Counseling Theory: An Amalgam Model, 2008, Name, affirms that science proves what the Bible has long understood and says about man or human nature; that Scripture alone has the correct diagnosis of the sickness and potential outcomes of his endeavors and challenges as well as the results especially, of a fallen nature. The author uses the scientific researches that show how the truths of Scripture are explained and made manifest in the lives of men and women.
Practitioners who make use of this model that there is neither competition nor confusion as to the pre-eminence of Scripture; rather, it presupposes that science complements what the Biblical writers as revealed, have long known the real and lasting solutions to the “sicknesses” that man ahs encountered. I. Introduction Psychology has made great strides in the development of principles and methods and the discovery of facts which find useful application in various aspects of everyday life.
The objectives of psychology are : (1) to understand human behavior; (2) to predict human behavior by means of observation and experiment; (3) to influence or alter the behavior of he individual or group in desirable ways so that he can achieve the goal he desires. Behavior is described and analyzed. On this basis, an attempt to predict behavior is possible, and although this may not thoroughly and completely be accomplished in some endeavors, the basic understanding then is that there are certain expectations concerning how any person would act or decide upon things that are within his conscious awareness.
Psychology is of great importance to man since psychological problems are common to group relations, in whatever framework a person or group of individuals come from. The thrust of this paper is to develop my own theory of behavior and putting these in the context of the helping relationship. It starts with a basic understanding of human behavior coming from various viewpoints or perspectives. Then it discusses the reasons why an individual becomes mentally sick or develops unhealthy patterns of behaving towards anything that affect him.
This includes the maladjustments that are usually prevalent in a person’s day-to-day functioning especially if and when he has not learned or developed the skills of rightly apprehending the tests of life, so to speak. The work of a counselor is a privilege since the counselee or client will be unfolding his life and makes himself vulnerable to a stranger. It is not an easy choice to make hence, all the training and knowledge would be indispensable to help the client reveal and trust himself to another. Counseling is not a very easy job.
But it can be facilitated well when there is a clear vision of what and how it unfolds in the relationship that is established with the client. II. Discussion The paper is divided into different parts and meant to answer to the requirements stated as follows. A. Summary of my overall approach Psychology is the scientific of human behavior and mental processes; a study which is of considerable interest to almost all people. In the pursuit of this study is the important feature of understanding the goals or objectives.
To describe, explain and predict behavior and if possible control or modify it, are the main objectives of this scientific discipline. These objectives confine as well as broaden student’s approach towards a deeper perspective of the field in the sense that he/she will have a grasp on the variety of subject matters that psychology provides, the advances or breakthroughs it has attained, its inadequacies and shortcomings, as well as forthcoming challenges the discipline faces. Since human individuals are complex and changing, the study is fascinating yet possesses a certain degree of difficulty.
Fascinating because it explores all the facets of being human and possessing a certain degree of difficulty because of its multifarious sub-disciplines. Sigmund Freud offered a psychoanalytic viewpoint on the diagnosis and understanding of a person’s mental health. Other perspectives, the behavioristic paradigm offers to see this in a different light. The psychoanalytic perspective emphasizes childhood experiences and the role of the unconscious mind in determining future behavior and in explaining and understanding current based on past behavior.
Basing on his personality constructs of the Id, Ego and the Superego, Freud sees a mentally healthy person as possessing what he calls Ego strength. On the other hand, the behavior therapist sees a person as a “learner” in his environment, with the brain as his primary organ of survival and vehicle for acquiring his social functioning. With this paradigm, mental health is a result of the environment’s impact on the person; he learns to fear or to be happy and therein lies the important key in understanding a person’s mental state.
Considering that the achievement and maintenance of mental health is one of the pursuits of psychology, the following is a brief outline of what psychologists would endorse a healthy lifestyle. The individual must consider each of the following and incorporate these in his/her day to day affairs: 1. The Medical doctor’s viewpoint – well-being emphasis than the illness model 2. The Spiritual viewpoint- a vital spiritual growth must be on check. 3. The Psychologist’s viewpoint- emotional and relationship factors in balance.
4. The Nutritionist’s viewpoint – putting nutrition and health as top priority. 5. The Fitness Expert’s viewpoint- Exercise as part of a daily regimen. The theory I have in mind then is an amalgamation of several approaches, primarily the integration of the Christian worldview and the theories set forth by Cognitive-behaviorists and psychoanalytic models, and biological/physical continuum. There are other good models but a lot of reasons exist why they cannot be “good enough;” a lot depends on my own personality.
Being authentic to who you are, your passion, is effectively communicated across an audience whether it is a negative or positive one. The basic way of doing the “amalgamation” or integration is that the Christian worldview takes precedence over the rest of the approaches. Although many of the concepts and premises of each theory mentioned are sound and at times efficacious, when it clashes with the faith-based theory, the former must give way to the latter.
It is understood then, that I thoroughly examined each of the theory and set them against the backdrop of spirituality. Interpreting a problem that a client suffers for instance, entails that the theoretical viewpoint that I am convinced with, has better chances of properly understanding the maladjustments that the client had been suffering. To come up with the balanced worldview (an integration in other words), the balance between the realms mentioned, including the true frame of human individuals and the true nature of God (or theology) are properly considered.
Thoroughly accepting the fact that there is no contest between the natural and the spiritual; only that troubles arise when one realm is overemphasized at the expense of another. This thin line or slight tension between the two levels is best expressed in the personhood of Jesus Christ, who was a perfect man as well as God. If we start to equate ourselves with that notion (which is usually happening) and we start to think that we are balanced, then we surely lack understanding or real self-awareness of the fact that we are deeply and seriously out of balance and this is one reason why we need help.
B. Philosophy and Basic Assumptions ~What does a mentally healthy person look like and how are his traits different from those who are mentally ill or are developing a certain form of illness. Personality is more than poise, charm, or physical appearance. It includes habits, attitudes, and all the physical, emotional, social, religious and moral aspects that a person possesses. However, to be more precise, the explicit behavioral styles covered in the course, perhaps, best captivate an individual’s personality and how he/she is understood.
With the different behavioral styles, an overall pattern of various characteristics is seen. Like a “psychograph,” a person’s profile is pulled together and at a glance, the individual can be compared with other people in terms of relative strengths and weaknesses. The term mentally ill is frightening to many people. Movies, books, and magazines often depict mental illness in frightening ways. In some cases, adolescents suffering from a mental illness do act unpredictably or even dangerously. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most of the symptoms of mental illnesses can be controlled.
It is tempting to distinguish healthy adolescents from adolescents with mental illness problems. However, there is often a fine line between mental health and mental illness. It is important to understand that mental illnesses vary in their severity. For example, many adolescents suffered from various levels of anxiety or depression. Others have suffered from serious mental disorders with biological origins. Education about the adolescents` mental illness is vital for those with mental health problems as well as for the adolescents` friends and family.
Many of the disorders or mental illnesses recognized today without a doubt have their psychodynamic explanation aside from other viewpoints like that of the behaviourist, or the cognitivists. From simple childhood developmental diseases to Schizophrenia, there is a rationale that from Freud’s camp is able to explain (Kaplan et al, 1994). ~ What constitutes a mentally/emotionally healthy person and what causes a person to become dysfunctional? The Christian point of view argues that man is not necessarily or inherently good and that starts him off to a bad start.
The environment further either encourages that innate evil or tones it down. However, the basic idea is that there is a spiritual aspect and this is addressed in what the Christian Scriptures declare as the “renewing of the mind. ” Because this is an integrated approach, it recognizes the work of science with the concept or understanding that it only confirms what Scripture recognizes or identifies all along. Psychology reminds us of the differing opinions of experts in this field. It talks about personality which represents all that the mind, or the mental and affective aspects of a person.
People talk a lot about personality or behavior as if it’s such an uncomplicated and unfussy concept, but they end up having difficulty defining it when asked. They are apt to say that it (behavior or personality in general) is something a person “has. ” They describe the behavioral components of particular people in words like “friendly,” “nice,” “forceful,” or “aggressive,” to paint a picture of what they mean by the term and as a result end, instead, in vague descriptions of how a person usually behaves with other people.
On the other hand, when we base our descriptions on concrete and observable actions that people commonly do or adapt, we come up with what experts call as “behavioral profile. ” There are different styles of behavior as well as there are no right and wrong profile. When we come up with correct profiling, the expected result is that we develop ways of getting to know a more concise and accurate picture of ourselves, or people in general. Personality is more than poise, charm, or physical appearance. It includes habits, attitudes, and all the physical, emotional, social, religious and moral aspects that a person possesses.
However, to be more precise, the explicit behavioral styles covered in the course, perhaps, best captivate an individual’s personality and how he/she is understood. With the different behavioral styles, an overall pattern of various characteristics is seen. Like a “psychograph,” a person’s profile is pulled together and at a glance, the individual can be compared with other people in terms of relative strengths and weaknesses. A healthy personality does not mean it does not have any difficulties at all. It means that a person has the capabilities to withstand any turmoil or stress that come his way.
He has learned the skills to make him adjust to the internal and external stresses; minimizing conflicts from within and without but in a healthy and normal functioning way. ~ How does personal growth occur in the context of your therapy? Personal growth occurs in the context of self-insights; insights concerning the workings of one’s mind in relation to the structures and stimuli around the person. He self-insight is very significant and crucial to the client for him to be able to work well with those who are there to assist in his recovery and eventual personal growth. • What makes your theory work?
Christian counselors are prepared to help their clients sort the distinctions and similarities between psychology and the Christian faith? This is important because basic to therapy success is that when therapist and client share similar worldviews, the therapy may then advance. Moreover, do Christian counselors and those in this kind of profession really pursue real interest and deep thirst for a systematic and regular study of the Bible? If they do not do so, they will be deficient of the overall grasp of the Bible’s structure and content and lack a working knowledge of basic biblical doctrines.
A deep and thriving relationship and commitment to an equally gifted Bible – believing church will also benefit the counselor in his/her personal life and practice, thus a necessary requirement,. C. Key Concepts ~ Explain the primary points of your theory as if you were to summarize it quickly for someone The Psychodynamic perspective is based on the work of Sigmund Freud. He created both a theory to explain personality and mental disorders, and the form of therapy known as psychoanalysis.
The psychodynamic approach assumes that all behavior and mental processes reflect constant and often unconscious struggles within the person. These usually involved conflicts between our need to satisfy basic biological instincts, for example, for food, sex or aggression, and the restrictions imposed by society. Not all of those who take a psychodynamic approach accept all of Freud’s original ideas, but most would view abnormal or problematic behavior as the result of a failure to resolve conflicts adequately.
Many of the disorders or mental illnesses recognized today without a doubt have their psychodynamic explanation aside from other viewpoints like that of the behaviourist, or the cognitivists. From simple childhood developmental diseases to Schizophrenia, there is a rationale that from Freud’s camp is able to explain (Kaplan et al, 1994). In the psychodynamic theory, the following three assumptions help guide a student of human behavior or an expert in this field determine the underlying factors that explain the overt manifestations of specific behaviors.
These assumptions therefore, help guide the diagnosis of the presence or absence of mental illness. They are the same assumptions that guide the therapist in choosing what treatment that will better help heal, cure or alleviate the symptoms. These assumptions are: – “There are instinctive urges that drive personality formation. ” – “Personality growth is driven by conflict and resolving anxieties. ” – “Unresolved anxieties produce neurotic symptoms” (Source: Kaplan et al, 1994). The goals of treatment here include alleviating patient of the symptoms which specifically works to uncover and work through unconscious conflict.
The task of psychodynamic therapy is “to make the unconscious conscious to the patient” (“Models of abnormality”, National Extension College Trust, Ltd). Employing the psychodynamic viewpoint, the therapist or social scientist believes that emotional conflicts, or neurosis, and/or disturbances in the mind are caused by unresolved conflicts which originated during childhood years. In the psychodynamic approach the treatment modality frequently used includes dreams and free association, at times hypnosis (as preferred by either the therapist or by the client).
The therapist actively communicates with the client in the on-going sessions. The scenario appears that a given patient may have up to five times a week session and runs up to five years in length (Rubinstein et al. , 2007). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy postulated primarily by Ellis and Beck “facilitates a collaborative relationship between the patient and therapist. ” With the idea that the counselor and patient together cooperate to attain a trusting relationship and agree which problems or issues need to come first in the course of the therapy.
For the Cognitive Behaviorist Therapist, the immediate and presenting problem that the client is suffering and complaining from takes precedence and must be addressed and focused in the treatment. There is instantaneous relief from the symptoms, and may be encouraged or spurred on to pursue in-depth treatment and reduction of the ailments where possible. The relief from the symptoms from the primary problem or issue will inspire the client to imagine or think that change is not impossible after all.
In this model, issues are dealt directly in a practical way. In the cognitive approach alone, the therapist understands that a client or patient comes into the healing relationship and the former’s role is to change or modify the latter’s maladjusted or error-filled thinking patterns. These patterns may include wishful thinking, unrealistic expectations, constant reliving and living in the past or even beyond the present and into the future, and overgeneralizing. These habits lead to confusion, frustration and eventual constant disappointment.
This therapeutic approach stresses or accentuates the rational or logical and positive worldview: a viewpoint that takes into consideration that we are problem-solvers, have options in life and not that we are always left with no choice as many people think. It also looks into the fact that because we do have options then there are many things that await someone who have had bad choices in the past, and therefore can look positively into the future. Just as the cognitive-behavioral model also recognizes the concept of insight as well, this is only a matter of emphasis or focus.
In behavioral/cognitive-behavioral therapies the focus is on the modification or control of behavior and insight usually becomes a tangential advantage. Techniques include CBT through such strategy as cognitive restructuring and the current frequently used REBT for Rational Emotive-Behavior Therapy where irrational beliefs are eliminated by examining them in a rational manner (Corey, 2004; Davison and Neale, 2001). Whereas in insight therapies the focus or emphasis is on the patient’s ability in understanding his/her issues basing on his inner conflicts, motives and fears.
Coaching the patient on the step by step procedure of CBT is a basic and fundamental ingredient. Here the client is enlightened as to the patterns of his thinking and the errors of these thoughts which bore fruit in his attitudes and behavior. His/her thoughts and beliefs have connections on his/her behavior and must therefore be “reorganized. ” For instance, the ways that a client looks at an issue of his/her life will direct the path of his reactivity to the issue. When corrected at this level, the behavior follows automatically (Rubinstein et al. , 2007; Corey, 2004). D. Therapeutic Goals
~ What are your general goals in therapy? Christian counseling admittedly embraces in reality, a basic integration of the biblical precepts on the view of man and psychology’s scientific breakthroughs in addressing the dilemmas that beset human individuals. Depending on the persuasion of the practitioner, especially whether he or she comes from either the purely theological or “secular” preparation, Christian counseling can either lean to certain degrees of theology or psychology. According to Larry Crabb, “If psychology offers insights which will sharpen our counseling skills and increase our effectiveness, we want to know them.
If all problems are at core spiritual matters we don’t want to neglect the critically necessary resources available through the Lord by a wrong emphasis on psychological theory” (Crabb in Anderson et al, 2000). Dr. Crabb’s position certainly ensures that science in particular, has its place in counseling in as much as theology does. He made sure that all means are addressed as the counselor approaches his profession, especially in the actual conduction of both the diagnostic and therapeutic or intervention phases (Crabb in Anderson et al. , 2000).
Trauma inducing and crisis triggering situations have spiraled its occurrence and in its primacy in the US and in many other countries in recent years. Its broad spectrum ranges from the national disaster category such as that of Hurricane Katrina or the 911 terrorist strikes in New York, Spain and England, to private instances such as a loved one’s attempt at suicide, the murder of a spouse or child, the beginning of mental illness, and the worsening situation of domestic violence (Teller et al, 2006).
The acute crisis episode is a consequence of people who experience life-threatening events and feel overwhelmed with difficulty resolving the inner conflicts or anxiety that threaten their lives. They seek the help of counselors, paramedics and other health workers in crisis intervention centers to tide them over the acute episodes they are encountering. These are defining moments for people and must be adequately addressed else they lead lives with dysfunctional conduct patterns or disorders (Roberts et al, 2006).