Palmer and Milner's Integrative Stress Counseling: A Humanistic Problem-Focused Approach is a book in a series on counseling that focuses on the integrative counseling technique. This technique seeks to employ many principles of stress counseling that seeks to help clients focus directly on solving the problems that are the cause of their stress. The approach also explores underlying thinking styles that have contributed to the stress and seeks to develop changes in the thinking patterns.
Earlier models of stress and coping are examined in an effort to illuminate their inadequacies and highlight the need for a more integrative approach. Examining these techniques gives rise to the integrative approach that is considered transactional in nature and depends upon an individual's coping resources. The integrative approach differs from an eclectic approach because it has a theoretical model as its basis.
Not all clients and counselors are perfect candidates for integrative counseling. A counselor must have a broad range of counseling skills and strategies for dealing with stress. Most importantly, the counselor must fully involve the client in the counseling process, treating it as both a teaching and a learning experience. The counselor must also acknowledge individual differences among clients.
The book is an excellent guide for counselors to implement an integrative approach to stress management. The authors have even included several templates for managing stress and keeping track of the stresses that affect the client on a regular basis. Overall a strong case is made for the use of integrative counseling to manage stress.
Review of Integrative Stress Counselling
The book Integrative Stress Counselling is the third book in a series on stress counseling. The entire series hopes to focus on the different approaches to stress counseling and management as well as applying research and theory to the different techniques. This book in particular, however, focuses only on the integrative stress counseling technique, which "helps clients to focus directly on solving or managing problems that are a cause of their distress" (Palmer and Milner 10). Approaching the problem in such a manner can also illuminate the underlying thinking styles that have contributed and exacerbated stress while also encouraging the subsequent changing of such styles and patterns. Overall this text provides a comprehensive overview of the technique and offers in-depth analysis of different techniques associated with integrative counseling and supplies the reader with several frameworks for confronting various stress-related problems.
The book begins by providing a conceptual model of stress and coping. Earlier models of stress that have been expounded upon for some time include the engineering or stimulus variable approach and the physiological or response variable approach (Palmer and Milner 3). These types of stress can be coped with either through interactive or transactional approaches (Palmer and Milner 4). Coping, in general, has three main properties including how the person thinks and behaves in a stressful situation, it is affected by the specific situation with which the individual is dealing, and it is independent of outcome (Palmer and Milner 4). The integrative model of stress and coping is transactional, since it depends upon how a person appraises a given situation and considers that individual's available coping resources (Palmer and Milner 5).
Integrative counseling is proposed due to the fact that there is an abundance of different types of therapies available in clinical psychology and a single theory is generally viewed as inadequate. An integrative approach combines the essential elements of many different approaches, including therapeutic rituals, effective experiencing, regulation of behavior, and many others (Palmer and Milner 15). This approach is often mistaken for an eclectic approach, though that often leads to a random borrowing of ideas that can ultimately be less helpful for the patient. Integrative counseling differs from an eclectic approach in that practitioners often have a core theoretical model as a basis for their counseling work (Palmer and Milner 15).
An integrative approach to counseling may not necessarily be implemented by every counselor, nor can it readily be applied to every client. The counselor must take five key elements into consideration before undertaking an integrative approach: the client's qualities, the counselor's qualities, the counselor's skills, the counseling relationship, and the nature of the chosen technique that will be applied (Palmer and Milner…