July 26, 2010
Lynn Lunceford, Psy.D.
A counseling theory has certain qualities, such as clear operational definitions so that it can be tested further. To be most useful, a counseling theory should be parsimonious yet comprehensive enough to include known related empirical findings. It should stimulate new discoveries and predict events deductively within its purview and preview. A counseling theory also should serve an organizing and explaining function for observed events. One's theory should help them to simplify observations and to focus an observer's attention along specific dimensions. A counseling theory, then, is a collection of assumptions, interpretations, and hypotheses which …show more content…
If one sees the task primarily as one of changing behaviors first through management of rewards and then expect changes in outlook further behaviors can take place. A theoretical position should help to decide which approach to utilize. I will see also how these differences in approaches reflect very basic differences in perceiving the nature of human behaviors and ways of expectations of the clients that I assist.
As a counselor I will be able to appreciate distinct points of view between those which hold to the empirical tradition of science for generating their data (such as the learning theorists) as compared to more philosophical and humanistic approaches. For example, a counselor should be equally at home with concepts like reinforcement of schedules and existential encounters. I should understand the rationale underlying operant conditioning and the process of what I am to a client.
I would be able to appreciate also results of such theories of counseling which emphasize lofty goals of a client's existence. As a counselor, I can see more clearly differing points of focus on the person, process, technique, or the goals of various points of view because each will have their own personality. Different theories of personality are like spotlights focused on the individual from differing directions as if looking at a