People have several different reasons for deciding they want a career as a counselor. Why would someone want to be a professional counselor and make it their career choice? Developing a professional and authentic relationship with a wide range of individuals. Helping not only families, but groups of people in need accomplish mental well-being, wellness, education, and realize their career goals. A few of the reason why I decided to peruse a career as a counselor was from personal experience with one and the desire to help others.
Personally, I went through the counseling process for different ssues and had a helpful and positive experience. Also, the same satisfaction and resolution that came with that experience I had, I’d like to pass it on to others. The gratification that comes with helping other people in need is a wonderful feeling. My aim, to be able to help individuals thru a tough time, overcome a fear or addition, or help them find purpose are all aspects of why I want to be a counselor. There are many different theoretical models of psychology and counseling.
Some are applied to a particular situation or based on the client’s needs. At times, a wide range pproach, or the use of several different approaches can be the best way to find a resolution to a number of problems. There are several facets of psychological theories and/or methods l’d like to incorporate once I become a counselor or therapist. However, behavior therapy and Gestalt therapy models fit the direction of counseling best suited for me. Behavior Therapy Behavioral therapy is a treatment that brings change to harmful or negative behaviors.
It’s also called behavioral modification or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Focus is on overt behavior, precision in specifying the goals of treatment, development of pecific treatment plans, and objective evaluation of therapy outcomes (Corey, G. 2009). Behavior therapy is also used by professionals in the medical field, in order to replace bad habits with good ones. This therapy also helps individuals cope with difficult situations. One of the characteristics that also draws me to behavior therapy is the role of the therapist as well as the unique relationship between the client and the therapist.
Even though treatment occurs together, in order for the therapist to form a treatment plan, the therapist will start with a formal assessment prior to the start of treatment. This will determine he behavior(s) that will be the targets of change. The client recognizes the different benefits that therapy will bring to their lives. The clients focus is more on what they want to do rather than on what they don’t. After all, the client is the one seeking change or guidance and only he or she can make that change.
That is why goals are some important in behavior therapy and need to be identified. Goals must be understood, clear, and agreed upon by both the client and the counselor/therapist. The therapist holds him or herself accountable to the success of failure of treatment. They rely heavily on empirical evidence bout the efficacy of the techniques they apply to particular problems (Corey, G 2009). Behavior therapists have a tendency to be active and to function as advisors, teachers, and problem solvers.
The importance of client participation in the entire therapeutic process is very important and stressed. Only through a collaborative relationship between the client and therapist, will lead to a successful reach of the goals set in place. Therapy is a genuine team effort. Behavior therapy has been proven to not only help people with both mental health conditions but also physical conditions. Anxiety disorders, epression, anger or sleep problems, and eating disorders to name a few. However, it’s also used significantly to treat people suffering with drug and alcohol abuse.
This is why behavior therapy interest me so, working with individuals recovering from drug and alcohol use, and learning positive coping skills is key in addiction. Behavior therapy is a way to treat and prevent relapse of both drug and alcohol addiction. Individuals engaged in behavior therapy can learn a wide range of constructive coping skills that can be used to stop drug/alcohol abuse and address several other problems that can often occur with it. Behavior approaches, such as relapse prevention, are grounded in social learning theories and principles of operant conditioning (Carroll, K.
M. ; and Onken, L. S. 2005). Life can be tremendously painful or stressful at times, it has been for me, and for some they can be put in a position where they are unable or don’t know how to cope. Leading some individuals to try different types of desperate behaviors in an attempt to escape pain. For example an individual with abandonment issues, someone who all of a sudden loses someone close to them, or a person suffering from depression. All this can lead to unwise or estructive behavior.
Behavioral approaches help engage people in drug abuse treatment, provide incentives for them to remain abstinent, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase their life skills to handle stressful circumstances (National Institute on Drug Abuse 2012). The aim is to help such individuals out of the darkness they find themselves in. Guide them in finding a purpose to their life, living a happier and healthier life, and overcoming different obstacles they might find on their way to recovery. When we think of ethics we often immediately think of “codes of ethics.
However, underpinning codes of ethics are universal principles societies have determined to be right, just and fair, such as the “golden rule” (Counselor Magazine 2012). Each professional therapist or counselor has the responsibility to uphold the public trust and seek high levels of education in the ethical applications of counseling practices. The aim of the behavior therapist is to modify curtain behaviors, not to “change” the client, their values, or beliefs. We have to remember that both W therapist and counselor have a lot of power and can operate in a private 1-on-1 setting.
In order to be an effective and ethical herapist you must be able to be able to express yourself well, be perceptive at what clients are feeling or thinking, and have an authentic relationship with that client that involves empathy and respect. Understanding the important role that ethnicity, culture, and values in an individual’s awareness and how he or she lives in the world is key. When you’re dealing with a variety of individuals it’s important to remember the different attitudes some will take in the curtain goals or the practices of notifying behavior.
Living in what some call a “culture melting pot”, I think behavior therapy would work well here in South Florida. There will be difficulties working with different types of ethnicities and backgrounds, but when someone is willing to change, and puts forth the necessary effort, differences in culture take a back seat. Also, there is an added bonus to being a Hispanic therapist in a mostly Hispanic city. Give you a chance to relate better to individuals and see the world from their perspective.
Gestalt Therapy A common thing to hear from someone recovering from addiction is “taking it one day at a time”. That is a good way to describe Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt therapy has helped individuals to let go of the past and quit worrying about the future. For someone suffering from addiction, a positive recovery is fixed in the “here and now,” and Gestalt therapy places great emphasis in that state of mind. The aim of therapist using this type of therapeutic approach is to encourage a self-awareness that enables the client to develop a distinctive perspective on life.
By helping the individual become aware of how they’re thinking, acting, and feeling in the present moment, that individual will find new ways in which he or she can minimize current issues or distress in order to reach their maximum potential. A vital tool in gestalt therapy is the therapist. He or she aren’t objective or neutral, and don’t take a disconnected, or analytical approach, but they invest in a meaningful and authentic relationship with the client, interacting as equals.
A Gestalt therapist will typically have more understanding as well as empathy for the client, respect for the client’s current situation, but will also challenge the client’s thoughts and feelings so that they may gain a new understanding to what they’re struggling with. This therapy is based on the assumption that individuals can only be understood within the context of their continued relationship ith the environment, an idea also known as field theory (Corey, 2009).
Awareness is one of the most important elements in Gestalt therapy as it is seen as a “hallmark of the healthy person and a goal of treatment” (Seligman, 2006). When individuals are “aware”, they’re able to self-regulate in their environment. The “here and now”, contact with the environment, and responsibility are three ways clients can regain awareness through therapy. Some key techniques and methods used by Gestalt therapist are experiments and the empty chair. Experiments are intended for the client and take the form of ortrayal, roleplaying, or homework.
These different activities promote the clients self-awareness. The empty chair technique is where the therapist places two chairs facing each other, one is for the client, and the other is for the person the client is having issues with. As the client alternates role, he or she will sit in one or the other chair. In the process, emotions or conflicts come to light. This brings the client awareness and brings a resolution to the conflicts between them and the other person. Throughout the therapy procedure therapist must take steps to insure the protection of their clients.
Misapplication or abuse of the different techniques involved with Gestalt therapy will cause harm to the client. The Codes of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Counseling Association (1995, cited in Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 1998), counselors are to practice only within their areas of competence, based on training, supervised experience, education, appropriate professional experience, and as defined by state and national credentialing agencies. Using the proper strategies and taking steps to ensure the proficiency of their work while they’re in the therapeutic process is vital.
Gestalt therapy has been found to have a good relationship with ideas of multicultural diversity. Techniques and experiments can be personalized to accommodate the ways in which diverse clients recognize and interpret their own culture. Frew (2008) has made the case that “contemporary Gestalt therapy has evolved as a culturally sensitive and diversity friendly orientation” (p. 267). For example, using the empty chair technique, a therapist might aid the client in dealing with what is means to be a 2nd or 3rd generation Latino living in the U. S. , and the difficulties what come with it.