Theoretical paper on counselling

Theory of Counselling Paper

The purpose of the Theory of Counselling paper is to give students an opportunity to develop, personalize, and critique their own theory of counselling. Students may select any major theoretical approach covered in the textbook and detail how they think they might apply the approach in their future professional work. Theories not covered in the text may also be used, but the student must consult the instructor before proceeding. Students will write a 10-15 page paper describing and reflecting on their theory of counseling. The paper should attend to the following areas:

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Theory of Counselling

What is the overall purpose or guiding metaphor for the therapy? What does the model suggest about the goals of counselling?

What are the central assumptions about human nature/experience contained in the theory?

What is the theory of change: How do problems develop and how are they resolved?

What social-cultural-historical context(s) are relevant to the development of this theory?

To what extent is the theory oriented to mental processes, social interactions, and broader social-

cultural-historical contexts?

How does the theory take into account social injustice and other forms of adversity?

How does the theory address the question of “agency”: the origins of thoughts, feelings, and actions;

the energy and activity for change?

What does the theory say about the relationship between the client and the therapist? For example,

how does the theory address the question of how therapists use their expertise and social power?

To what extent does the theory address diversity?

With what other theories is the theory most closely aligned?

Associated Practices

What forms of assessment or diagnosis are consistent with the theory? What does the therapist working from this perspective look for? What does the therapist choose to notice and ignore?

Based on the assessment, how does the therapist working from this perspective develop hypotheses and conceptualize treatment?

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What central practices are congruent with the theory? How does the therapist use them in service of the overall purpose or guiding metaphor?

How is treatment from this perspective structured and sequenced?

What is the role of the therapist?

How is progress evaluated?

Critical Analysis

What is unique about the theory and its associated practices?

Does the student experience any personal discomfort with the model? If so, how does he or she deal

with that?

What are the limitations of the model?

What does critical analysis and research regarding similar theories and practices suggest about the

ethics and efficacy of the theory and its associated practices?

Students must include at least ten sources other than their textbooks and required readings. At least two of these sources must be primary sources, i.e., authored by the originator of the model. For example, if students were to write about the influence of Gestalt therapy in their theory of counselling, they might include work by Fritz Perls. As per APA format, students must cite references for all ideas, facts, and information that are not their own, even if the information is paraphrased. Failure to cite sources is plagiarism. See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for the correct style, citation, and reference format.

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