Theories in Counseling and Therapy

It also deals with the significance of early experiences and family constellations in the life of an individual. The Gestalt approach emphasizes the improvement of the whole rather than enhancing separate parts of the individual to help people cope with their problems. Similarly, it aims at incorporating feelings, cognitions, beliefs, and perceptions and past, present and future occurrences to facilitate in developing self-awareness and desired life needs.Counseling is a commonly used expression, but it usually means different things to different people. Generally, counseling is explained as encompassing a counseling relationship in which an expert interacts with a person or group of people who are looking for help in dealing with problems and making changes in their lives (Corey, 2000).A number of theories usually direct the process of counseling, assisting in the understanding of behavior and designing of intervention programs that hold promise for achieving the desired outcomes. Theories vary based on numerous aspects. A few need the active participation of the therapist, while others place more responsibility on the client. A few emphasize on transforming cognitive activity, while others emphasize observable behavior or inner feelings. Theories also differ in where they think most of the action occurs: the present, the past or the future (Sharf, 1999).Within counseling, psychoanalytically and psychodynamically based interventions are illustrious due to focus on the significance of early experience and the role of unconscious mental functioning. In the psychoanalytical approach, individuals are mainly determined by early experiences and unconscious forces and conflicts are fundamental in the existing behavior. According to the psychoanalytic perspective, illogical forces are powerful and the individual is motivated by sexual and aggressive impulses.

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