Family Counseling Approach Research Paper

Family Counseling Approach Research PaperLiberty University Abstract Family counseling is a concept that is aimed at relating with couples as well as families who are in relationships considered as intimate. This helps to foster and facilitate development changes as it gives viewpoints of transformation as a way of relations among members of a family. Family counseling has a mission for all relationships in a family setting to be healthy psychologically he or she must have good family relationships. This is also referred to as family therapy (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).

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The way in which family counseling is conducted has its roots from a rather theoretical approach which brings out a common position regarding the practice and theory of counseling. However for this reason there exist several important roles of therapy in counseling that consists of various dissimilar approaches. In a particular theory, the different viewpoints have a similar foundation based on the fact that they share particular fundamental characteristics which differentiate from the outlooks in other dissimilar theories (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). The humanistic theory, psychodynamic theory and cognitive behavior related theory are the three most common theories known to have the most impact on a family in counseling. Amongst these three theories this paper will explore and explain family counseling approach of the Psychoanalytic therapy and its approach (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).

This paper will also explain five commonly used family therapy theories which are strategic, systematic, intergenerational, structural, and experiential. This will paper also give biblical views to the psychodynamic theory and its biblical approach (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Family Counseling Approach One major approach of family therapy is that of the psychoanalytic family therapy. This view point argues that there exists both subjective and objective interdependence among people who are deemed to be a family. The objective interdependence occurs as a result of the hierarchy generation among generations and the division of labor within the involved subjects (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). This approach was born as a result of various studies that were conducted. At some time, there arose some difficulties in relation to handling the health of the well-being of certain patients and this made therapists take concern on these specific families, in which was seen as pathogenic. However, for those families the patients examinations were carried out and the precise modes of the functionality of the findings was observed and highlighted. Researchers therefore carried out some studies in order to illustrate the type of communication present among members of the family (Stierlin, Helm, 1977).

This information retrieved from researchers was found to be very helpful in further studies it was used in system family psychoanalysis. However the studies on groupings were carried out in a field of psycho sociology and from a psychoanalytic stand point it anticipated new thoughts, for instance it explored the grouping mentality, inter-fantasizing, and the grouping conveyance (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). Psychoanalysts used a group of families that comprise of members with a similar life they used families from the past and present life for these experimental purposes. Scholar Freud recommended the conception of telepathic apparatus to give an explanation for the being of psychological aspects related with this apparatuss capacity to allocate and change telepathic power (Papp Shirk, 1994). Making use of this apparatus, Ren faked the model of grouping psychic apparatus, which he describes as an efficacious and intermediary fiction which is on the outlook for becoming an actual building of a solid group (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). Based on this, therapists in the family line conceptualized a family unit grouping intellectual equipment that started off archaically in the persons intuitive and the extrasensory details of the Trans generational custom (Stierlin, Helm, 1977).

Due to this combination, there was creation of an insensible psychic origin, universal to family members who comprised of the group. This induced a sense of belonging experience which came with a sensation of familiarity (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). Desires of individuals were reflected on the line of psychic this however was where they got their content from. The FPA, family psychic apparatus is a contradictory co-construction created from the basics of inner group sensation of every member of the family, in addition to rudiments of a universal psyche as well as of the societal group. FPA as a class entails the sexual character of the tasks dynamic in family relationships (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). In psychoanalysis, this intuitive association of the family collection was taken in around the outline projected by the therapist. The psychoanalyst makes certain psychic safety, permitting the employment of the remedial procedure during the open expression necessary for the steadiness of temporary situations, the verity that the period of the treatment is not known prior, and the rule of self-restraint (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). In their interpretation and involvement psychoanalysts focused particularly on a family group, this part was based on the transfer/counter-transfer.

However, family psychotherapy calls for preface effort to permit the family grouping to agree to this extraordinary state of affairs. Maurice Berger according to Stierlin Helm, (1977) came up with a new theoretic-clinical part, in which suggestion to the collection of people and to psychiatric therapy was set aside (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). Berger studied the Winnicotian models, and came up with the assumption that the structure of the model was not known in advance by the psychoanalysts, although it had to been created in the company of the family, however at that time his opinion of therapy was denied and avoided (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). The teaching of family psychoanalysts needs a private psychoanalysis, although it is essential to enclose psychoanalytical understanding with associates of an individuals own relations but it is still free to deliberate (Stierlin, Helm, 1977). Family therapy supplies an objective production of the main conceptual underpinnings and medical actions being practiced in the field. When modern and traditional approaches to family counseling are presented together with techniques and perspectives, relevant and useful content emerges that helps those in this specific field.

These techniques and perspectives also work as a guide for students taking this study to become better family therapists (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).A theory is described as putting together verified observed occurrences into various fundamental principles. These are measure of how effective a theory is when it produces confirmed forecasts in the occasion when appropriate experimental data is composed (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). According to Goldenberg Goldenberg (2013) there are many times in the field of counseling that a theory receives either certification or confirmation as an indicator of its accuracy of how it actualities and strengthens the families circle. In the context of family counseling, the family therapy and counseling serves the purposes of creating research, creating languages as well as making a theoretical frame work (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Therapists must make good just decisions on how to perceive and understand the clients that their counseling, this must be done in a manner in which a counselor knows how to handle clients needs as wellas how to answer them on a step to step basis during therapy and during their counseling  sessions (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Theories offer counselors ideas that permit them to think analytically on issues of human growth and healing progression.

Therapy and counseling theories may be observed as having four chief scopes where they too can be adequately acknowledged. These dimensions include the assumption used by the theory, a justification of the attainment of unhelpful and obliging behavior, a justification of how to maintain the identified behavior and a justification on how to aid the clients to transform their behavior and merge their achievements at the end of counseling session (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). The most commonly used family therapy theories are strategic, systematic, intergenerational, structural, and experiential. Systematic family counseling theory has the basic viewpoint as a family should cooperate and work communally taking the problems faced by an individual as a problem to the entire family (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). It is for this reason that therapists depending on this theory ensure that members of a family constantly interact among themselves as this helps in developing the types of relations present in the family as well as how every member identify the others (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).

After observing the interaction, the therapists then need bring in character to role and demonstrate to clients and member of how to deal with various problems in different ways. When the family members get to perform such actions blame game is avoided and they are in a position to experience life in a family setting together (Guttman, 1991). Structural family therapy theories employ connections and watching of kins structures to establish on the tribulations that call for special attention and change. The counselor turns out to be straightforwardly involved and may possibly operate as a member of the family in order to aid in performing communication (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Analysis of family communication is required to recognize crisis areas and generate a way out to permit the family entity to keep away from misapprehension and oral barriers. A number of key techniques applied in this family psychoanalysis practice are reframing, distortment, reorganization, and acting out (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Experiential therapy puts some emphasis on discharging sincere feelings, talking about the present, and satisfying ones tasks.

This works a great deal in avoiding the blame game as well as reducing chances of emotional problems which are known to cause stress at home. There are many supplementary family therapy suppositions, and clients can go through more than one prior to getting a therapy that works for the family unit (Napier, Whitaker, 1978). Broad studies have been conducted on nearly all of these theories, and clients should delve into curriculums to settle on which one may well be most appropriate for their exact family issues (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). Strategic therapy is regularly applied in order to handle an individuals problems by using the members of his or her family. Counselors who employ strategic family therapy theories are concerned in the interpersonal skills, background of the family, in addition to association dynamics. A number of methods entail scheming a genogram, this in which permits the clients and the counselors to build a family hierarchy (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013). When counselors are trying to establish the cause of particular problem, knowing information of the extended family as well as immediate relations can work a great deal during the counseling process (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).

Similar to strategic therapy, intergenerational family psychotherapy theories are also based on a transfer process in which feelings, stress, and conducts are transmitted from age group to age group, from the above theories, the theory of choice is the experiential therapy that stresses on actualization, growth, choice, self-determination and freedom. It is different with the other theories that this one describes that once various methods are applied, they occur from the counselors perceptive and impulsive reaction to the existing situations then and are made in a way that boosts the awareness of the patients of the potential they possess as well as open ways of relatives relations (Napier, Whitaker, 1978). On the other hand, its similarity with the other theories emphasizes on the importance of closeness between the counselor and client to achieve better results. Nearly all theories pinpoint this as the whole process of family counseling is an interactive session (Napier, Whitaker, 1978). There is a theory that I thought stood out amongst the rest, intergenerational family counseling theory, there is truly a way in which behavior, anxiety and emotions can be transmitted from one generation to another (Napier, Whitaker, 1978). In the past this had not occurred to me that definitely this could happen but now with the knowledge of the intergenerational theory, it has certainly occurred to me that if these theories are applied correctly they can be used in my future counseling career (Goldenberg Goldenberg, 2013).

Before changing specifically into how I would integrate my faith in family counseling approach, it is fundamental to appreciate how religion and spiritual ethics have appeared to be integrated into psychoanalysis in the recent times (Hathaway, 2005). A certain association concerned in this practice is the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, which is a part of the American Counseling Association. This was created out of an amalgamation of several organizations, which had a common need of wanting to handle topics and questions of the ways in which counseling integrates religion (Miranti, 2010). In general, ASERVICs function is to guide the counselors already in the field and teach them to integrate ethical, religious and spiritual principles into their operations. My faith is Christianity and therefore in this section, I will give my views on the Christian perspective to family counseling. In this study my faith in God is developing as an ever-changing way to a positive life, as well as a optimistically oriented concentration directing to anothers own troubled life, The Christian family counselor is an individual who is based in the biblical ethical structure, and who tries to help other people, in their aspirations, in efforts of restructuring their family according to the framework (Hagedorn, 2005).

This kind or restructuring will entail pinpointing the issues not resolved from the original family and coming up with ways to deal with them by evaluating patterns among generations and handling the bondages in generations, assisting in the cognitive reorganization of the unreasonable thinking trends of the family (Hagedorn, 2005). I believe that God is real and he can do anything but fail, there is people in this world that is only for self, money and evil, They come in all shapes and sizes and these people reside in every profession that we can think of. During these last eight weeks I have learned a lot about many different theories of counseling, I have learned about their approaches there meanings and how they was intergraded, but however, until this paper I never learned how God was intergraded into these theories or what purpose did he serve in making these theorist successful intergrading these theories. I feel that the students need the biblical views as well as the knowledge of these theories in this class. Sometimes just to know that God and that Godly people are there means a whole lot to a person that has been through hell and high water. I have learned that Counseling and Psychology from a Christian stand point deals with the core and the nature of man.

We as counselors need to be aware that struggle of our clients is real in this profession it is not about us. it is about our clients and their families. This is why God is very much needed in this profession. When we are counseling our clients the methodology must be consistent with a theological interpretation of man and mans social context. God cannot and will not allow us as counselors to choose goals or methods to achieve certain goals that will violate the Biblical principles of his holy words (Hagedorn, 2005). In addition, I will make an effort to apply the patient identified theory as well as include the entire family in which the client comes from to make client session a success. My biblical view of this approach is that psychoanalysts family is seen as an entity to God and is grounded on togetherness because what affects one individual, affects the whole family (Richards, Bergin, 2005). The entire family in this case may not specifically refer to only the nuclear family but also to the extended family as well. This viewpoint coincides with my faith, As a Christian we are taught to take care of one another and more so love your neighbor as love yourself. When conducting therapy and counseling family members with problems, I feel that there it is a Godly way of extending the love and care for one another.

Also, when carrying out the therapy, I aim at ensuring that the problems of my clients are well handled and to the best of my ability the problem is in remission to be solved. I believe that there is a Christian way of handling issues as it signifies keeping an eye on our Godly brothers and sisters. Research has verified that a well-built Christian belief assists lots of believers to courageously handle the difficulties of life. It is for this reason that I believe that incorporating Christian faith in counseling sessions is helpful to clients and there immediate families. In my approach, I plan to be fair firm and consistent with all my clients, this comes of the spirit, soul, body, and the eight main conditions, and the supernatural supremacy of God are all incorporated. First, listening to the particular patient and family members is the key for the purposes of initial assessment. I would then begin Genogram and come up with a therapy and diagnosis plan (Hagedorn, 2005). On a Christian perceptive, the plan should be made in consultation with the parties involved who in this case include family members and the identified patient. According to my Christian faith a family is a unit made up of husband, wife and their children, either their own or adopted ones.

Other than the nuclear family, the Bible also recognizes the extended family that is comprised of relatives who are related either by marriage or by blood (Hagedorn, 2005). It is evident that when God asked Cain where his brother Abel was he responded by asking whether he was his brothers keeper. This implies that God wants us to be our brothers keeper. That is why I would incorporate this in the counseling sessions by involving all family members while handling the problems of one of them. I would then do a complete genogram for the patient and then come up with a listing of the sufferings of the patient (Hagedorn, 2005). During my session, I would ensure my client that he or she will get to learn me, and feel that he or she can trust me as well. According to Christian faith, is good to help a person improve their life. By identifying the problems, this will work a great deal in knowing exactly what is bothering the patient. From a systemic viewpoint, the relatives and therapists must identify and bear in mind that the relatives, the entire, is superior to the character parts (Gold, 2010). While applying this approach, I would integrate my Christian faith by understanding and focusing on some three critical factors.

These include rules, roles and relationships (Kostenberger, Johns, 2004). By concentrating on the connection among the family members, I would not only be seeking to help the communication among them and acknowledgment of one anothers opinions and mind-sets, but also intending to establish a room where advancement can more easily be realized. After this, I would conduct a session of acceptance or what is known as assertiveness training. Then, lasting solutions will be provided of the various pinpointed problems. If for instance the problems of the patient include addiction, anxiety, depression and guilt and shame, I would give a lasting solution for each. In depression, I would ensure that the client will not only stop experiencing pain and incidences of hopelessness but also will experience happiness which is the lasting solution (Richards, Bergin, 2005). For shame and guilt, the patient will not only learn to grant forgiveness to them but will also gain knowledge of how to forgive others for future purposes. In anxiety, I will not only calm the patient down but also ensure that he or she acquires a peace of mind thereafter. For addition which is affecting most people nowadays, the patient will not only get sober but will also become as whole. While handling the patient, I would consider at Thrive that he or she is not a disorder but a person (Grimm, 1994). The Christian faith teaches that we are beautiful and acceptable to the eyes of the Beholder and that serve to God is like service to man.

It is for this reason that the approach in use does not view patients as a set of symptoms or just a chance to make money but it views the client like any other human being. Lastly, the morals of love and forgiveness, which are fundamental standards of Christianity, are fundamental to the family counseling. This means love of the family members to the affected individual in all manner of ways (Hagedorn, 2005). I would there apply that by ensuring that the relatives of the affected party get to understand the importance of loving that individual and not discriminating him or her. By doing this, he or she feels accepted to the world at large. As for forgiveness, as earlier mentioned the individual should be taught to forgive themselves and the relatives should learn to forgive the identified individual in situations where he or she may have done a wrong to either of them. These Christian values can therefore be integrated in family counseling approach. As for the integration section above, one conclusion that can be drawn is that it is possible for one to integrate Christian faith values and principles while using the various counseling approaches.

Conclusion In conclusion I have learned that this study focused on the selected approach of psychoanalyst and experiential therapy theory although the results of this integration section can be used to examine other approaches and theories as well. However, therapists and counselors worldwide should consider integrating their faith/religion while handling patients and their families. This is important as it helps those in the counseling area of expertise serve the patients better and professionally to make them better than they were before.


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Counseling and Values, 38, 165-175. Guttman, H.A. (1991). Systems Theory. Cybernetics and Epistemology. Hagedorn, W. B. (2005). Counselor self-awareness and self-exploration of religious and Spiritual beliefs know thyself. Hathaway, W.L. (2005, August). Preliminary practice guidelines for religious/spiritual issues. Kostenberger, A. J., Johns, D. W. (2004). God, marriage, and family Rebuilding the biblical foundation. Miranti, J. G. (2010). Historical Development of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC). Napier, A., Whitaker, A. (1978). The family crucible The intense experience of family therapy. Papp, P., Shirk, S. R. (1994). The process of change. New York, NY Guilford Press. Stierlin, Helm. (1977). Psychoanalysis and family therapy. New York Jason Aronson. Richards, P. S., Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2nd Ed.). Washington DC American Psychological Association.

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Family Counseling Approach Research Paper. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

Family Counseling Approach Research Paper

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