Individual Counseling Theories and Approaches

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Individual Counseling Theories are varied. In this paper we will examine three of the most prominent counseling theories, their concepts, techniques, strengths and limitations. We will begin with the Adlerian Theory first followed by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. At the end we will finish with Solution Focused Brief Theory. All three theories have their strengths and limitations but can be and usually are combined or used together to some extent to better serve the client. One theory might examine the client’s background and underlying cause for the complaints, while the other might focus on the present and how to solve the problems in a shorter period of time.

Adlerian Theory

Key Concepts

Adlerian Theory employs a holistic approach to understanding the individual. Adler provides us with an all-encompassing view of the human being, who is a primarily conscious, rather than unconscious creature. Adlerians believe that the most important life problems are social and therefore, the individual must be considered within the social context. Adlerian Theory’s view of human nature is that we are unique individuals and that we are not victims of biology or circumstance. We are in control of our own destiny and can choose to make changes in our goals and behaviors if we so desire. One of the beliefs is that our unconscious goals determine the direction of our lives and we must analyze them and bring them to conscious awareness to be able to change them.

Adlerian Theory also believes that the first five years of life have great influence in developing our own unique style of life and future development. And even though biological and physiological factors do have an impact on our lives, these factors are less important than h...

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...tiple theories in your reflection.

Add a concluding paragraph to your paper. You do not need to title it Conclusion.


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

Alfred Adler: Theory and Application (2014). Retrieved May 9, 20014, from

Who was Alfred Adler (2014). Retrieved May 9, 20014, from

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (2014). Retrieved May 9, 20014, from

What is CBT? (2014). Retrieved May 9, 20014, from

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (2014). Retrieved May 9, 20014, from
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