Counseling Can Take Many Forms, Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Ronan must feel welcome and accepted in this setting in order for constructive growth to occur. For this reason, the therapist goes to great lengths to establish a positive rapport with him. This encompasses mutual planning and goal setting. Both determine that behavior shaping is the most feasible and compatible technique to implement. This requires social support, and Ronan finds both his girlfriend and parents equally eager to assist him in his therapy. What's more, his covert receptiveness to treatment enhances therapeutic attempts.

Since success is largely contingent upon the support of family and friends, the therapist encourages Ronan to enlist the aid of his girlfriend and parents. This means engaging their help with specific techniques. All parties are asked to chart the undesired behavior so as to create a more accurate description of the predicament. Then, positive reinforcement should immediately follow the performance of the targeted behavior, in this case non-aggressive responses to stressful stimuli. Positive reinforcement can take many forms but is most effective if it is of value to the patient. Ronan states that he feels best when Rhiannon showers him with attention. Therefore, verbal praise, hugs, smiles, and kisses serve as potent positive reinforcements. Ronan is a reflective and honest person and is capable of implementing self-monitoring. This provides him with
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yet another measure of success, especially when his family and friends are not present.

Over the course of therapy, counselor and patient can monitor progress using objective measures. This provides crucial information for both parties as a stalemate indicates the need for alternative techniques. However, Ronan finds his aggressive tendencies diminishing and are being replaced by more productive methods of handling stressful situations. The active participation of his girlfriend and parents has created more candid, accepting, and intimate relationships. At the therapist's prompting, Ronan became involved in sports and leisure activities, which logically reduce stress. After three months of therapy, Ronan has objective information that highlights his progress, namely less aggressive behaviors; in addition, he feels more in tune with and capable of directing his actions. Although he continues to smoke, it is a lighter habit and he is confident that with continued behavior modification therapy, he will be able to drop it altogether.

To summarize, the world of psychological therapy is rich with diverse techniques and perspectives. Psychoanalysis is more time consuming than behavior modification but it probes more deeply into the intricacies of its patients. However, some argue that behavior modification quickly produces tangible outcomes that compel patients to continue. The debate continues to rage over which therapeutic approach best serves humanity. Ultimately, the decision rests upon how effective and efficient its services are for a particular patient at a specific moment.

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