Question alwas Social Sciences

The three main approaches to counselling: strengths and limitations.

What are the key strengths and limitations of the three main approaches to counselling?

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Answer Internal Staff

One of the main strengths of humanistic therapies is that they are holistic, looking at all aspects of a client’s life in order to determine the specific circumstances which may be limiting their growth and the areas in which their needs are not being met. Humanistic therapies avoid pathologizing clients; however, this approach may be counterproductive under circumstances in which targeted change in behaviour is desired and where the causes of that behaviour are narrow.

Psychodynamic therapy’s strength lies in its depth of application. Therapeutic relationships are often developed with clients during regular sessions over a matter of years, which allows for considerable understanding of the client’s case. On the other hand, it is very difficult to measure the effectiveness of psychodynamic approaches due to the idiosyncratic nature of their application.

There is a decent amount of evidential support for the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). It is also a relatively cost-effective treatment, as the number of sessions for a course of treatment is limited. On the other hand, CBT takes a very targeted approach to treatment, which makes it inappropriate and ineffective where there are complex or comorbid conditions to be addressed.