24th September 2014
Criterion 6.1 - Explain why theory is important in counselling work
When we consider counselling in practice, our first thoughts are that it is simply telling all our troubles and woes to someone disconnected from ourselves or our situation. In essence this is true however, there is so much more that goes on.
Counselling consists of 3 main theories. These are:-
- Person Centred Counselling - The belief that we are all born with potential and a route in order to help towards self-actualisation.
- Psychodynamic Counselling - The theory that there are hidden reasons for our behaviour and actions and that maybe these stem from our childhoods.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Working on changing thoughts and behaviour patterns in order for one to process the effects of how they feel and why.
Each and every counsellor is different and will each use one of these theories or a multitude of them. On a personal level, I feel it is best to avoid swapping and changing between the 3 methods as this could lead to possible confliction and confuse or agitate a potential client. My personal belief is that as a counsellor, you must decide on 1 theory and use solely that method. I don't believe that either of the theories are more effective than the next. It is how you work with them that matters. As a counsellor, it is for us to decided which theory we are more in tune with and to have full self-belief that the theory in question is effective. But why is it so important?
In having full belief in our work and our theory, we, as counsellors, can give our clients a good understanding of what we do and how our theory works. In doing this we provide the client with a safe and secure environment and are protecting ourselves from any backfire also. It gives us a plan that we can work to and a framework for clear and concise boundaries so that expectations are known to both parties. By having the confidence and belief in our theories, we instil that confidence in to our clients and that then enables a better working relationship.
It is important for us to remember that theory provides us with a good basis and a foundation for effective counselling. Without theory there is a risk that the counselling process can become ineffective therefore causing more harm than good to the client. Whichever theory we decide to work from provides us with a lens so to speak on how to view our process and how to help