This essay evaluates the counselling skills used during a 30 minute integrative counselling session with a male client aiming to combine strengths of person-centred theory, attachment theory and cognitive-behavioural therapy. It starts by offering a case formulation based on Padesky and Greenberger (1995), as well as Lazarus’ (1973) multimodal assessment template the BASIC ID (cited in Prochaska and Norcross, 2003, p.496), of a married young male client called Eric, who is suffering from anxiety and marital relationship problems triggered by unemployment and influenced by existing difficulties within the client's relationship to his mother.
The essay then outlines and critically evaluates counselling skills such as body language, silences and reflective communication skills amongst others used during Eric’s third session while highlighting areas of improvement and identifying alternative options. The essay concludes with offering and exploring possible directions for future counselling sessions.
Drawing on Padesky and Greenberger (1995, p.27-28), accurate diagnosis and case conceptualisation, here referred to as case formulation, are indispensable for outlining a successful treatment plan and establishing continuous treatment progress. The aim of case formulation is to outline the client’s problems in a coherent and logical manner, while providing shared guidelines for therapy, which can be as individualised as necessary depending on the client’s unique requirements (Westbrook, Kennerley and Kirk, 2011, p.63-97). Even though not all factors were addressed during this session, the case formulation used for this counselling session consists of cognitive, behavioural, emotional, environmental, socio-cultural, physiological, spiritual factors as well as facts on the client’s life experience (Padesky and Greenberger, 1995; see Appendix 1).
During his third session, Eric, a young married father, is reporting feelings of anxiety and stress caused by unemployment, which has exacerbated difficulties in his relationship to his mother and has introduced new problems to his marital relationship. While Eric had always suffered from negative responses and criticism from his mother, he had not previously experienced this from his wife, which causes him great concern over the state of his marriage, which he perceives as 'the core' of his family life. In the past, he managed to separate his feelings from his thoughts by rationalising other people's behaviour to form excuses and explanations. This time, however, experiencing many different feelings is leaving Eric confused and anxious. His case formulation according to Padesky and Greenberger (1995) can be found in Appendix 1.
Without guiding the client or posing leading questions, I attempted to structure some questions based upon Lazarus’ (1973) multimodal assessment template the BASIC ID (Prochaska and Norcross, 2003, p.496), which stands for behaviour, affect, sensation, imagery,...