In my selection, I will give a definition of each theory, mentioning the major contributors in that field. Additionally, will evaluate each of the models demonstrating understanding of each. Lastly, I will consider Jean’s integrative model, highlighting the importance of each stage in the process of helping a client. Having evaluated three theoretical models and Jean’s integrative model, I will consider which would be of most relevance to me in my previous career as a graphic/web designer. I will justify that choice giving an example of where this new knowledge of counseling models would be advantageous in a designer/client situation.
I will conclude my essay with reflective learning and discuss why I have selected one particular model as the most appropriate. Finally, will summaries how the counseling models with Jean’s integrative model may have helped modify my approach to working in the graphic/web design industry and how I can develop this knowledge going forward in counselor/client relationships. I have chosen to look at the following three theoretical models: Behaviorism Cognitive Person Centered (Humanistic) Behaviorism theory founded by J.
B. Watson is defined as Watson, J. B. (2009, p. Ix) “Behaviorism psychology has as its goal to be able, given the stimulus, to predict the response or, seeing the reaction to identify the stimulus that called out the reaction” Watson believed behaviors can be measured, trained and changed. Watson was influenced by Ivan Pavlov, considered the founding father of behavioral science. Behaviorist’s explain behavior in terms of the stimuli that obtain it and the events that caused people to learn to respond to the stimulus that way.
Behaviorist’s use two processes to explain how people learn: lassie conditioning and operant conditioning Classical conditioning: Developed by Pavlov, can be defined as Papilla, D. E. , Olds, S. W. , & Feldman, R. D. (2007), “A type of learning which based on the association of a stimulus that does not ordinarily elicit a particular response with another stimulus which does elicit the response”. Association is key in classical conditioning, meaning if two stimuli are repeatedly experienced together, they will become associated. Both Watson and Pavlov experimented with stimulus and response ideas.
Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiments with dogs are world renowned. These eliminated any stimulus outside his control as he studied the response mechanisms of dogs related to certain sounds associated with food. He noted after time dogs salivated as if food was present when sound was heard. This is highlighted in the figure below. Pavlov concluded that behaviors are learned from a response to external and internal stimulus. Operant conditioning: B. F. Skinners findings went beyond the stimulus and response ideas of his peers by looking to what follows the response. People learn new behaviors through the consequences of their actions.
If behavior is followed by reinforcement then likelihood of that behavior being repeated increases (behavior is strengthened). A consequence can be reinforcing in two ways: either the person gets something good (positive reinforcement) or they avoid something bad (negative reinforcement). Equally, if a behavior is followed by punishment, then the likelihood of that behavior being repeated decreases (behavior is weakened). Whereas classical conditioning only allows the person to produce existing responses to new stimulus, operant conditioning allows them to learn new responses.
The pros of this theoretical del are that it is scientifically measurable and observable so data is easy to collect and research. The cons are it does not usually consider human cognitions or emotions; it’s harder to condition someone who is aware and resistant to conditioning. Cognitive theory developed by Aaron Beck, is concerned with behavior being determined by our thoughts. It describes how our perceptions and thoughts of everyday situations influence our emotional behavior (feelings). These perceptions can become dysfunctional over time due to social/ environmental influences in our lives, leading to stress and low esteem.
Cognitive hero can be of particular use in treating depression where such issues are common e. G. I am terrible at everything No one listens to me I have achieved nothing The aim of this therapy stated by Stewart, William (2005, p. 85) is “to get rid of faulty concepts that influence negative thinking” and to begin a process of unlearning the faulty learning. Cognitive therapist Albert Ellis had similar conclusions about his clients’ negative thoughts and beliefs. Allis’s work is a form of Cognitive Therapy, now referred to as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBUT), and utilizes cognitive and behavioral techniques.
Through this therapy the client identifies and disputes irrational beliefs. The goal is to help clients become aware of their thoughts and change how they think about, and respond to, various situations. Combining the best of cognitive and behavioral models, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CAB) was developed which is a balanced approach to help clients change thought processes (Cognitive) and responses to these thoughts (Behavior). Cognitive strategies are used to uncover dysfunctional and maladaptive thinking, based on the idea that ‘how and what one thinks determines how one feels’.
The goal of CAB is to identify, challenge and change maladaptive thoughts allowing clients to lead a more positive/ productive life. It is clear that Cognitive theorists believe that thoughts, feelings and behaviors overlap. Although REBUT and CAB use some behavioral ideas they are based firmly within the cognitive school of thought. The benefits of cognitive theory are that it is based in the present; it helps reveal dysfunctional/ irrational/maladaptive thought processes that may develop in daily lives, seeking to correct them.
Weaknesses in this model and therapies are that they can be time consuming. Client level of commitment is paramount to their success. It may not be of use with clients who have more complex mental health issues. Criticisms of the therapies are its focus on finding solutions to current problems and not considering that issues from a client’s past may be responsible for their current dysfunctional thoughts. The person centered model founded by Carl Rodgers focuses on the personal relationship between a counselor and client.
It is a non-directive approach seen as very appealing to many clients, because they are in control over the content and pace of the therapy. It is intended to serve hem, after all. The therapist isn’t evaluating them in any way or trying to “figure them out”. Trust and understanding built within this relationship encourages self-realization, growth, change and enables the client to acknowledge their problems and issues, gaining self understanding. This is what Rodgers termed self-actualization. Understanding the difference between Self and Self Concept is important.
Self is the Organism, true person who is motivated, moving towards growth, self fulfillment and independence. Self Concept is the perception we have of ourselves, formed in many ways via many cultural and environmental influences. Mostly self and self concept are in balance but at times they can be at odds which can cause problems, blocking growth. Enhancing a person’s self- concept Rodgers considered three main core conditions essential for effective counseling, creating a climate for change. 1. Congruence: Being genuine and open with clients and ourselves. Rodgers states Meaner, Dave.
Throne, Brian (2007, p. 119) “it is the realness of the therapist in the relationship which is the most important element. It is when the therapist is natural and spontaneous that he seems most effective” 2. Empathy: Key to building relationships with clients, enhancing self concept. Defined by Meaner, Dave. Throne, Brian (2007, p. 67) as “A continuing process whereby the counselor lays aside her own way of experiencing and perceiving reality, preferring to sense and respond to the experiencing and perceptions of her client” This is to be within the clients frame of reference.
Rodgers, Carl (1980, p. 11 6) states the importance of empathy, as “We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces or change that know” 3. Unconditional Positive Regard: Counselors may not approve of clients’ thoughts/behaviors but must listen non-judgmentally. Rodgers, Carl (1980, p. 116) states ‘When the therapist is experiencing a positive, acceptant attitude toward whatever the client is at that moment therapeutic movement or change is likely to occur”.
He continues ‘The therapist prizes the client in a total rather than conditional way ‘ The person centered model can be optimistic in terms of a person’s ability or need to change. It places responsibility on the client to move forward. Not all clients want that responsibility; some feel awkward when implied feelings are discussed. The criticism most often attributed to person centered counseling is that the client maybe intimidated by the warmth of the relationship, therefore doesn’t want to expose parts of themselves that are not considered good! , i. E. It may damage the helping relationship that the client enjoys.
The positive is that when practiced properly, the benefit of a good client/counselor relationship will be apparent, the client will feel comfortable, opening up and discussing problems. A true environment of hangs is fostered and some clients may embrace taking control, moving towards their self-actualization. Tall times, the focus is on the client, valuing them and promoting self-expression, awareness and development. Jean’s 3-stage model is considered to be a problem management and opportunity development framework. The model is built round a helping relationship and has similarities with Rodgers Person Centered approach.
Emphasis is placed on the quality of the helper/client relationship. Particular attention is paid to Rodgers core conditions of respect, empathy and congruence which are also important in Jean’s 3-stage del. Stage 1 – Exploration: Develop a relationship allowing clients to explore their problems, focusing on specific concerns. Egan, Gerard (2010, 2007, clients manage their problems in living more effectively and developing unused or underused resources and opportunities more” Stage 2 – Understanding: Help clients see their situation from a new perspective, focusing on what they do to cope more effectively.
The counselor helps the client visualize strengths and resources they might Use. Egan, Gerard (201 0, 2007, p. 9) “Help clients become better at helping themselves in their everyday lives” Stage 3 – Action and valuation: Help clients consider possible ways to act, considering consequences, plan action, and implement/evaluate action. Egan, Gerard (2010, 2007, p. 10)” Help clients develop an action-orientated prevention mentality in their lives” One advantage of this model is its adaptability as it can be practiced with various counseling theories.
The client is the focus, moving through the model at their pace. The helping relationship is central as at each stage the relationship is evaluated. The stages, though connected, can be worked independently to achieve separate goals. This is best summed up by Bernard, Philip (2005, p. 127) Jean’s 3-stage model can serve as a useful and practicable map in counseling by bringing structure to the process of counseling” Another advantage is that there is no set time limit to each stage. Even though the model is adaptable, success may be due to the counselor’s practical experience with the model and theory used.
They could become stuck within the framework and not give proper attention to the client as described by Connors, Mary, Poker, Julia (2007, p. 74) “The coach or mentor may be too conscious of where they are in the framework, rather than going with the flow, and following the client”. In my career as a be designer I have worked on different projects with various clients. The need to discuss, to listen and understand ideas is important. I believe that Rodgers Person Centered theoretical model used in conjunction with Jean’s 3-stage model can be used with great effect and therefore is of most relevance to me.
This is because the relationship between client and designer is central to success. Giving one practical example from my experience, a design client insisted they did not need a website. I knew the task at hand would be difficult and went through a process of asking questions about the minimal design brief. There was company literature could use for the design brief so did not worry about the client’s lack of commitment to the task. This is where the problem started as my design ideas were rejected leading to stress and lack of confidence on both sides.
The working relationship dissolved as did the project. Believe this project may have had a different outcome given my new knowledge of the Person Centered model and Jean’s 3-stage model. It is clear that the working relationship failed at the first stage of Jean’s model. I would now change my approach, putting greater emphasis on building the relationship with the sign client, working within the 3-stage model with the core conditions at centre of each stage. Understanding the client’s frame of reference in my example is also important.
I would attempt to understand their reluctance to developing a website and in doing so, build empathy and then better understand the design brief and the client. Use of skills such as active listening, paraphrasing and open ended questions are important. Congruence and Positive Regard would develop from this first stage, building the working relationship therefore meaning stages 2 and 3 can be worked through whilst always being inter-related. A chance to halogen potential blind spots over the client’s reluctance to the project could be explored while goals are set for both client and designer leading to action in stage 3.
The figure below highlights the importance of Rodgers core conditions as it shows they overlap each of the 3 stages of Jean’s integrative model. Jean’s model gives a framework to help solve problems, common in any project, and develop opportunities. Transferring this knowledge of Rodgers and Jean’s theoretical models to my career as a web designer, and paying attention to the core conditions, will be a great advantage in building relationships with linens and colleagues. Egan also states the advantage Sutton, Jan, Stewart, William (2002, p. ) “In addition to providing the core conditions counselors may help clients make decisions, clarify and set goals and to support them with implementing their action” I have chosen the person centered theoretical model in conjunction with Jean’s integrative model as they both made the most sense to me as I try to relate new knowledge and understanding from units one through three, to previous and existing life situations both professional and personal. From a web design background the client relationship is as important s the counselor client relationship.
If there are flaws in the client relationship when building websites then it can be difficult to work towards a positive conclusion for both parties. The new knowledge of person centered counseling and Jean’s integrative model has helped me to re-evaluate past situations I have previously put down to bad experience and perhaps learning little from the experience. Now with this new understanding, can distinguish that some working relationships have possibly broken down due to lack of empathy between both parties and perhaps not being within the design client’s frame of reference.
Jean’s integrative model would also have assisted as a framework to observe as it can help with any missed opportunities and problem management that are present in any project. I have come to understand the need for sound knowledge of theory as Nelson Jones, Richard (2006, p. 6) states “A theory is a formulation of underlying principles of certain observed phenomena that have been verified to some extent” i. E. A theory seeks to explain why people think, feel and behave in the way that they do.
Theory is based on good, verifiable research from which a solid foundation for counseling models grows. From this comes he understanding of a model which offers a way to practice counseling via a process as stated by Nelson Jones, Richard (2006, p. 6) “Theories provide therapists with concepts which allow them to think systematically about human development and the therapeutic process”. The benefit of a model is that it will be a guide to any work I undertake in the future, given that I understand the theories and principles that underpin the model.
I stated in my introduction that I would confirm why I chose one model over the others; however this has been challenged in the process of writing this essay. I have now come to understand the need for sound knowledge of all the theoretical models. I can choose one theoretical model to base myself within but I must also be aware of the other models and how they can be of use with various clients and, also importantly, with myself. I believe Egan states this idea of a model working with various theories as he states Egan, Gerard (2010, 2007, p. )” “the helping model explored here is cognitive, affective and behavioral in character, that is, it deals with the ways people think, the ways they feel and express emotions”. A strong understanding of various theories can also make a counselor aware of the preferences and complexities of each client, themselves and how they approach each session. This is a journey of lifelong learning, not only through study but also of learning about myself via interaction with clients and peers. This, I believe will help challenge me professionally and personally.
I now understand that to be an effective helper have to be open minded to all theoretical models. In the process of writing this essay have challenged myself using Carl Rodgers’ ideas trying to reconnect with my inner feeling self and my inner resources. It has been a long time since I have written an essay. Confidence was a problem at the outset. Carl Rogers believed “if the counselor even for one minute doubted that the client had the resources within themselves, the counseling process was lost. ” doubted my resources at the start especially coming from a non-counseling background.