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I need help with my research paper on Applying Theories to a Client: Choose different theories/models?

Keyword(s) :    behaviors counseling


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There are a number of different counseling theories that mental health professionals can use when working with a client.  The choice of counseling theory is often a question of personal preference for the practitioner; most counselors or therapists are trained in a particular approach and default to that approach for most clients.  However, individual client needs can also dictate the type of counseling approach that a therapist chooses.  Some approaches are not suitable for use with some clients, while some different theories and approaches have great track records with certain types of clients.  Therefore, the first question to answer when choosing which theory to apply is: what problem is the client trying to address?

There are six main approaches to theories in counseling.  These approaches are further divided into over 300 different theories and approaches.  Most practitioners are not even familiar with all 300 approaches and it would be impossible to use all 300 in practice.  However, understanding the six basic categories is important.  These categories include humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytic, constructionist, and systemic.

The humanistic approach focuses on finding resources to help people find resources to address their problems.  Systemic theories can be similar to humanistic theories, as they focus on external social factors impact a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Cognitive theories focus on fixing thinking and helping improve people’s problem-solving skills.  Behavioral therapy addresses behaviors and the environment that supports behaviors and focuses on positively reinforcing desired behaviors and undesired behaviors with desired behaviors.  Psychoanalytic theories have a rear-facing focus and explore past events and relationships to determine how they are influencing present day behaviors or relationships. Constructionist theories look at how people interpret events rather than the events and effectuate change by helping people change their lenses.

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