Three theories of Counselling

Person-centred theory, attachment theory and cognitive behaviour theory have been seen as having an integral role in the practice of counselling while each contribute in different ways.

Person-centred theory has mostly stressed the importance of the uniqueness of each individual as well as that of the therapeutic relationship, proposing the main features and most important aspects of therapeutic success, the core conditions of counselling services st albans which are congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathic understanding.

Further, though attachment theory did not contribute to the development of a single therapeutic approach, it has shed light on counselling in its own way by helping therapists understand their client’s attachments and how these influence their current relationship patterns. This theory has also been used to bring therapeutic change as well as more productive functioning within a client.

Cognitive behaviour theory has emerged out of the existence of two other theories supporting the view that a person’s emotions and behaviours are determined by how they perceive and interpret their experiences. This theory mostly aims to change conceptualisations in order to bring about change. In the therapeutic approach of Cognitive behaviour therapy, therapists are supportive, empathic, and collaborative with their client while making use of experiments as well as empirical processes. In addition, it provides a range of techniques from which the therapist can choose depending on the needs of their client. The main therapies within the CBT framework are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Modification.

Despite the criticisms made and limitations found in all three theories discussed, these remain successfully in use today, within the therapeutic process of counselling.

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