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Posted on March 12th, 2013, by

The importance of theory in psychological counseling, as well as in other areas of psychological practice, is difficult to overestimate. We can say that attempt to give a qualified help to another person to resolve his problems without relying on a system of theoretical views, is similar to the flight without landmarks. Theory helps the consultant to formulate a dynamic hypothesis, explaining the problem of the client. Bramer, Shostrom (1982) emphasized that the consultant without theoretical foundations of his profession can not do anything for a client. But, of course, the crucial thing is not only in the theory itself, but in the maturity of the individual consultant and his professional training, in a high integration of his theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
For example I want to point two theoretical approaches, which seem to me the most interesting. The first is Psychoanalytic therapy, the founder of which was Freud. Today, psychodynamic theory, created by Freud, exists in many modifications and is presented in the works of Adler, E. Erikson, Erich Fromm, K. Horney, Jung, W. Reich, and others. It is known that the main point of the Freud theory of the concept of unconscious, which allows us to describe the complexity and ambiguity of human life. The main task of psychoanalysis is to identify and explore the subconscious sphere of a man. Psychologist, working with clients from a position of psychodynamic theory, seeks to ensure that the client is aware of his unconscious processes, and learn to work on them. In this case it is considered that the purpose of the interaction of the consultant or psychologist and client is achieved.

Recognition of emotional and behavioral stereotypes can be accomplished through the study of the protective mechanisms of the individual. Psychoanalytic consultation determines and points the sources of customer’s problems, while insight as a moment of awareness is often enough to start a personality change. Consultant, working with the client, allocates the stereotypes, sets out the relationship with each other and with the experiences of man. Then the thoughts and actions of the client are designated in terms of psychoanalysis, are interpreted. (George et al., 1990)
The next theoretic approach which I want to point is Person-centered therapy of Carl Rogers. It is based on the idea of positive human nature: a typical innate desire of every person for self-actualization. Problems arise when the displacement of some of the feelings of the field of consciousness and assessment of the distortion of human experience. The basis of the mental health are a perfect match of the “I ideal”¯ and “I real”¯, the realization of the personality potential, his desire for self-knowledge, self-confidence and self-realization. Based on this experience Rogers originally created the theory of therapy and personal change. The main feature of this conceptualization of the therapeutic process is that the process of change goes when a client sees an unconditional positive attitude on the part of the therapist, and empathic understanding of his orientations and experiences.

According to the Person-centered therapy of Carl Rogers, for the client the optimal therapy includes determination of unknown and dangerous feelings within himself. Thus, the client learns about the elements of his experience of emotions, which in the past were not allowed into consciousness, into the structure of his “I”¯ as too traumatic. The client discovers that new experiences bring, respectively, a new, constructive change in his behavior. It is close to an understanding that there is no need to fear the experience of emotions, but the client must accept it as part of his changing and evolving “I concept”¯. If this complete congruence is achieved, the client will be “fully operational”¯: he will have characteristics such as openness to experience, lack of safety barriers, the precise awareness, unconditional self-respect and harmonious relationships with others.

Of course, each consultant is free to choose this or that concept as the basis for the practice, depending on the characteristics of his personality, worldview, theoretical and psychological sympathy.
Also I want to point that nowadays it is often used eclectic counseling, representing an attempt to integrate the best ideas of different schools. Eclectic counseling is based on the system integration of several theoretical approaches in an effort to find a single start, and see how the new system “works”¯ in practice. We can say that the creation of an eclectic approach in counseling is the result of the entire profession. Most professionals in process of work in the field of counseling and psychotherapy create their own theoretical system, typically eclectic, which is the most appropriate to their personality and outlook. (George 1990)

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