Theories and Models of Counseling

Modified: 18th May 2020
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Today my assignment will attempt to try and explain four different professional counseling theories and therapies with a demonstration of comparison to each one. I will provide the chosen theory and therapy which will be Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, (REBT), to compare against Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Psychoanalysis Therapy. My conclusion will be based on facts presented in each theory as well as the therapy with application set to professional addiction counseling, and what is in the best interest of the client.

PART 1: Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, (REBT)

A)                Founding Theorist:

Albert Ellis’s is the founding theorist of “REBT can be summarized in one sentence by Ellis’s paraphrase of Epictetus, the stoic philosopher; “It’s never the events that happen that make us disturbed, but our view of them” (Murdock, 2017). It is said that this is the “heart” of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.

Albert Ellis born in 1913 and died in 2007 was an American psychologist who developed Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory and therapy in the year of 1955. His ideas gave profound contributions to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well. In 1982 a survey was conducted where Ellis was considered the second most influential psychotherapist in history, whereas Carl Rogers was first and Sigmund Freud was third. In the year of 1953 Ellis worked on REBT then he decided to take a break from psychoanalysis when it was complete. Directly after his completion from psychoanalysis Ellis designated himself a “rational therapist”. In 1954 Ellis began to educate others in a new active-directed therapy, which was a conceptualization of adjusted thinking patterns to emotional conflicts in the client’s life. REBT soon became the zeitgeist paradigm in Ellis’ generation. Ellis founded his own institute despite the slow adoption of his new model therapy known as the Institute for Rational Living (Jorn, 2018).

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The REBT therapy works side by side of the “Stoicism” philosophy developed by Epictetus, who was born in 55 and died in 135 C.E, “was a deep follower of Stoicism”, a body of philosophy originally introduced by Aristotle, which implied that “the mind is blank until external forces play upon it and the mind then becomes full of sense-impressions. This was the very opposite of the theory by Plato who found the mind to be the sole source of knowledge. Epictetus was a student of Rome, but forces led him to Nicopolis in Greece where he became a professor with his own school of philosophy. He shared his great philosophy with the world and subsequent generations in two main great works written by one of his students, Arrian, the “Discourses” and the “Handbook”, which comprises of Stoic thought, Stoic logic, Stoic physics, and Stoic ethics. He envisioned his role as a professor to enable students to work and live the Stoic life, which was to say the philosophic life. This meant to flourish by understanding the “life of reason”. To attain the awareness “virtuously” and “according to nature”, being rational down to life’s choices. Seeking Stoic life change is to (a) “pursue a course through life intelligently responding to one’s own needs and duties as a sociable human being, (b) wholly accepting one’s fate and the fate of the world as coming directly from divine intelligence” (Seddon, 2016).

B)  Standard Interventions: Therapeutic techniques and strategies of REBT:

Disputing will be the first challenge for the client to assume things are true or not true thus trying to progress to a different outlook and outcome of a particular situation.

Proselytizingis using the therapist as an example being a complete disciple of the therapy is using.

Recordings are a useful method as to replay and take each detail and mix and match scenarios to predict negative or positive outcomes. This is where the therapist will listen to them between sessions to get a handle of the next session work.

Reframing is the restructure of beliefs and present negative thoughts into better ones. Once the client can view in his mind a mental schema of how things could be this is a major breakthrough.

Stop and Monitor involves placing cues for the client to recognize in the environment so a better decision can be made at the time.

Rational Coping Statementsmaking the client say a proper statement cognitively sound. So the therapist will point out statements that are better constructed by the client so he knows he is on the right track.

Rational Emotive Imagery this is a highly effective technique done by asking the client to close their eyes and image the worst emotional dysfunction in collaboration with the dissonance going on. While in the midst of this the client suddenly asks the client to change the emotional to a positive emotional experience. (The bonus is being that the distinction between negative and positive feelings.)

Humor sometimes used to try to get the client to lighten up his dreadful feelings at the moment. This has to be very careful as sarcasm can lead to misperceptions.

Role Playing is most helpful as it mimics practice for the confidence of the client.

In Vivo Desensitization is the experience of the client to face the horror in his mind.

Shame Acting this is where the client is instructed to do something excessively embarrassing to them so they realize they won’t perish with such an act. Ellis used this technique on himself (Murdock, 2017).

C)  Central Construct is: “ABC theory of personality”.

Considering that humans assumes a dual thinking processes which are both, healthy and unhealthy; “A” stands for activating event, typically in a challenging life situation, (i.e. boss fires you from employment), “B” is for belief that this will take over your life, positively or negatively, and “C” represents the emotive consequences. It is our perceptions of our beliefs about the world as it relates to us that involves our personality. An example might be if you think you are perfect, this will likely result in a high anxiety level when you cannot measure up to your own standards or society’s standards causing you anxiety then followed by depression that may last in an exponential time frame. So in this example of being fired, your perception and belief that losing your job will create hard times will negatively cause cognitive dissonance and the consequences may be that you are so desperate to get work that your behavior will reflect desperateness, causing hand tremors, speech impediment, sweating during interview, loss of congruent thoughts, thus, the consequences becomes a negative performance behavioral wise. However, if you think you are perfect and lose your job you may perceive this as an opportunity to advance to a higher paying position, one that you have been studying or working towards for a long time. and the results will be a highly efficient positive interview with behavioral accordingly. When you perceive things negatively you are you own worst enemy and do most of your self-sabotaging, (AMHC, 2016).

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Psychological dysfunction of irrational thoughts or cognitive distortions causes human neurosis. For many individuals use the terms, “should”, “must” and “oughts”, become self-defeating dogmatic terms at best. So in the long run, the A-B-C theory of personality, the belief, not the activating of an event, causes emotional consequence. Simply stated, when the belief is irrational the emotion is not healthy, (AMHC, 2016). According to REBT, in order to have mental wellness one must possess rational beliefs and the absence of self-defeating beliefs. REBT teaches unconditional self-acceptance the main ingredient for mental wellness. REBT therapy usually involves empirical evidence to the client, (i.e. showing the faults in his beliefs


In conclusion, it is important that Ana is well equipped to move through life with the motivation that she started out with while working through everyday stressors. Even though there are several different approaches that can be used Ana needs to reconnect with her family through the counseling sessions. Because Ana has experienced depression due to being alone in America without the support of both her family and her husband reconnecting Ana and her son with her family until her husband returns will benefit her treatment plan. In addition, Ana should seek out support groups for military wives that may be experiencing similar emotional restraints. Ana can also connect with other parents at her son’s school that are also faced with their spouses being deployed or away for long periods of time in order to find understanding during this separation from both her family and husband. Ana making herself open to the option of getting out and around others while attending counseling sessions and military wives support group sessions.




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