Compare and Contrast Essay on Counseling Theories

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1026 Words
Date:  2022-06-23


There exist many theories of consoling when it comes to sociology. No matter the approach employed, the purpose is to provide advice accordingly. Some of these approaches include the behavioral and cognitive theories. Others are the psychoanalytic, Adlerian, existential person-centered, Gestalt, choice, feminist, postmodern and family systems theories. All the theories have one thing in common. They are meant to offer a solution when need be. Nevertheless, they vary regarding their logical framework. The behavioral theory, in particular, is unique in its way. It has its basis on the fact that behavior is learned over time. Early researches in the likes of Pavlov (Upatras eclass, 2014) described the classic conditioning as one of the special therapies that define behavior. The commonly used example is that of a dog salivating on hearing a bell. It is based on the stimulus, but then the stimulus creates the behavior. Apart from the classical conditioning, other researchers believed in the changing of the unwanted behaviors through modifications which may call for positive or negative forms.

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On the other hand, cognitive theory pays more attention to how people can change their behaviors and emotions through their thinking. This theory is often used when handling individuals with related mental disorders. The disorders may be in the form of depression. There are various causes of depression some of them being family issues, drug addiction or love cases gone sour. Concerning all these, the therapist will focus on the client's current mental status. Unlike several other theories, the cognitive theory does not go deep into the past. All the attention is directed towards the present state of affairs. The psychoanalytic theory seems to be the mother of cognitive and behavioral therapies. It is commonly referred to as a historical point of view. It depicts that there are natural forces that have a direct influence on human behavior. Unlike the cognitive therapists, psychotherapist spends a vast amount of time analyzing previous occurrences in a client's life. This might be the reason why the theory is unique in terms of the past as a way of predicting the present and protecting the future. However, the theory calls for intensive research to avoid giving misleading information. Apart from the sociology courses, other courses including medicine have begun incorporating the therapy into their teaching. This proves that the theory is of great importance as far as human living is concerned.

Interestingly, the feminist therapy is a turn off to men. This is because the theory has its focus on empowering women and enabling them to overcome the stereotypes that they have been subjected to by the traditions. This does not anchor well with the thoughts of many men since more attention is being directed to women living men to suffer. Modern-day feminist, however, differs from the argument. Despite the original idea being to protect women, present-day feminist therapies represent both men and women. In short, they cater to the marginalized regardless of the gender. While the feminist therapy represents a large group of people, particularly the marginalized, person-centered therapy is concerned with a client's personal growth. Carl, who is the founder of the therapy is of the idea that an individual should be given a chance for self-growth (Therapytribe, 2015). Additionally, the theory stipulates the steps required for personal growth. To some extent, the perception of the individual is a key factor in the growth. Apart from the selfish nature, it has its positive parts in that it is possible for one to develop and give back to the society.

Just like many other forms of therapy, the Adlerian therapy is goal oriented. It is similar to the person-centered therapy in that it displays aspects of individualism. It is more on the individuals' hunger for success as well as their contributions to the society. Unlike several other theories that are retrospective, this form of therapy has its sights primarily on the future. Amazingly, it is short term, yet the results are long-term. It is important in that helps to capture mental illnesses in the society. Consequently, family systems therapy is only applicable when there is a family set up. Some of the aspects put into consideration include the bond of the family, the emotions, the position of the siblings as well as the role of the extended and nuclear family among many others. However, just like other forms of therapy, family systems therapy has been used to treat mental as well as behavioral concerns (Ivey, D'Andrea, & Ivey, 2012). The system is however not restricted to families alone. Couples, as well as individual, are taken care. It is, however, most effective when handling a family set up.


The choice therapy appears to be the more unique of the other theories. While other forms of therapy are concerned with the mental status, the choice therapy is built upon pillars in the likes of food, shelter, and clothing. The therapy further stipulates that the choice an individual makes has a consequence. It is similar to the rest as it has to relate aspects of behavior with other factors. Postmodern therapy is subdivided into two. The narrative therapy and the solution-focused therapy. The narrative therapy ironically evaluates the behaviors of a client according to their culture. This form appears to have shortcomings as compared to the solution-focused which is short-term and has its focus on offering solution rather than having baseless cultural arguments. Regardless of the approach, the goal is to maintain stability. There exist no much differences between the various forms of therapies applied by counselors. Their distinction is on the logical framework they follow. In the end, a therapist who in this case is a counselor has to make the appropriate decision on the approach to employ. Long-term approaches appear to be cumbersome to clients, and thus it is advisable to adopt the short-term plans.


Ivey, A. E., D'Andrea, M. J., & Ivey, M. B. (2012). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: A multicultural perspective. Los Angeles, LA: SAGE.

Therapytribe. (2015). Types of Therapy. Retrieved from

Upatras eclass. (2014). Theories of Counseling. Retrieved from

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