What are the Different Approaches To Counselling

Counselling being a process has to be based on a theory. A theory when practised becomes an approach to solve a problem or to provide any kind of service.

Accordingly, various approaches to counselling are used. They include:

a). Humanistic approach
• Self actualization
• person cantered

b).Behaviouristic approach.

c). Electrism.

a)  Humanistic Approach-Self-actualization.

Theory of Abraham H. Maslow

Theoretical perspectives on personality are usually classified into three major categories.
First is psycho-analysis which presents an image of human as creatures of instinct and intrapsychic conflict. The second perspective is of behaviourism which views human as little more than malleable and passive victim of forces in the environment. Humanistic, the third and more recent approach offers a different picture of personality.

According to humanistic perspective human beings are good and self-perfecting. Thus the human nature moves consistently in the direction of personal growth, creativity and self-sufficiency unless there are strong environmental conditions which hinder. to do so. Maslow is usually taken as representative of humanistic personality theory. His theory illustrates the characteristics of human perspectives.

The life of human will never be understood by someone unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Self-actualization, the striving towards health, the quest for identity and autonomy.. Hjelle and Ziegler (1992) have listed key elements of Maslow’s humanistic perspective as:

  • The individual as an integrated whole
  •  Irrelevance of animal research
  • Humanity’s inner nature
  • Human creative potential
  •  Emphasis on psychological health

In Maslow theory, most fundamental issues is of motivation., Maslow is of the view that people are motivated to seek personal goals and make their lives rewarding and meaningful. Motivational processes lie at the very core of personality theory. Maslow depicts human beings as wanting organism who rarely reaches the state of complete satisfaction. Maslow arranged the human needs in a systematic order.

  • Self-actualization
  •  Self-esteem
  • Love and belonging
  •  Physical security
  • Physiological.

These are in the form of

  •  Company Publishers.
  •  Physiological needs
  •  Safety and security needs
  •  Belongingness and love needs
  • Self-esteem needs
  • Self actualization needs or need for personal fulfillment.

In counselling process, based on Maslow’s theory, the counsellor has to consider the Maslow’s Basic assumptions concerning human nature. Humanistic counselling can not achieve its goals unless counsellor understands the assumptions of human nature.
The assumptions are:

1. Freedom-determination

Human beings are fundamentally free and responsible in deciding the kind of life they want to lead. The personal freedom is especially manifested in terms of a person’s knowledge of his potentialities and how he will strive to actualize them. Usually older a person becomes, higher he climbs the needs ‘ladder. Similarly the more freedom that person has, the higher the person progresses on the ladder.

2. Rationality-irrationality.

Maslow regards research on animals irrelevant for human psychology and
rationality as a central feature of human being.

3.  Holism Elementalism.

One of the basic consideration of humanistic approach is that individual is an integrated whole. Maslow observed that it is John Smith who wants food not John Smith’s stomach but it is also John Smith who wants safety, self-esteem, and above all, self-actualization”. The individual is taken as a total for counselling.

4. Constitutionism-Environmentalism.

If people are largely free to shape themselves and to determine their goals.
Either physical constitution or environment or both play significant role in modeling human behaviour. Maslow places more emphasis on constitution. Physiological needs are the base for the whole need-hierarchy model. He proposed that all human needs are
instinctive or innately determined.

5. Changeability-Unchangeability.

Maslow believes that people are capable of fashioning their own lives. Freedom and growth interact in humanistic theory thus human personality changes over time.
This change may be regarded as movement towards self-actualization. People cannot be understood without making reference to their private world. Therefore self actualization is firmly rooted in the subjective personal experiences.

6. Proactive- Reactivity.

Maslow ‘concept is that” human needs are innate. He recognizes the role of situation variables. So human beings are motivated by innate needs and social and physical environment. According to Hjele and Ziegler (1992), Maslow’s view that “ the behaviour results from an interaction of needs and the environment which indicates. that he is midrange on the proactivity-reactivity assumption.

7. Homeostasis-Heterosis.

Maslow is inclined towards the heterostatic. Maslow recognized two broad categories of human motivation. D and B type motivations. D (to correct deficiencies) motives are homo-statistically based, while B (to achieve a higher level of long. motives). In  Maslow’s view, human beings are focused on becoming whatever they have the potential to become.

8. Knowability-Unknowability.

Study of personality in this approach is iodographic. People should be allowed to have their subjective experiences in a holistic manner. Self-actualized person according to Maslow has distinguished characteristics when compared with other persons. These characteristics listed by Grinde et-al (1983).

  • A superior perception of real world around them.
  • A greater acceptance of environment and self.
  •  Greater spontaneity of their feelings and actions.
  • Greater focus on problems rather than on themselves.
  •  Remains more separate from ordinary matters and desire for privacy.
  • More autonomy and more resistance to the social pressures.
  • Full appreciation of all that is around them and rich emotional reactions.
  •  Increased identification with all of human kind.
  •  Strong and intimate interpersonal relationships with few other persons.
  • Superior creativity
  •  A more deep developed sense of values.

b)  Humanistic Approach-Person-Centered.

Theory of Carl Rogers.

Rogers on “Encounter Groups” (1970) and “On Becoming Partners: Marriage and its Alternatives” (1972). Hart (1970) indicated that Rogers introduced the experiential approach to the profession of counselling and therapy. Roger is willing to revise his position on ‘self theory’. He rejected the Freudian position where individual is basically an irrational, unsocialized and self-destructive being who has little control over self. According to Roger people are positively motivated; individuals are rational, socialized, and largely determine their own destiny. (Hansen., et al, 1982),

If certain conditions exist, the individual can guide, regulate and control himself. Thus for full development of a person, reasonable situation is necessary for growth.

Roger’s theory of personality involves three essential ingredients: the organism, the phenomenal field and the self. Personality is product of continuous interaction among these three ingredients. People are basically good and under normal conditions are responsible for their actions. Under proper conditions for growth, people are open to all the experiences and have no need to apply defensive mechanism. According to Roger people are “fully functioning” and such persons are “persons in process” and “persons who are continuously changing”.

So far as maladaptive personalities are concerned, Rogers has identified the following characteristics of such personality.

  •  Estrangement
  • Incongruity in behaviour
  •  Anxiety
  •  Defensive mechanism
  • Maladaptive behaviour

Self-theory is also known as Client-centered counseling. Goal of this counselling is “to reinstitute the process towards self-actualization by removing obstacles to this process”. The conditions of such counseling are:

  • Psychological contact
  • Minimum state of anxiety
  • Counsellor genuineness
  • Unconditioned positive regard
  • Emphatic understanding
  • Client perception

Under these conditions, client feels free to express his feelings. Counsellor’s attitude makes the counselee to feel worth while and integrated. But major responsibility for relationship lies on client not on counsellor. Counsellor specifies the time limit of each session and number of sessions, focus of counselling process is on individual not on specific problem. After having gone through salient features of Roger’s theory.

c)  Behaviourist Counselling.

The term Behavioural Counselling approach was first promoted by John
Krumboltz in 1964. This approach provides guidelines and expects specificity. It does not provide a standard way for practicing counselling. In this approach counselling is viewed as the systematic use of variety of procedures by counsellor and client to bring desired changes. Among these are, educational process, individually tailored techniques, experimental methodology, and scientific methodology. Behavioural counsellors use experimental methods for devising techniques for their clients. These techniques focus on client’s learning history, the desired change and the counsellor’s skills. The basis of these techniques lies in the theories and research on learning.

Behavioral counselling is becoming more popular as the understanding of the process of learning is being increased. There are number of approaches under the umbrella of behavioural counselling. Two assumptions are common to all:
1 Behaviour is learned
2 Acquired behaviours can be unlearned (Pietrofesa et al. 1980).

As a result of understanding of first assumption, behaviour is predictable and hence can be controlled. But at the same time behaviour can be modified. At most basic level we have stimulus response (S-R) concept. S-R concept may also be related to individual mediational or decision making strategies. Osipow and Walse (1970) summarize the behavioural counselling as:

Definition of behaviour counselling mostly emphasize the learning theory application and experimental psychology for human adjustment and effectiveness. The focus is on counsellor as a facilitator in the learning process. The counsellor is concerned with the relationship between the individual and the environment that foster changes in behavioural responses “.

The behavioural counsellor is engaged in directing interventions which are stated in behavioural terms. First of all a problem is established, then goals are identified. Blackman and Silberman (1971) have suggested four specific steps which are to be considered while establishing goals of counselling and methods to be used to bring the desired changes in the behaviour:

  •  Problem definition
  • Development and social history
  • Establishing specific goals of counselling
  • Determine methods to be used to bring about desired change

Then various counselling strategies are employed. Some of them are:

  • Operant and classical conditionin
  • Social modelling
  • Direct training
  • Reinforcement

Like normal or adaptive patterns of behaviour, abnormal or maladaptive behaviour are also learned mainly through interaction with environment. According to Hosford (1969, P.2) man’s personality consists of his positive and negative habits. The habits which are inappropriate are learned in the same ways as appropriate ones are learned. Inappropriate behaviours are learned because they may have been rewarded various times, they are the result of reactions or responses to the situation.

Children who behave disruptively in the classroom may behave in such a way just to gain attention. When teacher shouts at them, they are receiving satisfaction or reward, thus it is value reward attention. Maladaptive behaviour is not different from normal one in the way it was learned. In this case the counsellor will help him learn to enjoy interpersonal interaction.

d)  Eclectism.

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Eclectism by Arnold.: Lazarus According (1967 to, Lazarus 1971, 1976, client’s). He
On-going behaviour various times, they are the result of reactions or responses to the shutton. Cihren who behave disruptively in the classroom may behave in such a a way just to gain attention.

When teacher shouts at them, they are receiving satisfaction or reward, thus it is value reward attention. Maladaptive behaviour is not different from normal one in the way it was learned. In this case the counsellor will help him learn to enjoy interpersonal interaction. Personality is organized by seven modes of functioning:

  • On-going behaviour
  • Affective processes
  • Sensations
  •  Images
  • Cognitions
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Biological functions

Human systematic are grouped modes approach are under interactional BASIC to be used ID.. depends Treatment Lazarus upon says focus that where considers there client is all is a selectively goals firing order of treatment working by which in are one multifacial or mode two influences primary and areas involve other.. the As this behaviour is interactional of entire therefore person the by Concepts Shetzer systematic choose appropriate According and, procedures approach Stone (doctrines to 1980 will and Ponzo’s, techniques work P.179 or health methods best) eclectic from for eclectism from his various believes clientele various the sources that counsellor as sources a “should single eclectic of orientation be systems has” utilized means to. discover According to is select serve limiting what, the to. client in the best way. Counsellors of this view point proceed in the following way:

First: Counsellor resists emphasising theory exclusively by observing and assessing client and other counsellor behaviour.
Second: The counsellor studies the history of counselling and psychotherapy to build on what is known.
Third: The counsellor who evolves an eclectic view point knows his or her own personality He or she is aware of personal interacting styles with particular kinds of clients “. (Shertzer and Stone, 1980).

The counsellor’s major objective is to safeguard mental health. This is achieved by either preventing or modifying factors which cause maladjustment or mental disorder so as to assist the individual to learn to adapt more efficiently. Treatment phases of eclectic counselling for a disorder are:

  1. Stage of incipient maladjustment
  2. Stage of overt maladjustment
  3. Stage of reactive personality disorder
  4.  Stage of be-wilderment and trial and error behaviour
  5. Stage of insight into psychological nature of disorder
  6.  Stage of reactive depression and discouragement
  7. Stage of symptomatic relief
  8. Stage of growth and recovery
  9. Stage of relapse
  10.  Stage of cure

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