Throughout my experience my current course, Theories and Practices: Human Services in Criminal Justice, I have learned plenty of information about the various theories of psychotherapy in counseling. Some of these theories operate on the basis of recognizing errors in thinking and correcting those errors. Other theories operate on the basis of multiculturalism and the fact that all clients are unique and deserve to be treated as such. As a result of learning from my readings and of my discussions with class mates, I was able to create my own intervention theory for counseling. Explanation of Theory and why I believe in it
Any student in a human service course should be able to develop his or her own intervention theory by the time the course ends. My personal theory will involve both cognitive and multicultural approaches to therapy. Cognitive approaches to therapy operate on the assumption that by correcting the clients’ faulty beliefs, they can learn to behave more appropriately, how to think differently, and how to act on these learnings (Jones-Smith, 2012). On the other hand, Multicultural approaches to therapy suggest that counseling theories represent various views of the world with their own values, biases, and assumptions about human behavior, and that all clients are unique in some way and that their individual differences must be both accepted and respected (Jones-Smith, 2012).
I believe in combining these approaches to therapy for my theory for a few reasons. First, I have always thought that offenders within the criminal justice system need to recognize their errors in thinking before they will be able to change their behaviors to be in accordance with the law. Plus, as a future employee of the criminal justice system who will most likely be working in human services, I need to be able to work with clients from various cultural backgrounds and to accept and recognized their differences. Combining these two theories is the best way for me to be able to help all of my future potential clients in the best way possible.
Theories and Theorists I Relate the Most to and why
After reading all of the material for this course, I found that I relate to a few of the theories and theorist better than I do others. For instance, I found that I can relate to Albert Ellis and his Rational Emotive Behavior Theory or REBT. One of the reasons that I can relate to this theory and theorist is because it is a cognitive approach to therapy, which I think is very important for offenders to take part in for the best chances of living a crime-free life. Plus, REBT is based on the belief that people are born with a potential for irrational or rational thinking (Jones-Smith, 2012). In addition, REBT maintains that people are born constructivists and have a great deal of resources for human growth (Jones-Smith, 2012). I have always made these assumptions about people, which is also why I can relate to this theory.
I can also relate to Ho’s theory of internalized culture, which suggests that the formations of our worldviews are influenced by eternalized culture (Jones-Smith, 2012). In addition, the theory suggests that effective multicultural counseling is based on the counselor’s ability to go beyond the boundaries and limitations of his or her personal culture (Jones-Smith, 2012). I can relate to this because I think that it is necessary to be able to look past my personal beliefs and experiences to be able to help a wide range of clients. Relating to these theories and theorists has helped me to develop my own personal intervention theory that I will be able to use in my future career.
What Surprised me most about the Theories and why
Some of the theories and concepts from this course took me by surprise. For instance, it took me by surprise that there are theories and theorists created specifically for feminist and the LGBT communities. Although I realize that all types of people have issues that they need to address in therapy, I never thought that specific therapeutic techniques were developed for feminist and LGBT communities. However, it does make sense that the LGBT community would have certain issues that other people may not have to face. In addition, I was a bit surprised at the variety of theories and approaches that are used for Asians, Muslims, and Arabs.
What surprised me about these theories is that they were very different from many of the theories generally used by our culture. In addition, I did not fully understand how the differences in these cultures played such a large role in how to approach these populations with therapy. However, I did find them interesting, and considered many of the concepts for use in my personal intervention theory. Even though these theories took me by surprise, I recognize their importance in psychotherapy approaches to counseling.
All of the theories of psychotherapy discussed in this course are effective for specific people with specific needs. Despite the fact that some of the theories were surprising, they all have merit and can be effective with the right client. Even though I recognize the importance of all of the theories and theorists, I was able to relate to some more than others. After relating to certain theories and theorists, I was able to develop my own personal intervention theory based on cognitive and multicultural approaches to therapy. My personal intervention theory, along with the rest of the theories and concepts discussed in this course will guide me along my journey of employment as a juvenile probation officer in the future.
Jones-Smith, E. (2012). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: An Integrative Approach. Sage Publications.