Developing Personal Style of Counseling
Counseling is a profession, a unique relationship in which the counselor’s job is to hold a ‘mirror’ for the client to see himself or herself. The counselor understands that sometimes it takes a while for the client to see what he or she needs especially if there are more subtle things needing recognition. The counselor knows how to hold the ‘mirror’ in such a way that the client can see himself or herself from a caring, supportive and sympathetic perspective. Sometimes counselors may appear to be repeating what the client says or paraphrasing the clients rather than giving answers. When counselors are doing this there is a ...view middle of the document...
However, I believe that no single theory is comprehensive enough to deal with the complexities of human behavior when the range of client types and their specific problems are taken into consideration. In view of this, I have developed my own approach to counseling by making an effort to look beyond the individual theories and putting them together to see how best this approach can benefit the client growth. My developed personal style of counseling is an “Integrated Approach’ to counseling.
This integrated approach to counseling is a creative synthesis of the unique contributions of the different theories and dynamically integrated concepts, ideas and techniques that fit the uniqueness of the counselor’s personality and style. Because no one theory has a patent on truth enough and because no single set of counseling technique is always effective in working with multicultural client population, it is best to adopt an integrated approach as the basis of the counseling processes so that the counselor can know what theory he or she can learn from and how the client will also benefit from another perspective (Arkowitz, 1997)
There are different ways that a counselor can use to achieve an integrated approach to integrated counseling practice. At least three of these ways are technical eclecticism, theoretical integration and the common factor approach. Technical Eclecticism puts emphasis on differences, chooses from many different approaches and is based on different techniques. Here the counselor uses techniques from different theorists without necessarily sticking to one particular theorist. The theoretical integration is in contrast to the technical eclecticism because it goes beyond mere blending of techniques; it is a creation of theories or concepts that has the goal of producing an abstract framework that combines the best of some theories with the hope that the outcome will be better than using one particular theory (Norcross & Newman, 1992). The common factor approach looks beyond the different theories for common elements. The common factors, being unique factors that differentiate one theory from another, are very important in bringing out the outcome in the process.
As the counselor adopts different techniques in the counseling process there is also the possibility of incorporating some key principles and concepts from various theories. There are for example, some ideas and concepts in the experiential approaches that can blend quite well in the cognitive behavioral approaches. The experiential approaches lay emphasis on ‘here and now’ awareness, relationship with others and the world, the therapeutic relationship and exploration of feelings; all these can be incorporated into the action oriented therapy. In this case the counselor can ask the client what he or she wants to do with the present awareness including making behavioral plans for change. All these action-oriented therapies depend on the counselor building a...