Therapeutic Techniques

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY Gerald Corey Section 5 APPLICATION: THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES The redecision therapy model of the Gouldings (1979) is grounded within the framework of TA theory, yet their methods are a combination of TA, Gestalt therapy, interactive group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, and psychodrama. Realizing the importance of combining the affective and the cognitive dimensions, the Gouldings draw heavily from TA heory for cognitive structure, and they use Gestalt techniques to provide the emotional work that breaks through the impasses clients often experience. Following is a brief description of some of the more commonly used processes, procedures, and techniques in TA practice. Most of them can be applied to both individual and group counseling. Therapeutic Procedures Structural analysis Structural analysis is a tool by which a person becomes aware of the content and functioning of his or her Parent, Adult, and Child.

TA clients learn how to identify their own ego states. Structural analysis helps them resolve patterns that they feel stuck with. It allows them to find out which ego state their behavior is based on. With that knowledge they can determine their options. Transactional Analysis Two problems related to the structure of personality can be considered by structural analysis: contamination and exclusion. Contamination exists when the contents of one ego state are mixed with those of another. For example, the Parent, the Child, or both may intrude within the oundaries of the Adult ego state and interfere with the clear thinking and functioning of the Adult. (Figure 1). Contamination from the Parent is typically manifested through prejudiced ideas and attitudes; contamination from the Child involves distorted perceptions of reality. When contamination of the Adult by the Parent, the Child, or both exists, “boundary work” is called for so that the demarcation of each ego state can be clearly drawn. When the ego-state boundaries are realigned, he person understands his or her Child and Parent rather than being contaminated by them. Here are some statements reflecting contamination from the Parent: “Don’t mix with people who are not of our kind”; “Never trust Italians”; “Watch out for mechanics; they’ll cheat you every time”; “You can’t depend on teenagers. ” The following statements reflect contamination from the Child: “Everyone’s always picking on me. Nobody treats me right”; “Anything I want I should get right now”; “Who could possibly ever want to be my friend? ”


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