- (5 points) Why, in your opinion, are people the way they are? Essentially, what is your view of human nature?
Personality is more than poise, charm, or physical appearance. It includes habits, attitudes, and all the physical, emotional, social, religious and moral aspects that a person possesses. However, to be more precise, the explicit behavioral styles covered in the course, perhaps, best captivate an individual’s personality and how he/she is understood. With the different behavioral styles, an overall pattern of various characteristics is seen.
Like a “psychograph,” a person’s profile is pulled together and at a glance, the individual can be compared with other people in terms of relative strengths and weaknesses (Corey 2005).
It is tempting to distinguish healthy adolescents from adolescents with mental illness problems. However, there is often a fine line between mental health and mental illness. It is important to understand that mental illnesses vary in their severity. For example, many adolescents suffered from various levels of anxiety or depression.
Others have suffered from serious mental disorders with biological origins. Education about the adolescents` mental illness is vital for those with mental health problems as well as for the adolescents` friends and family (Corey 2005).
2.(10 points) What is your theoretical orientation? Which one counseling theory fits best for you, if you had to choose only one, (please use BEHAVIOR THERAPY)? Provide details about what you like about the theory. Explain why this approach fits best for you.
This 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 2005). Although few psychologists today would regard themselves as strict behaviorists, behaviorism has been very influential in the development of psychology as a scientific discipline. There are different emphases within this discipline though. Some behaviorists contend plainly that the observation of behavior is the best or most expedient method of exploring psychological and cognitive processes.
Others consider that it is in reality the only way of examining such processes, while still others argue that behavior itself is the only appropriate subject of psychology, and that familiar psychological terms such as belief only refer to behavior. Albert Bandura’s social cognitive approach grew out of this movement. Bandura’s method emphasizes cognitive processes over and above observable behavior, concentrating on not only the influence of the person’s upbringing for example, but also “observation, imitation, and thought processes” (Corey 2005).
- (10 points) What are some additional theories that might also inform your theoretical orientation? Explain.
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. The relief from the symptoms from the primary problem or issue will inspire the client to imagine or think that change is not impossible after all. In this model, issues are dealt directly in a practical way.
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. Just as the cognitive–behavioral model also recognizes the concept of insight as well, this is only a matter of emphasis or focus. In behavioral/cognitive-behavioral therapies the focus is on the modification or control of behavior and insight usually becomes a tangential advantage.
Techniques include CBT through such strategy as cognitive restructuring and the current frequently used REBT for Rational Emotive-Behavior Therapy where irrational beliefs are eliminated by examining them in a rational manner (Corey 2005). Whereas in insight therapies the focus or emphasis is on the patient’s ability in understanding his/her issues basing on his inner conflicts, motives and fears.
- (5 points) What is the role of the therapist as you see it?
I aspire to be a therapist – counselor whose practice is characterized as empowering and collaborative. By empowering, I understand the limitations of my role and as such I am constrained at the same time to impart my best knowledge and efforts to enable my client/patient to understand him/herself, and lead the treatment to the point where he/she is able to stand on his/her own without my help anymore. Further, it means that I recognize the patient or client as a person who is not only complex, he/she is also is imbued with the nature that inherently can heal, grow and mature.
They contribute to the process, and their attitude towards the whole duration of the healing relationship is a crucial aspect to the attainment of their goals. The therapist then must remove by all means any barrier or obstruction to the achievement of goals especially when these come potentially from the therapist him/herself (that’s me). By collaborative, again because there are set limitations on my capacities, I recognize the availability and expertise of others in realms that I hardly know and that working with them, collaborating with them, gives my client more options, and provides him/her the best and comprehensive interventions that there is in the field.
A therapy that is beneficial looks beyond my set style and preferences of diagnosis and treatment; it is progressive and seeks to enhance the initial strategies that had been established and continually expands oneself by learning and researching. Most importantly, by collaboration, my client is the most significant “collaborator” and that notion should not be missed all throughout (Corey 2005).
The effectiveness of therapy in counselling is dependent substantially on two factors; namely, the patient’s cooperation, and the expertise of the therapist. Many experts in the field of Psychology have observed the significant contribution of the client to the over-all process. The individual’s perception of the therapist is extremely crucial to the ensuing treatment. Without the needed initial positive perception of the therapist on the part of the one seeking treatment, the whole process will not generate a desired momentum that would set the entire scheme in a strategic stance. Of course, the expertise of the therapist is another major factor – actually, the other half – but it’s a given to the whole package of treatment (Corey 2005).
- (5 points) What are the therapeutic goals that you believe are important? What are some of the central techniques that you might use?
The goal of the therapy is not just relief to the patient or client. Although an immediate relief is very helpful, this may not always be the case in most illnesses. The goal as mentioned in the preceding pages is to provide long-term reduction of the symptoms and the occurrence of the disease altogether if possible. The management then is not impossible but neither is this easy.
Specifically, the counselee or patient must want to heal or believe that there is going to be curative effects in the process. It presupposes that he/she must learn to trust the therapist in his/her capabilities as well in leading or facilitating the changes or modifications. It is very much essential that (in the perspective of a cognitive-behaviorist) that the client understands ownership to the deeds and choices in thought patterns he/she made are crucial to the recurring or occurring condition that s/he experiences (Corey 2005).
Moreover, the identification of specific treatments or interventions according to the diagnosed issue will be accommodated and implemented based on the chosen treatment modalities fit with the therapeutic approach utilized. It may be a single modality based on a single approach (e.g., learning principles and desensitization for a patient with specific phobias) or it maybe a combination of many modalities (CBT, Rogerian, Phenomenological, or Family systems) (Corey 2005).
Corey, G. (2005). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (7th edition).
Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole
Cite this essay
Theoretical Orientation Paper. (2017, Mar 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/theoretical-orientation-paper-essay