Discuss The Three Main Counselling Theories

2061 words - 9 pages

Marc Dalal: Theory Essay Page 01


In this essay I will; describe key elements of psychodynamic theory, describe key elements of person-centered theory, describe key elements of cognitive-behavioral theory and identify the key differences between the above theories. Lastly I will conclude with my findings.

Unit 2.1.1 describe the key elements of psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory underpins a style of counselling based on the ideas of Freud. Freud believed what happens during childhood continues to affect us in the present. The effect of our childhood is stored in our unconscious. Recovery of this unconscious material is essential to the psychodynamic process. The ...view middle of the document...

The unearthing of unconscious material allows this material to be sifted through resulting in self-knowledge. This model of therapy has its roots in scientific theory, applied to the illogical, constantly changing unconscious.

Transference is an important tool used by psychodynamic therapists. Transference is the experiencing of the present through the eyes of the past. Transferred attitudes may come from the distant past such as childhood or more recent events. Emotions and ideas from our childhood are thought to be established through interaction with our primary caregivers. Freud believed these early patterns influence our current relationships. By examining a client’s transference in the counselling process a counsellor can treat deeper issues.

The emotions of transference can be both positive as well as negative. If transference is positive the client may think things are fine when they’re not, if negative the client may be discouraged. The performance of the counsellor will
Marc Dalal: Theory Essay Page 02

be clouded by either positive or negative transference, triggered by the client. Transference on the part of the councilor is known as “counter transference”. Transference makes the client counsellor, and in fact any, relationship complicated. According to Michael Jacobs (Psychodynamic Counselling in Action, Sage 1999, Page122) in regard to relationships “There is a combination of realistic perception of others, together with exaggerated and distorted images of them, based on the legacy of earlier relationships.”

Unit 2.1.2 Describe the key elements of person centered theory

Carl Rogers developed person–centered counselling. Rogers believed that people had an innate ability to develop. This capacity for development was known as self-actualization. With the help of a counsellor and the establishment of the correct conditions a person can grow.

Rogers identified three core conditions that facilitate human growth. First is empathy, the ability to make a connection to another person. Empathy, distinct from sympathy, creates a bond between people that supports a deeper relationship. Second is congruence, which has also been referred to as genuineness, or authenticity: The idea that both the councilor and client are free to be themselves. Unconditional positive regard is the maintenance of a non-judgmental attitude toward the client, that is positive. This non-critical stance is to lower the clients defenses and reduce isolation. According to Mearns & Thorne (Person Centered Counselling, Sage 2007, page 98) “Unconditional positive regard breaks into this cycle . . . and instead offers the client consistent acceptance of his intrinsic worth.”

Carl Rodgers referred to unconditional positive regard as prizing. Prizing begins as an external event, the counsellor “prizing” their client, in anticipation that the process will be adopted by the client. Clients learn to place value on themselves through the counsellors UPR. This...

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