Personal Counseling Theory, Assessment Example

Psychology aims at understanding the nature of people. Human nature tends to be dynamic and involves the exchange of energy and transformation. Personality is a component of human nature, and it is through this that people can differentiate an unconscious mind, a preconscious mind, and a conscious mind. Any individual with a conscious normally has knowledge concerning the occurrences at any present moment. However, individuals with preconscious minds have information from the conscious minds and the unconscious minds. The unconscious minds, on the hand, contain forgotten experiences or memories (Woolfe, Strawbridge, & Dryden, 2009).

This view of the nature of people is related to the Alderian theory of counseling. This theory is based on the assumption that human minds never see facts, however, most of the presumptions of the human mind are based on what people perceive as facts. This theory depicts effective functioning in people illustrating how encouragement, capability, and appreciation in people are cooperative and connected. When an individual is discouraged, they are likely to behave in unhealthy ways. This may involve withdrawing, competing, or giving up. This theory reveals the role played by encouragement in defining the nature of people. According to the theory, encouragement plays a critical role in the development and growth of the human nature. This theory shows that everything is subjective when it comes to human views. This can be illustrated using the example of a headache. Different people have their own personal subjective experience of how it feels like to have a headache. Therefore, in a usual sense of being subjective every headache is subjective. The theory examines the nature of people by viewing human feelings, perceptions, and ideas as subjective. The manner in which a person examines the world plays a significant role in how people’s behaviors are shaped. The theory depicts that an individual’s reality is subjective and not factual (Woolfe, Strawbridge, & Dryden, 2009).

In describing the nature of people, this theory also assumes that people are driven by the desire to feel superior. In an attempt to ensure efficient functioning, people cope with inferiority and strive for perfection by seeking mastery. The human nature is seen to continually seek to become what it perceives as the ideal self. The search for perfection leads people to taking the feeling of overwhelming inferiority, causing them to suffer from inferiority complex. The theory depicts that people develop their true nature based on a series of events that occur in the first six years of life (Woolfe, Strawbridge, & Dryden, 2009).

The Individual in Families and other Systems

Family psychology puts focus on thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of individuals, families, and couples in relationships and the broader environments in which they operate. The principles of systems theory depict the family as the central focus. Family dynamics normally play a critical role in the psychological performance of the family members. Family systems are likely to affect individuals because when attempting to solve psychological problems the family plays a critical role. The family life shapes an individual’s personality. It is also evident that a person subjective belief concerning their family is a dominant and influential force that controls human behavior. Destructive interactions and neurotic conflicts with a person’s family are factors that contribute to psychological problems. This shows that, despite the family playing a vital role in an individual’s life, there are instances when it could have harmful influences on a person (Corey, 2013).

Family therapy in psychology also illustrates how the family affects individuals. The family plays a vital role in explaining and understanding human behavior. For example, most psychological problems are maintained and developed in the social context of the family (Corey, 2013). The family systems theory reveals that people can never be understood in isolation with one another. This implies that the family system comprises interconnected and interdependent individuals. These people can never be understood if isolated from the system. This shows that the family system can affect an individual positively or negatively.

The interaction of family systems can be illustrated from Bowen’s theory of family systems. The theory depicts the family as a system in which every member has a role to play and rules to obey. In illustrating the interaction of the family system, the members of the system are normally expected to show concern for each other based on their role. This is defined by the relationship agreements. The interaction of family systems can be illustrated from the relationship that exists between couples. For instance, if the husband is suffering from depression, the wife can take the responsibility of picking up the slack.  The changing roles in the family help in maintaining a stable relationship in the family. However, the interaction of family systems can also play a role in pushing the family towards a different equilibrium. There are instances when the equilibrium may result to dysfunction in the family. For example, using the example illustrated above, the wife may not be in a position to maintain the overachieving role for a long time (Corey, 2013).

In showing the interaction of family systems, there interlocking systems arise. One interlocking system can be illustrated from the triangle. This is used to illustrate the stable relationship system. The triangle has two sides in harmony and one side in conflict. This shows that the interaction of family systems may not be stable in some cases. The triangle can be used to illustrate how systems affect individuals in other areas. For instance, when two people are having an imbalance, they are likely not to equate their forces. Couples, for instance, normally oscillate between distance and closeness. The triangle is the smallest relationship system that can be in balance in case stress arises. The triangle shows that in order to stabilize a relationship in any family the dyad must include a third party. This shows how systems are likely to affect individuals in other areas. The involvement of a third party is critical in the maintenance of closeness in any family system. The Bowen’s family systems theory is close to the opinion because it focuses on patterns that build up in families in an attempt to diffuse anxiety. One of the generators of anxiety in any family is the belief that there is too much distance or increased closeness in the relationship (Corey, 2013).

Multicultural Considerations

Cultural difference factors in evaluating people because in order to build successful communities and improve conditions of conflict resolution in the society, an understanding and appreciation of the different cultures is critical. When people establish relationships with individuals from other cultures, they are likely to build strong alliances. Cultural differences, therefore, helps in building powerful communities (Trusty, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).

Despite the many advantages that accompany cultural diversity, cultural differences also come with some difficulties. Some of the problems caused by cultural differences in the society include social tensions, language barriers, and civic disengagement.  Cultural diversity has led to language barriers in most societies. This causes social segregation in the society because the speakers of the mutually unintelligible languages start living side by side. Social tension is the other problem caused by cultural differences. In most communities where cultural diversity exists, then civic disengagement will also be observed (Trusty, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).

Cultural differences enhance the process of change. Cultural differences help in enhancing and revealing the underlying identity of an individual. This involves a revelation of value, meaning, and the character of a person in the community. The identity brought about by cultural differences is reflected through a community’s senses of place or character. The community’s sense of place is not a static factor but a concept that evolves and revolves over time. This shows how cultural differences enhance the process of change in any community. This is because it helps reflect the spectrum of values found around and within the community (Trusty, Looby, & Sandhu, 2002).

Wellness and Prevention

The self-determination theory is a concept that can be used to help people maintain wellness in the community. This theory is mainly concerned with personality and human motivation. The theory can be used in the maintenance of wellness in the society because human nature is concerned with motivation. In every society, people struggle with mobilizing effort, finding energy and persisting at the tasks of work and life. Motivation in terms of external factors such as rewards, evaluations, or opinions can help in enhancing a person’s wellness in the society. Motivation helps in marinating wellness because they sustain creativity, passion and sustained efforts (Jones, 2012).

The self-determination theory helps in maintain the conditions for supporting a person’s experience of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. These three factors foster volitional, and high quality forms of engagement in activities and motivation. This includes increased persistence, enhanced performance, and creativity. This theory states that if the three psychological needs are not supported within the social context, they are likely to have a detrimental impact on the wellness of a person (Jones, 2012).

The peer-to-peer counseling strategy can be used to address mental health issues for instance those caused by substance abuse. This involves the use of programmes that involve persons of a similar working group. This may involve the use of peer educators who work with people with whom they share characteristics. Such characteristics include sexuality, age, or sub-cultural similarities. Peer to peer education is an efficient way of sharing knowledge. This strategy can be used to help young people suffering from drug and substance abuse. This is because most young people feel free to share information with persons of their age. The strategy is also considered credible because it is based on real experiences. When peers meet and share stories, they are likely to form lasting relationships with each other. This leads to a strong connection between them (Jones, 2012).

The counseling strategies that can be used in addressing mental health issues in case of physical abuse involve the use of counseling sessions. Such sessions help the victims of substance abuse to obtain self-esteem and self-confidence. The first step involves convincing the victim to accept the help they are being offered. The individuals must also be willing to discuss their experiences (Jones, 2012).

Nature of Problems

People develop problems, ineffective functioning, or challenges because of the lack of resilience. Resilience in psychology is what helps people control themselves in case they are struck by disaster. It also helps individuals cope with setbacks and problems. When a person lacks resilience, they can never use their strength and skills to cope with the situation. Such people are likely to be overwhelmed by their experiences, and they opt to dwell on their problems. People develop problems because of the unhealthy coping mechanisms they develop when they experience challenges. A person may develop ineffective functioning because they are slow in recovering from their setbacks. This then causes the person to suffer more distress that is psychological. Resilience never erases life difficulties or does it eliminate stress, but it gives an individual the strength to handle their problems and overcome adversity. The lack of resilience in most people is the reason people suffer from psychological disorders such as stress, neurosis, which is characterized by increased anxiety or depression (Jones, 2012).

The theory that is closest to the nature of problems is the psychoanalytic theory. This is according to Signumd Frued’s opinion. This theory reveals the importance of childhood experiences and conscious minds. Freud introduced the developmental theory to show how development takes place in a series of psychosexual stages. The theory can be used in understanding the nature of problems because it illustrates how personality develops during childhood. The developmental stages are normally the driving force behind behavior. The theory illustrates how individuals acquire personality a factor that is essential in addressing problems later in life. This is because when an individual completes the stages successfully, the result is the development of a healthy personality (Jones, 2012).

The Process of Change

People change during the counseling process with the help of psychotherapy. People change through the alteration of patterns of thought, their ability to process emotions, reinforcing behavior, making the unconscious conscious, connecting to mortality, experiencing consequences, developing relationships, providing incentives and having new experiences (Corey, 2013).

The role of a counselor in change and the therapeutic process in enhancing change involves the following. The first step is voicing concern in an attempt to help a person change. Motivational interviewing can follow, and it is critical in helping an individual move through the stages of change. This may involve directing interventions for such a person. Contemplation is also essential because it helps in the removal of barriers that may hinder change (Corey, 2013).

The therapeutic process should involve long-term conditioning. This involves setting up rewards and punishments for unwanted behaviors. This may help in enhancing change for a long time. The key here would be to implement strategies that would make the behavior not happen again (Corey, 2013).

The theory that is congruent with the views discussed is the Trans theoretical model of change. This theory illustrates the stages of change that helps a person move through the process of change. It includes the pre-contemplation step where a person is never planning to change and shows the lack of awareness that their behavior is problematic. This is followed by contemplation where an individual recognizes their problem and considers changing in future. The next step of the model is preparation, followed by action and maintenance of change (Corey, 2013).

My Theory in Practice

The strategies that help with the process of change entail understanding the elements of behavior change. The first strategy is readiness to change. This involves evaluating if there are sufficient resources to help an individual change forever. The next step is an understanding of the barriers to change. This involves evaluating if there is anything that can hinder the process of change. The next strategy is the examination of relapse. This involves examining if there is any factor that might cause an individual to return to their former behavior (Woolfe, Strawbridge, & Dryden, 2009).

These techniques are consistent with the stages of change model. This involves the process of pre contemplation. In this stage, people are never willing to change. This is followed by contemplation where an individual becomes aware of the benefits of change. The other steps of the model are preparation, action, maintenance and relapse. Relapse is a common experience during change where an individual may feel frustrated or have the feeling of failure (Woolfe, Strawbridge, & Dryden, 2009).


Corey, G. (2013). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth.

Jones-Smith, E. (2012). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: An integrative approach. London: SAGE Publications.

Trusty, J., Looby, E. J., & Sandhu, D. S. (2002). Multicultural counseling: Context, theory and practice, and competence. Huntington, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers.

Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B., & Dryden, W. (2009). Handbook of Counselling Psychology. London: Sage Publications.