Philosophy of Counseling Paper

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PHILOSOPHY OF COUNSELING1

ASSIGNMENT COVER

Course code:

CP 690

Course name:

Integrative Research Project

Assignment title:

Philosophy of Counseling Paper

Instructor’s name:

Dr. Fani Triantafyllou

Student’s name:

Isidora Rentifi

Date:

28/03/2015

Comments:

 

Grade:

/100

Philosophy of Counseling Paper

Isidora Rentifi

March 28, 2015

A paper submitted in partial

fulfillment of the requirements of CP 690

Integrative Research Project

[email protected]

Dr. Fani Triantafyllou

Abstract

Counseling and psychotherapy is consistent of clinical practice, which gives therapist the opportunity to examine and evaluate client’s issues through standardized (testing) and non-standarized (clinical interview) forms of assessment. Therapist’s micro-research focuses on a client’s individual needs based on gathering data from client’s history and current situation with the help of therapeutic tools and theory, which will ensure client’s well-being within therapy. A therapist might also be interested in macro-research, as the findings can be generalizable to the expanded population and contribute to the improvement and development of psychotherapeutic processes and applications.

Philosophy of Counseling Paper

“Α trained person, who practices the artful application of scientifically derived principles of establishing professional helping relationships with people who seek assistance in resolving psychological or relational problems. This is accomplished through ethically defined means and involves, in the broadest sense, some form of learning or human development” (Sommers-Flanagan, Sommers-Flanagan, 2009). It is out of question that theory plays a significant role for the guidance of therapists to help clients. Every theory, though, is subjected to research in order to determine its truth or validity and also examine the efficacy and effectiveness of its applications in clinical assessment and actual practice (Truscott, 2010).

Clinical assessement and therefore therapeutic practice entails, during the initial stage of therapy, a detailed collection of information, which constitutes of client’s history and current issues that drive him to seek help. Therapist’s role is to examine, identify, analyse and evaluate these issues and address them in the therapeutic relationship (Whiston, 2009). Assessment is the basic form used in therapy for the identification of problems, setting of goals, plan of interventions and treatment, based on theoretical approaches, according to client’s needs, the evaluation of client’s health and mental satus and making of a diagnosis if necessary. Not only the client but also the stakeholders, if required, are informed about the process of therapy and the outcomes of the assessment (Gladding, 2009). During the assessment the identification of statements, procedures and actions help clients in each and every form of therapy, such as individual, group, family or couples therapy, to develop and make a progress not only in the therapeutic environment but also the client is prepaired to deal with his issues out of therapy in his personal or social environment (Goss et. al, 2011). Despite the fact that therapists might limit their scope of practice concerning the existence of theories, modalities and types of clients, it is also essential for them to gain a better understanding of the assessment’s processes and procedures within therapy (Whiston, 2009).

Another part of assessment is testing, which refers to the measurement of psychological elements and personality traits through instruments or specified procedures that help the therapist to create a better and more holistic view of the client (Naugle, 2009). Testing and assessment, though, is divided into the non-standarized assessment and the standardized one. The non-standarized assessment refers to the process of information gathering such as clinical interviews, which follow a certain pattern but they do not adhere to strict guidelines, due to their personal nature and form of therapeutic interactions while addressing client’s issues and needs. On the other hand, standardized assessment is described as a formal process with specific rules and guidelines through which the therapist is able to administrate, score, and interpret. Tests and questionaires, concerning for example mental status, personality traits and other personal characteristics, answered by the client usually become a significant indicator for client’s personal elements, which are helpful for the therapeutic process (Naugle, 2009).

As it was mentioned above, the therapist, through the assessment process, is able to examine and identify client’s information through gathering data concerning his history and current life and therefore make a hypothesis about his presenting problem. Additional to that, when the therapist is suspicious of the existence of a psychopathological behavior, is essential the use of a manual (DSM-V), which facilitates a common language by communicating the required characteristics of mental disorders (APA, 2013). In this manual, the therapist is able to research on developmental and life span stages, gender differences and cultural issues. There are also scientific findings from genetics and neuroimaging field as well as descriptive and severity specifiers for a better diagnostic precision (APA, 2013). It also provides emerging assessments and monitoring tools in order to promote an enhanced clinical assessment and formulation. Therapists, through such guidance, are able to avoid diagnostic errors or biases regarding the diagnosis of a psychopathological behavior and also to keep their cultural sensitivity (ACA, 2014). Despite the fact that the concepts of what is considered “normal” according to what is a proper behavior has changed somehow, therapists have to remain careful of not considering a different behavior out of their perceptions as pathological, because this may alter the outcome of the whole treatment (Nadelson & Notman, 1997).

To come to a conclusion, as it has been proved, individuals who pass through psychotherapy have better outcomes and life progress than those who do not follow treatment (Wampold, 2007). Therefore, all the above mentioned concerning clinical assessment constitute of therapist’s micro-research, through which the ensurance of client’s welfare might be achieved. Based on that, therapists might be further interested in developing a macro-research project by trying to investigate the significant relationship between certain personal characteristics and the presence of a disorder by taking into consideration elements, which might not have been measured yet. Such a rigorous process including research results, might therefore be generalizable to the expanded population or be important and meaningful to a specific individual or client in the context of population (Naugle, 2009). Research findings are valuable, not in teaching therapists but challenging them by reconsidering their implicit assumptions and expectations, as well as their rigid belief system in order to gain a better personal and professional development and also become more responsive to their clients’ needs (Cooper, 2008).

References

American Counseling Association. (2014).2014 ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders(5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Cooper, M. (2008). Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The facts are friendly. Sage.

Gladding, S. T. (2009). Counseling: A comprehensive profession (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Goss, C. Rossi, A., Moretti, F. (2011). Communication in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Rimondini M. (ed.). Springer Science and Business Media.

Nadelson, C.C. & Notman, M.T. (1997). Psychotherapy supervision: the problem of conflicting values. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 31, 275-83.

Naugle, K. A. (2009). Counseling and testing: What counselors need to know about state laws on assessment and testing. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 42, 31–45.

Sommers – Flanagan, J., & Sommers – Flanagan, R. (2009). Clinical Interviewing (4th ed). New Jersey: Wiley.

Truscott, D. (2010).Becoming an effective psychotherapist: Adopting a theory of psychotherapy that’s right for you and your client. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Wampold, B. E. (2007). Psychotherapy: The Humanistic (and Effective) Treatment. American Psychologist, 62, 857-873.

Whiston, S. C. (2009). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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