Integration of different theories Employing the Behavioral, Cognitive-Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Existential, Humanistic, Family Systems, Gestalt and Client-Centered Eclectic stance primarily involves the incorporation of distinct concepts within a single framework. The important thing is that of flexibility and resiliency on one’s part when to apply or implement which of the theories in the context of his/her client. It starts with the identification of specific problems and especially the root causes.
When this is confidently achieved, the therapist is actually midway to attaining his/her goals which includes not only the relief of the symptoms that the sufferer is currently experiencing but especially the reduction of the occurrence if not altogether eliminated (Corey, 2004). THERAPIES -The Behavioral model utilizes what is termed as the learning theory posited by Skinner and Watson and the rest of the Behaviorism school. It assumes that the principles in learning i. e. , conditioning (Associative and Operant) are effective means to effect change in an individual.
Generally, the thrust of this theoretical perspective is focused on the symptoms that a person is experiencing. Just as many of the errors of the patterns of behavior come from learning from the environment, it is also assumed that an individual will be able to unlearn some if not all these by using the techniques as applied based on the learning principles. To a certain extent I believe that this still works: reinforcements are effective to some extent and in some or many people hence I am incorporating this stance separate or distinct from the Cognitive-Behavioral approach.
In behavior therapy therefore, thoughts, feelings and all those “malfunctioning” and unwanted manifestations revealed in one’s activities can be unlearned and the work of a behavior therapist. The basic concepts include “extinguishing” – utilized when maladaptive patterns are then weakened and removed and in their place habits that are healthy are established (developed and strengthened) in a series or progressive approach called “successive approximations.
When these (factors) are reinforced such as through rewards in intrinsic and extrinsic means, the potential of a more secure and steady change in behavior is developed and firmly established (Corey, 2004). – Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. In the cognitive approach alone, the therapist understands that a client or patient comes into the healing relationship and the former’s role is to change or modify the latter’s maladjusted or error-filled thinking patterns.
These patterns may include wishful thinking, unrealistic expectations, constant reliving and living in the past or even beyond the present and into the future, and overgeneralizing. These habits lead to confusion, frustration and eventual constant disappointment. This therapeutic approach stresses or accentuates the rational or logical and positive worldview: a viewpoint that takes into consideration that we are problem-solvers, have options in life and not that we are always left with no choice as many people think.
It also looks into the fact that because we do have options then there are many things that await someone who have had bad choices in the past, and therefore can look positively into the future. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy postulated primarily by Ellis and Beck “facilitates a collaborative relationship between the patient and therapist. ” With the idea that the counselor and patient together cooperate to attain a trusting relationship and agree which problems or issues need to come first in the course of the therapy.
For the Cognitive Behaviorist Therapist, the immediate and presenting problem that the client is suffering and complaining from takes precedence and must be addressed and focused in the treatment. There is instantaneous relief from the symptoms, and may be encouraged or spurred on to pursue in-depth treatment and reduction of the ailments where possible (Corey, 2004). – Psychoanalytic therapy. The Psychodynamic perspective is based on the work of Sigmund Freud. He created both a theory to explain personality and mental disorders, and the form of therapy known as psychoanalysis.
The psychodynamic approach assumes that all behavior and mental processes reflect constant and often unconscious struggles within the person. These usually involved conflicts between our need to satisfy basic biological instincts, for example, for food, sex or aggression, and the restrictions imposed by society. Not all of those who take a psychodynamic approach accept all of Freud’s original ideas, but most would view abnormal or problematic behavior as the result of a failure to resolve conflicts adequately.
Many of the disorders or mental illnesses recognized today without a doubt have their psychodynamic explanation aside from other viewpoints like that of the behaviourist, or the cognitivists. From simple childhood developmental diseases to Schizophrenia, there is a rationale that from Freud’s camp is able to explain (Corey, 2004). – The Existential approach, as put forward by Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Heidegger, Rollo May, and Frankl, believes that the individual’s potential may lie dormant but that it is there waiting to be ushered in time.
It recognizes that man is able to achieve great heights and that these are just waiting to be tapped not only by him/herself but that also when helped by a practitioner who is persuaded of this notion. It examines such major issues as free will and the challenges of exercising this free will, the issue of mortality, loneliness and in general, the meaning of life. The Therapy is effective when the practitioner works with elderly care and death and dying issues. It focuses on the individual needs but takes into consideration the significant relationships and the meanings they bring into the person’s life.
Transcending the issues and problems are primary intentions of the therapist at the same time being realistic that certain limitations do exist and may hinder the process of recovery (Rubinstein et al. , 2007; Corey, 2004). -Humanistic therapy. Allport, Bugental, Buhler, Maslow Rollo May, Murphy, Murray, Fritz Perls and Rogers are those that helped usher in the Humanistic theory and consequent therapy. It holds in view the individual as possessing the options or freedom to choose, creativity, and the capability to attain a state where he/she is more aware, freer, responsible and worthy of trust.
Because the human mind has immense potential, the approach assesses as well that forces from the environment bear on with the individual and depending on the interplay that occurs within the individual person, the result will either be destructive or constructive to the person. In sum, humanism takes into the perspective that essentially humans are good and not evil, and that the therapy facilitates by harnessing on the human potential through the development of interpersonal skills.
This results to an enhanced quality life and the individual becomes an asset rather than a liability to the society where he revolves in (Corey, 2004). – Family-Systems therapy. This theoretical viewpoint has been the by-product of the works of Bateson, Minuchin, Bowen, Ackerman and many others. Usually done in pairs or by a team of practitioners, family systems therapy has its roots in behavioral and psychoanalytic principles. This model understands that the family is a unit and its members or any of its members with an issue or a problem must be addressed in the context of the family as a unit.
It puts its emphasis on the relationships among the family members, their patterns of communication more than their individual traits and/or symptoms. The systems theory portion of the therapy indicates that whatever is occurring or happening is not isolated but is a working part of a bigger context. In the family systems approach then, no individual person can be understood when removed from his relationships whether in the present or past, and this is specially focused on the family he belongs to (Corey, 2004). Reference: Corey, Gerald (2004). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Thomson Learning, USA.
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