Counseling for Resilience Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Harry James Potter was born in 1980, the son of James and Lily Potter. Both of Harry's parents died when Harry was an infant. The murder of his parents literally left Harry Potter scarred for life: his lightening bolt-shaped scar is one of his most distinguishing physical features. The orphaned Harry was forced to live with a distant family relative. The relatives are Muggles, and culturally distinct from Harry, who is part wizard.

Harry Potter studies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is aware that the Dark Lord Voldemort wants to kill him. However, Harry is about to face a serious crisis that will call into question his psychological resilience. The Ministry of Magic has undertaken a massive and coordinated attempt to undermine Harry's credibility. The Ministry's goal is sabotage of Harry's reputation, and his entire career as a wizard. Underlying the motivation of the Ministry of Magic is the Dark Lord Voldemort himself.

Theories and Challenges

1. Trait Theory. Trait theory suggests that Harry Potter may or may not possess the innate psychological tools that would enhance his ability to cope with the crisis. Using trait theory, it is suggested that the adolescent Harry Potter will not experience sufficient positive emotions during this troubling time.

2. Social Cognitive Theory. Social cognitive theory suggests that Harry Potter may not have had sufficient role models to model his behavior during the crisis, because both his parents died.

3. Psychoanalytic Theory. Psychoanalytic theory looks to Harry's childhood, his repressed emotions related to the death of his parents, and his repressed sexual urges when predicting his response to the crisis. The concept of death wish might
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also be implicated in this situation.

4. Phenomenological Theory. Phenomenological theory draws attention to the more existential issues at stake, which are especially important because Potter operates between the supernatural and natural worlds.

5. Social/Cultural Research. Social and cultural research shows how Harry's half-wizard ethnicity, and his being raised by Muggles but surrounded by wizards at school, impacts his ability to cope.

Approaches to Therapy

Prior to the onset of the crisis, I would recommend a plan of action that includes multiple modes of therapeutic intervention. Because Harry is offered a total of six fifty-minute sessions, it will be possible to incorporate all five of the aforementioned psychological theories when working with Harry Potter prior to his crisis. Trait theory will be used in conjunction with the other theories, because there is no one therapeutic method indicated in accordance with trait theory. However, trait theory does give rise to a battery of self-assessments and therapist-driven assessments. These assessments can be used during the first session with Harry Potter. It is recommended that the assessments cover issues related to psychological resilience. However, the first test given to Harry could be based on the five-factor model, which can reveal Harry's personality based on extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness (Cherry). Chapter 13 in the text also points out that ego resilience can be easily measured using assessments.

The second session will ideally use social cognitive theory, and a series of observations of Harry in his natural surroundings at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The counselors at Hogwart's may be asked to participate, in order to observe Harry for the purposes of assessing his social functioning. Social cognitive theory stresses the importance of social interactions as formulating moral choices and responses to stressful events. "Evaluating…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cherry, Kendra. "Trait Theory of Personality." Retrieved online:

"Resilience: An Integrative Mini-Chapter," Chapter 13 in Marianne Miserandino's Personality Psychology: Foundations and Findings (Boston: Pearson, 2012, pp. 373-392).

"Social Cognitive Theory." Retrieved online:

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