to personality problems later in life. Anxiety is a direct result of the repression of conflicts. Psychotherapist believes that the unconscious motives along with unresolved conflicts lead to maladapted behavior. They believe that to develop a normal personality, a person successful go through five psycho-sexual stages:

· Oral - Birth to 1 year: Sucking.
· Anal - 1 to 3 years: Holding and releasing urine and feces.
· Phallic - 3 to 6 years: Pleasure in genital stimulation.
· Latency - 6 to 11 years: Sexual instincts develop.
· Genital - Adolescence: Sexual impulses return.

Inadequate resolution of any of these stages lead to flawed personality development. The client with the therapist help will make repressed conflicts conscious, making the unconscious conscious. Making this conflict conscious to the client will help them in working through them, awareness. Psychotherapy is not useful in clients that are self-centered, impulsive, or severely psychotic. The therapist should have extensive training and expense. The therapist when working with minorities should focus on the client's family dynamics. Treatment will be long term. (1)

Although most do not agree with all the tenets of Freud's theory of human development, the introduction of the unconscious is beneficial in therapy, because clients do repress information that becomes clearer in "talk' therapy and related methods (free association). The defence mechanisms are also very helpful in therapy because many clients have not learned to be open and to communicate directly (lack of trust), but instead use defenses to protect the 'ego." (Self) In counseling or therapy, the therapist gets the client to free associate (talk about anything that comes to mind), while the therapist takes notes to make links and evaluate the information in terms of defenses, dreams, and so on.

Another useful concept is the notion of transference, which is common in some clients (depending on the presenting problems). For example, if the client is angry with her mother, she will direct those angry felling onto the therapist. The therapist helps the client work through the anger by taking the parental role. Other therapists might discuss transference instead (more cognitive-based) to help the client understand how it works and identify where she uses it.

Does this fit with your understanding of human nature, human behavior motivations and techniques that might lead to behavior change? Can you see the usefulness of the techniques (free association, where the clients just talks and talks about her or his problems as thoughts come to mind. It is to make the unconscious conscious, which is the goal of therapy and leads to a healthy personality) and some of the ideas? It is useful, but the therapist involvement often speeds up the process of moving towards goal setting (stage 2 of therapy) and action and termination (stage 3 of counseling). So, like Rogerian therapy, talk therapy is useful in the Stage 1 of therapy, building trust, problem definition, uncovering blind spots and the unconscious, however, for Stage 2 (goal setting and priorizing goals) and Stage 3 (evaluating ...

Solution Summary

This solution explores ten theories of counseling in some detail and how they might integrate into a personal working theory (approach) to helping.