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Term Paper Example: Counseling Theories

3 pages
609 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Term paper
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Counseling theories play a significant role in the establishment of a framework that counselors and therapists use to analyze the behavior of the patients. Counseling theories play a significant role in the interpretation of the patient thoughts, behavior, and feelings which help the psychotherapists to navigate and control client from diagnosis to the post-treatment of the patient. Psychodynamic and the cognitive theories are effective psychological theories that can be used in client counseling. Psychodynamic theory is based on the analysis of the patient history with the aim of understanding the patient subconscious mind which is responsible for behavior. On the other hand, the cognitive counseling theory is focused on how people think which has a significant ability to affect feelings and behaviors of the patients (Driessen et al., 2017).

Selected goals for therapy

The psychodynamic theory of counseling is supposed to help one change their deep-rooted behavior and to have a clear understanding of one's self. On the other hand, the cognitive theory focuses on changing the behavior and feelings of a person to solve their problems (Andason, n.d). Both theories primary goal is to create change in the behavior of the patient by improving their thinking and feelings towards themselves.

Role and function of the therapist

In cognitive therapy, the therapist's role is to work well in collaboration with the client, to develop skills that help replace distorted thoughts and beliefs which in turn leads to a change in habitual behavior. In psychodynamic therapy, the therapist's role is to help the client unravel their deep-rooted feelings and unconscious feelings that are affecting their behavior and moods (Theoretical approaches to counseling).

Techniques to be used

Communicating with the clients is an important technique that both cognitive and psychodynamic theories use to understand the thinking and feelings of the client towards themselves and the others. The cognitive theory requires one to change their way of thinking thus the therapist needs the client to use the technique of reevaluation and reassessment of thought they have. Elimination of negativity is usually needed to trigger the cycle of positive thinking. In psychodynamic theory, it needs the technique of changing beliefs (Theoretical approaches to counseling). The therapist uses a technique of encouragement to feel, to help overcome the blocks of resistance. Free association with the client is highly encouraged to identify client problem while transference is used to direct client's feelings and to think which promotes a change in behavior. The psychodynamic theory uses catharsis which refers to the reliving of the repressed moments and feelings of the past which is a significant technique that promotes the ability of the patients to settle internal conflicts and helps in overcoming psychological problems that are caused by past experiences (Driessen et al., 2017).

Expectations of the client

From this counseling, the client expects to have a change in their lives by improving their feelings and thoughts about themselves and the world. Most of the counseling patients expect to overcome depression or anxiety or can solve their problems from the sessions. Further, it is the expectation of the patients facing trauma, depression, or anxiety to have a better life with more positive thoughts as well the ability to control their feelings and different events (Driessen et al., 2017).



Andason, A.Retrieved from

Driessen, E., Van, H. L., Peen, J., Don, F. J., Twisk, J. W., Cuijpers, P., & Dekker, J. J. (2017). Cognitive-behavioral versus psychodynamic therapy for major depression: Secondaryoutcomes of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(7), 653.

Theoretical Approaches to Counselling: CBT, Person-Centered, and Psychodynamic. (2012, October 15). Retrieved from


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