An Overview of Individual Counseling Therapy Options

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An Overview of Individual Counseling Therapy Options

In today's society, individual counseling is becoming more main-stream with increased usage within the school system, family unit and even the military. The role that a counselor can have on any individual varies according to the chosen theory to practice and the approach taken. However, it must be stated that the approach and success of therapy is dependent on the relationship established by the therapist (clinician) with the client. In 2010 Seligman proposed the BETA treatment system, which stands for background, emotions, thoughts, and actions. According to Seligman, all theories are either focused on a person’s background, emotions, thoughts or their actions. For this reason, we will discuss three prominent forms of individual counseling therapy used today. The three types of therapy are Adlerian Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. The following paper will seek to introduce the key concepts, therapeutic approach, and application of various techniques, or procedures for each of these practices.

Adlerian Theory

To begin, Adlerian theory is a therapeutic approach that is focused on the individual’s background. The founder of Adlerian Theory is Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud and a member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. After years of working with Freud, Adler split from Freud due to his theory of individual psychology; his theory was that a holistic approach must be used to treat individuals. He believed in the psychosocial rather than the psychosexual, which means a focus on the whole human and their connection to the world rather than pleasure-seeking energies (sexual impulses) of the individual.

Key Concepts

At its cor...

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...various forms of treatment methods used by therapist, it became more obvious to me that I prefer a combination of therapies. I can certainly see how each of the various approaches are pliable for different situations; from background to action based. It is my current understanding that as a school counselor I may be asked to move from one approach to another in a seamless fashion.


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Erford, B. T. (2011). Transforming the School Counseling Profession, 3d Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Seligman, L., & Reichenberg, L. W. (2014). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy, Systems, Strategies, and Skills (4th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.