Ch 4: Theoretical Approaches in Counseling

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about rational emotive behavior therapy, psychoanalytic theory, transactional analysis and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these counseling topics.

Theoretical Approaches in Counseling - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

A counselor's practice can be informed by a wide range of theoretical approaches. Instructors in this chapter outline the goals, uniqueness and limitations of several theories and their resulting therapeutic techniques. They also briefly discuss counselors' roles in each approach. This chapter is designed to teach you:

  • Significant figures in the development of counseling theory
  • Techniques used in psychoanalytic therapy
  • Similarities between cognitive and behavioral theories
  • Characteristics of humanistic approaches to counseling

Video Objective
The Importance of Counseling Theory and Models Discusses the importance of counseling theories and explains how the theoretical orientation of counselors affects their practice.
Wellness vs. Pathology in Theoretical Models Provides an overview of the wellness and pathology theoretical models. Examine some of their drawbacks.
Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts, Motivation, Personality & Development Introduces Sigmund Freud and classic psychoanalytic theory. Explains his view of human nature by introducing the id, ego and superego, as well as developmental stages and defense mechanisms.
Assessing the Psychodynamic Model: Strengths and Weaknesses Outlines the goals of psychoanalytic therapy and explores the theory's limitations and defining traits.
Psychoanalytic Therapy: Free Association, Dream Analysis and Transference & Resistance Describes the counselor's role in implementing such techniques as free association, dream analysis and the analysis of transference and resistance.
Alfred Adler's Theories: Lesson & Quiz Introduces Alfred Adler, his theory of individual psychology and his social interest view of human nature.
Birth Order and the Inferiority Complex According to Adler Discusses the concept of the inferiority complex and the importance of birth order in Adler's theory.
Behavioral Theory in Counseling: Techniques & Goals Describes B.F. Skinner's behavioral view of human nature. Explains the stimulus-response model, applied behavior analysis and social-cognitive theory.
Behavioral Approaches in Therapy Illustrates the use of operant conditioning techniques to change unwanted behaviors.
Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies Introduces Aaron Beck, discusses common aspects of cognitive counseling and explains the development of cognitive-behavioral theory. Describes the process of cognitive restructuring, including thought stopping.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): Definition & Techniques Explains Albert Ellis' creation of RET and the subsequent development of REBT as cognitive techniques merged with behaviorism.
Reality Therapy: Techniques, Goals & Limitations Explores William Glasser's reality therapy and elaborates on the common aspects of this approach, including the growth force and rejection of unconscious forces.
Transactional Analysis Therapy and the Role of the Counselor Outlines Eric Berne's development of transactional analysis. Discusses the goals of transactional analysis therapy, along with therapeutic techniques and the role of the counselor.
Ego States and Types of Transactions in Transactional Analysis Theory Describes ego states and explains the different types of transactions that can take place.
Transactional Analysis Theory: Strokes and the Stroke Economy Explores the role of strokes in transactional analysis theory and explains what is meant by the stroke economy.
Structural Analysis, Game Analysis and Script Analysis in Transactional Analysis Theory Discusses structural analysis, game analysis and script analysis in transactional analysis theory.
Existential Therapy: Definition & Techniques Highlights existential theory's philosophical roots and the influences of Rollo May and Viktor Frankl. Elaborates on the significance of choice and meaning and defines such terms as peak experiences and existential vacuum.
Humanistic Theory and Person-Centered Therapy: Goals & Techniques Discusses Carl Rogers' person-centered therapy and his humanistic view of human nature. Addresses concepts like the phenomenological perspective and positive regard and elaborates on the holistic nature of this theory.
What is Gestalt Therapy? - Definition & Overview Introduces Fritz Perls and defines the term gestalt. Explains the self-actualizing tendency and this theory's focus on 'the now.'
Creative Therapies: Goals, Techniques & Limitations Explores creative therapies and their roots in Jungian theory. Examines creative and expressive arts therapies, narrative therapies and adventure-based therapies.
Theories of Brief Counseling and Therapy: Goals & Techniques Outlines 'brief' therapy, including strategic and solution-focused therapies. Follows the development of these types of therapies and discusses the need for brief counseling strategies in today's society.

24 Lessons in Chapter 4: Theoretical Approaches in Counseling
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Importance of Counseling Theory and Models

1. The Importance of Counseling Theory and Models

Theoretical models provide an important framework for counseling and therapy. Learn to question theoretical models, explore how to choose a counseling approach, review why so many approaches exist, and discover the merits of an evidence-based practice.

Wellness vs. Pathology in Theoretical Models

2. Wellness vs. Pathology in Theoretical Models

When seeking to treat mental health, one might seek help through one of two different theoretical models, idea of wellness, or the treatment of pathology. In this lesson, the reader explores these two approaches and unpacks areas where one or both might be needed.

Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts, Motivation, Personality & Development

3. Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts, Motivation, Personality & Development

Psychologist Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory formed the basis for many current psychodynamic theories. Review Freud's theory, including his perspectives on instincts, motivation, personality, and development. Learn about Freud's ideas on the three levels of consciousness, id, superego, ego, and psychosexual development.

Assessing the Psychodynamic Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

4. Assessing the Psychodynamic Model: Strengths and Weaknesses

The psychodynamic model of psychology suggests that psychological problems are rooted in suppressed emotions from our past. Explore the strengths of the psychodynamic model including addressing childhood trauma, and the weaknesses including overlooking genetics of mental illness.

Psychoanalytic Therapy: Free Association, Dream Analysis and Transference & Resistance

5. Psychoanalytic Therapy: Free Association, Dream Analysis and Transference & Resistance

Psychoanalytic therapy includes several techniques to treat patients and increase their awareness, such as free association, dream analysis, and the analysis of transference and resistance. Learn how to describe the four techniques of psychoanalytic therapy and the purpose of each, and analyze the meaning of the two levels of content in dreams.

Alfred Adler's Theories: Overview & Summary

6. Alfred Adler's Theories: Overview & Summary

Alfred Adler's approach to psychology focuses on interpersonal relationships and success in three life tasks: social, love-marriage, and occupational. Explore Alfred Adler's theories of individual psychology and its four phases of therapy.

Birth Order and the Inferiority Complex According to Adler

7. Birth Order and the Inferiority Complex According to Adler

Birth order is the position in which a person was born compared to their siblings. An inferiority complex is an ongoing, disabling feeling causing low self-esteem. Explore birth order and the inferiority complex, as described by Alfred Adler, and consider how these concepts manifest in human behavior.

Behavioral Theory in Counseling: Techniques & Goals

8. Behavioral Theory in Counseling: Techniques & Goals

Counselors include the behavioral theory as part of their therapy approach to change and improve patients' behaviors. Learn about the science of behavior, the strengths and weaknesses of its techniques, and the treatment goals of behavioral therapy.

Behavioral Approaches in Therapy

9. Behavioral Approaches in Therapy

Behavioralism considers that behaviors are a response to stimuli, and interventions should be oriented to change unhealthy behaviors to more adaptative ones. Learn about different approaches to behavior therapy, including applied behavior analysis and social-cognitive theory.

Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

10. Cognitive and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies

Cognitive therapies focus on how thought processes affect people's emotions and behaviors and ways to change that. Learn about cognitive psychology and two forms of therapy approaches: cognitive and cognitive-behavior therapies.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): Definition & Techniques

11. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): Definition & Techniques

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is a form of cognitive behavior therapy that seeks to develop acceptable patterns of behavior by changing attitudes and redefining problems. Learn about the definition and therapeutic techniques of REBT.

Reality Therapy: Techniques, Goals & Limitations

12. Reality Therapy: Techniques, Goals & Limitations

Reality therapy, founded by William Glasser, holds people accountable for their decisions and behavior and the resulting outcomes. Learn about Glasser's theory, how it works, its therapeutic goals, the techniques used by counselors, and its limitations.

Transactional Analysis Therapy and the Role of the Counselor

13. Transactional Analysis Therapy and the Role of the Counselor

Eric Berne's transactional analysis therapy was formulated for the counselor to work with the patient to create therapeutic goals. Learn more about this therapy, including the role of the counselor, who Eric Berne is, the philosophy of his therapy, and the strengths and limitations of it.

Ego States and Types of Transactions in Transactional Analysis Theory

14. Ego States and Types of Transactions in Transactional Analysis Theory

Berne's theory of transactional analysis describes transactions as being fundamental parts of social interactions. Learn to describe the transactional analysis theory and how it applies to everyday life by examining how ego states affect behavior, and exploring intrapersonal and interpersonal transactions and the types of transactions within intrapersonal and interpersonal transactions.

Transactional Analysis Theory: Strokes and the Stroke Economy

15. Transactional Analysis Theory: Strokes and the Stroke Economy

The transactional analysis theory views fundamental social interactions as transactions that can be studied, measured, and classified. Learn about transactions, strokes, and the stroke economy.

Structural Analysis, Game Analysis and Script Analysis in Transactional Analysis Theory

16. Structural Analysis, Game Analysis and Script Analysis in Transactional Analysis Theory

Structural analysis, game analysis, & script analysis are fundamental components of transactional analysis theory that seeks to understand motivations behind individual choices. Learn about important concepts underlying structural, game, & script analysis.

Existential Therapy: Definition & Key Concepts

17. Existential Therapy: Definition & Key Concepts

Existential therapy is used to provide patients the option to freely choose their actions and responsibilities. Learn about the definition and key concepts of existential therapy and understand each of the six propositions of the existential approach.

Existential Therapy: Goals & Techniques

18. Existential Therapy: Goals & Techniques

Existential therapy is a philosophical approach to therapy. Explore this method through its goals, strengths, and limitations with a look at the role of the therapist, three phases, and techniques of existential therapy.

Carl Rogers' Humanistic Theory and Psychotherapy

19. Carl Rogers' Humanistic Theory and Psychotherapy

The psychologist Carl Rogers is well known for his humanistic theory and use of psychotherapy. Learn about other theories of his that have impacted humanistic psychology: client-centered theory, theory of self-actualization, and theory of self.

Person-Centered Therapy: Goals & Techniques

20. Person-Centered Therapy: Goals & Techniques

Person-centered therapy is characterized by the therapist having a positive view of human nature full of self-realization and actualization that can lead any person toward good mental health. Learn the therapeutic relationship counselors take on with this form of talk therapy or client-centered therapy, and explore the goals and techniques employed.

What is Gestalt Therapy? - Definition and Overview

21. What is Gestalt Therapy? - Definition and Overview

Gestalt therapy is a psychological approach developed by Fritz Perls that focuses on the person as a whole, in the here and now. Get an overview of Perls' view of human nature, and explore the definition, counseling process, and strengths and limitations of Gestalt therapy.

Techniques in Gestalt Therapy: Exercises and Experiments

22. Techniques in Gestalt Therapy: Exercises and Experiments

Gestalt therapy is concerned with things happening in the present, such changes occurring to a person's body language whenever an apparently uncomfortable topic is broached in therapy. Explore the two main techniques Gestalt Therapy techniques utilized by psychoanalysts, which are exercises and experiments employed during therapy sessions with clients.

Creative Therapies: Goals, Techniques & Limitations

23. Creative Therapies: Goals, Techniques & Limitations

Creative therapies help patients deal with their emotional problems through alternative forms of expression. Learn how creative therapies help heal through different forms of expression, including art, storytelling, and adventure, and explore the goals, techniques, and limitations of each type of expression.

Theories of Brief Counseling and Therapy: Goals & Techniques

24. Theories of Brief Counseling and Therapy: Goals & Techniques

The theories of brief therapy provide a rapid approach to intervention for a specific problem. Explore two brief counseling techniques, learn how they help the patient find solutions and plan strategically, and discover their goals, strengths, and limitations.

Chapter Practice Exam
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