To conceptualize, choose, and use effectively a distinct theoretical approach, a therapist really needs to conceptualize change, define his values, and articulate their core beliefs about other people. It's good to be exposed to a variety of theories in order to have a solid base when working with clients. After all, a theory provides the counselor with a framework that they can use to explore the counseling process, the client’s problems, and to measure progress. Theories are very diverse and unique to each therapist. A key component to choosing a theoretical orientation lies within a therapist’s view of how people change and to which theoretical approach matches that view of change. Counselors lean towards utilizing those theories that are congruent to their own attitudes and values. Throughout this semester, I have gravitated towards the person-centered approach, cognitive behavior theory, and solution-focused model. I will discuss how I believe people change followed by my personal opinion about these certain theories that promote that change.
Change is inevitable and in order to thrive one must be willing to change. For most people it’s hard to conceptualize, but you must let go of where you are to get to where you are going. However, the process of change has its intricacies. Balancing all the components is where the real challenge of being a great therapist is found. By diversity, I mean every person has their own story, their own values, and their own situations of why they need to change. There are five stages of change, three reasons to change, and several ways therapist can motivate change. No matter what stage, what reason, or what motivation one possesses, I strongly believe that clients are the primary agents of change and it is therapists job to determine which stage, reason, or motivational factor will encourage that change.
As a therapist it is particularly important to structure the counseling sessions around the client’s current stage of change:
“The 5 Stages of Change Model is a very useful framework that describes the series of stages we go through to change our lifestyle habits. The critical assumption that underpins this model is that behavioral changes do not happen in one step, but through a series of distinct, predicable stages ”(Perry, Marco, 2013).
The stages include pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. When people are in the pre-contemplation stage, they typically do not consider their behavior to be a problem. A person in the contemplation stage is generally more open to receiving information about the possible consequences of their addictive behavior. The preparation stage means a person has moved forward to planning and preparing for carrying out changes they contemplated. The Action stage is where the real change occurs and the change of behavior starts happening. Furthermore, the maintenance stage is when the person continues to achieve the progress...