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Counseling Theories

Person-centered therapy (PCT) is a counseling therapy founded in between 1940 and 1950 and it is associated with Carl Rogers. PCT is also referred to as person-centered psychotherapy or the Rogation psychotherapy. Carl saw the need for patients to be given a room or chance to get to understand themselves. The patients need to realize the negative impacts of their feelings, attitudes and behaviors. According to Carl, such realization needed the understanding of oneself, in order to make positive steps towards life. On the other hand, therapists should create an environment that is comfortable for their clients. This is mostly achieved by showing of accurate empathy and genuineness. Other conditions that Carl identified were relationship, the client’s perception of judgment of the genuineness of the therapist, anxiety vulnerability by the client and the therapist’s perception of the client’s ability to make positive moves about his or her life. The application of the above conditions has for long given the clients a non-judgmental environment, hence getting a chance to resolve their personal problems.

As compared to other types of therapies proposed by different psychotherapists, this mode offers a free and passionate position for the patients to reflect on their life. The patients are able to forget about their past and live on the present and the patients can begin to trust their own feelings and thoughts. To Carl, patient’s therapeutic process is greatly influenced by the patient’s accomplishments and this is facilitated by a psychologically favored environment (Corey, 2009).

This type of therapy is governed by a number of concepts. The first concept is the existence of therapist-patient relationship. This relationship must be built on the mutual trust and it is referred to as therapist-client psychological contact. The other concept is that some form of incongruence should exist based on the client’s awareness and experience. Again, there is anxiety vulnerability and this is a motivating factor for the client’s quest to stay in that relationship for long. The other concept for therapeutic change is the existence of therapist genuineness in the relationship. The therapist ere dedicated to serve their clients by drawing back their experiences or self-disclosure and this strengthens the relationship (Nelson-Jones, 2006).

The other concept is based on the therapist’s unconditional acceptance of the patient. The therapist should be willing to accept the patient’s condition without judging, approval or disapproval. This increases the client’s self-awareness on his or her experiences. The other concept is based on the show of empathy by the therapist to the patient. This builds more trust in the relationship and the client is able to understand and feel of the unconditional love. The last concept is based on the client’s perception of the whole relationship. This depends on how the client perceives and values therapist’s accurate empathy and understanding (Prenzlau, 2006).

Reality Therapy

Reality therapy is another psychotherapy approach developed in 1965 by Dr. William Glasser. Glasser was a psychiatrist who rejected psychoanalytic concepts and views of human behavior that had earlier been developed by Sigmund Freud. This approach has been considered as cognitive and behavior based. As compared to other approaches based on conventional psychotherapy, this approach dwells more on behavior or symptoms. This approach is mostly applied on the diagnosis of mentally ill patients. According to Dr. William, mentally ill patients are suffering from social problem that is universal to human condition. To him, failure to succeed in life or attainment of some basic life requirements forces the person to deviate from the norm. This change of person’s behavior is due to the failure to accept the reality that one has failed to achieve success in life. Therefore, according to Dr. William, when people start behaving and showing inappropriate behavior, such people do not require any help or assistance to fight their current behavior. They should instead accept what they are going through, acknowledge their current behavior and find ways of changing the current situation for the better. This approach to therapy does not involve the clients past, since success in life and achievement is part of the present. Another difference between reality therapy and other psychotherapy approaches is that it does not concern itself with the unconscious mental processes (Stewart, 2005).

This counseling approach focuses on the present and the client’s ability to reflect on his or her life in order to have a better future. The idea behind this approach is to give the clients a chance to discover what they have missed in life, what has made them unsuccessful and what can be done in order to achieve a successful and fulfilling future. This involves turning their weaknesses into strengths. To achieve this, one has to accept that it has already happened and that a change for the better is the only way out.  Dr. Glasser believes that the social aspect of disorders associated with psychology has for long been ignored and overlooked in times of diagnosis. According to him, understanding the social problem of the client separates him or her from that current behavior. To him, to experience a social problem does not make one sick (Sumarah, 2009).

This approach is based on the fact that human being’s needs that form of psychological needs for survival. The first psychological need is love. This is an important need since it gives one a sense of belonging. Human beings need to be loved, to be in love and to love. The next basic need is power. Human beings have struggled for a long period of time to gain and access power. Human beings can achieve power through learning and this makes them have the feeling of achievers and winners (Corey, 2009).

Another psychological need is freedom. In the modern human society, freedom and independence has played a key role in harmonizing nations. Freedom frees the mind from stress, depression and other conditions that occur when one has external forces. However, this need for freedom should be exercised with outmost responsibility. The last need is the need to have fun. When human beings have fun, relax and enjoy, they freshen their minds and this is an essential condition for a better psychological health. It is worth noting that whether human beings are aware of their deeds or not, they are always in the search to fulfill the above psychological basic needs. For full fulfillment, the basic needs should be balanced and accounted for (Stewart, 2005).

Theoretical Concepts of Reality Theory

There are five theoretical concepts of reality. The first concept argues on the basis that all what seems to be in existence and in thoughts may be illusions. This is referred to as the most cautious assumption concept on reality. Thoughts are seen, as certain entities for life existence, and on the other side they may seem to be only thoughts. It can be concluded that they most likely do not exist, but there is only the illusion of existence. This means that there is a difference between the real life experience and what can be termed as one’s life experience. What ones refer to is according to his or her thinking. As one of the theories of reality, this concept enables the illusions of someone’s experience function and looks the same way as the real experience.

The second theoretical concept argues that only independent thoughts exist and that no human being thinks of them, they just exist by themselves. This means that any illusion of someone is just part of the thoughts. If something really exists, then this is the evidence for someone’s experience. Some entities exist without the knowledge that they exist. This can be associated with the interaction of a computer program with its code lines. This assumption of reality denounces attempts meant to choose, analyze or do anything (Sumarah, 2009).

The third theoretical concept argues that only one thinking being exists with its thoughts. These concepts mean that thoughts will only exist as long as the human beings think of them. This is further divided into three sub-possibilities. The first one gives an example of a person writing a piece of work. The author’s thinking generates illusions to write the work and that of the reader to exist in order to read the piece of work. In this case, the author is the computer program while the reader is the code lines of the computer program. The second one is that it is only the reader, that person reading the piece of work, exists. The reader’s thinking generates illusions on the existence of the author to write the piece of work and his or her illusions to exist and read the piece of work. In this case, the reader is the computer program and the author is the code lines in the computer program. The last scenario argues that only other beings exist. The other thinking being has generated illusions of the author to exist and write the piece of work and that of the reader to exist and read the piece of work. In this case, the other thinking being is the computer program while the author and the reader are the code lines of the computer program (Corey, 2009).

The sole separate thinking being is what most people call God. The thinking being has for long generated illusions of the world’s art, history, sport, literature, wars, pain, knowledge and all ongoing events. This means that the sole thinking being is a high position to generate high illusion standards in life. The assumption that a sole thing being exists, this scenario moves closer to evidence of someone’s experience (Sumarah, 2009).

The fourth concept argues that a number or several thinking beings and their thoughts do exist. This means that the thinking beings are interrelated and can interact and communicate with each other. In this case, you, others, and I exist. We all generate illusions of experiences and we can interact and communicate without any physical entity. However, our thinking and interaction is limited. One point of our existence and interaction we cease to exist. This happens when we die and some of the communication thoughts become limited. This scenario also moves us closer to someone’s experience now that the thinking beings can interact and communicate with each other. A setback for this concept is that the existence of these interacting and communicating beings cannot be proved. This working assumption then enables us to function, interact and communicate with those around us (Stewart, 2009).

The last concept argues that there is also the existence of real physical objects together with those in the above scenarios. Physical entities here may include trees, human bodies, and microwaves among others. This addition of physical entities moves us closer to the evidence of someone’s experience (Prenzlau, 2006).

Micro Skills and Techniques Applied in Reality Therapy

The main techniques applied in this therapy are divided into three basic steps. The involvement of both the counselor and client in the therapeutic process helps the client understand the reality and how its behavior is different from the norm. This gives the client a chance to realize what happened and where he or she went wrong hence reflecting back to stabiles of the whole incidence. Another technique is counselor’s separation of the client and behavior. The counselor retains the client, but rejects the behavior. This ensures that the client feels appreciated as compared to dejection. The other technique is teaching the clients on how to realize and satisfy their basic needs. The counselor equips the client with various forms of adaptation in order to meet and satisfy his or her needs and desires. Use of confrontation and homer enables the client accept responsibility of the current behavior (Stewart, 2005).

Reality therapy has for long used a micro skill system termed as WDEP. This involves establishing the client’s needs, what the clients have been doing, evaluating the outcomes of their actions and planning for their future behavior. Other micro skills essential in reality therapy include the establishment of a relationship between the client and counselor. This ensures that the client trusts the counselor, and is open hence making it possible for the counselor to get all the necessary details from the client. Another micro skill is giving priority to the present behavior. This ensures that the client does not focus on the bad past as this may come to haunt her or him. It is of paramount interest to note that, giving the client a chance to evaluate his or her present behavior is an essential tool of approach in this model. Other essential micro skills may include designing a proper plan of action, establishing a real commitment with the client, dedication and ready to go through with the client and the last technique is never given up on the client. When you give up on a client, this sends a message of rejection to the client and she may feel that the counselor is not appreciating him or her (Corey, 2009).

Summary

Glasser always maintained that human beings are not driven by instincts and unconsciousness, but a conscious level. He also maintains that every person poses a healthy force within him or herself. The goal of reality therapy is to strengthen the clients psychological rational to enable him or her behave responsibly towards others. Another goal of reality therapy is giving the client an opportunity to select what he or she desires in life and develops a work plan towards accomplishing life desires and needs. Another goal is to ensure that a strong relationship based on trust is build and nurtured between the client and the counselor. It is evident that reality theory focuses on the present and does not involve discussions about the past. This is seen as a limitation since it does not unlock what the person has gone through before. This may include recurring dreams or previous trauma. It judges people’s actions by how closer they are to what they need. Reality therapy has been applied outside the counseling field as a tool to plan for the classroom management. For instance, school psychologists have used reality therapy and they have achieved positive results in improving the conditions of students suffering from emotional and other forms of behavioral disturbances.  The therapy has also been proposed for use in schools and youth counseling programs.

Person-centered theory offered an alternative therapy as compared to previous psychoanalytic and behavioral theories that had dominated the field of psychology. This theory has raised a lot of research on how to build and establish a long lasting relationship between the client and the therapist. This theory strongly emphasizes on the need for moving on with life on a positive direction.  The goals of person-centered theory are that the counselor is meant to facilitate the client to realize self-perception, to realize a sense of great confidence alloyed with self-determination and direction. The counselor is also meant to assist the client towards good ways of coping with stress and realize a more functioning and adaptation to other life aspects.

The above two theories have contributed a lot in the development of psychotherapy. The interaction of the two with other theories can help us require also the interaction with the client and his or her facility members to enable the counselor under to understand ourselves and the entire world around us. Limitations of the two is that they both emphasis on establishing a strong relationship between the client and the counselor while the therapeutic process the clients background well.