My Philosophical Approach To Counseling Essay

1160 words - 5 pages

My Philosophical Approach to Counseling

Definition of Existential Therapy

     One survey taken by Corey suggests a definition of Existential Therapy
include two key elements:

Existential Therapy is essentially an approach to counseling and therapy
rather than a firm theoretical model, it stresses core human conditions.
Normally, personality development is based on the uniqueness of each
individual. Sense of self develops from infancy. Self determination and a
tendency toward growth are control ideas. Focus is on the present and on what
one is becoming; that is the approach has a future orientation. It stresses
self-awareness before action. (1996, p.465)

     In layman terms, Existential therapy can be described as a philosophical
approach that is not designed to cure people but instead help the client reflect
and search for value and meaning in life. Existential Therapy does not supply a
cookbook of methods like other approaches but instead it provides a framework
that is adaptable to the therapist, in which to view the individual and the
world in which they participate.

Definition of Person-Centered (Client-Centered) Therapy

      According to Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary,
client-centered therapy is a non directive method of group or individual
psychotherapy, originated by Carl Rogers, in which the role of the therapist is
to listen to and reflect or restate without judgment or interpretation the words
of the client.

Objectives of Existential Therapy

     The objectives of Existential Therapy are quite unique. Existential
counselors are focused on helping the client achieve and expand their self-
awareness. Many Therapist assume once self awareness is achieved, the client
can examine new ways of dealing with problems and except the responsibility of
choosing.

Objectives of Client-centered Therapy

     The objective of client-centered therapy is to assist the client to
experience self exploration, so that they can identify problems that are
hindering their growth process. Essentially, the main goal of client-centered
therapy is to have the client achieve a sense of increased awareness and
understanding of his attitudes, feelings, and behaviors.

Professional Opinions

     Existential and client-centered therapy have been criticized for not
being “scientific enough”. They have been down played as not being empirical
and not having a therapeutic model that is firmly set in stone with a set of
methods and interventions. A large number of therapist feel that Existential
and client-centered therapy are not sound therapeutic approaches for treating
and diagnosing adolescents. One main reason for this argument is the
existential view toward adolescence. Existentialist view adolescence as a time
when a young person begins to gain a sense of awareness on a surface...

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