Approaches to Counseling- Part 2 (RET, Transactional Analysis, Behavioral, Reality)


In this article, we will be dealing with theoretical Approaches to Counseling.

Biswalo (1996) defines counseling as a process of helping an individual to accept and to use information and advice so that he/she can either solve his/her present problem or cope with it successfully.

The American Counseling Association conference (2010), a consensus definition of counseling: “Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”

Approaches to Counseling are classified as follows –

We have seen these in Approaches to Counseling and Helping – Part 1

In this article, we will see –

  • Rational Emotive Therapy and Transactional Analysis
    • Rational Emotive Therapy
    • Transactional Analysis
  • Behavioral Approach
  • Reality Therapy

Rational Emotive Therapy and Transactional Analysis

Rational Emotive Therapy

Albert Ellis started Cognitive Behavior Therapy in 1955.

It is an educational process in which clients learn to identify and dispute irrational beliefs. These beliefs are, in fact, maintained by self persuasion (brainwash). Moreover, this therapy helps to replace ineffective ways of thinking with effective and rational cognition.

  • View of Human Nature

RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) assumes that we all are born with a potential for both rational and irrational thinking.

We develop emotional and behavioral problems when we think that simple preferences like love, approval, success are dire needs. There is a tendency to invent disturbing beliefs and keep ourselves disturbed through our self talk. Humans have the capacity to change their cognitive, emotive, and behavioral processes.

  • Role of counselor

Counselor must listen carefully for illogical and faulty statements from the clients and challenge their beliefs. The counselor focuses on the thoughts and beliefs of the client trying to identify those, which create problems.

  • Goals

The primary goal of RET is to focus on helping people realize that they can live more rational and productive lives. In addition, to change the way clients think by using their automatic thoughts to reach the core schemata.

Another goal change self defeating habits.

ABC of Rational Emotive Theory –

ABC of Rational Emotive Theory - Careershodh

  • Techniques

Two primary ones are teaching and disputing. In the first few sessions, counselors teach their clients the anatomy
of an emotion. Moreover, that feelings are a result of thoughts, not events.

Disputing thoughts take one of three forms:  –

    • Cognitive – Use of direct questions, logical reasoning, and persuasion. It also uses syllogisms, that is a deductive form of reasoning.
    • Imaginal – Depends on the client’s ability to imagine and explore a technique known as rational emotive imagery (REI).
    • Behavioral – Involves behaving in a way that is opposite of the client’s usual way.

Transactional Analysis

Transactional analysis is another cognitive theory formulated by Eric Berne in the early 1960s. He believed that the majority of our life experiences are recorded in our subconscious minds in an unaltered fashion and become a part of the way we behave.

He believed that there were three states of mind in all humans, no matter how old they were, called the ego states. Child, Adult and Parent ego states.

  • View of Human Nature

Transactional analysis is an optimistic theory based on the assumption that people can change despite an unfortunate events of the past.

  • Role of counselor

The counselor initially plays the role of a teacher. The counselor helps the client obtain the tools necessary for change in the present.

  • Goals
    • To learn the language and concepts underlying Transactional analysis
    • Developing our ability to engage in straight, effective communication with one another on a daily basis.
  • Techniques

TA has initiated a number of techniques for helping clients to reach their goals. The most common are –

  • Structural analysis
  • Transactional analysis
  • Game analysis
  • Script analysis
  • Treatment Contract
  • Interrogation
  • Specification
  • Confrontation
  • Explanation
  • Illustration
  • Confirmation
  • Interpretation
  • Crystallization

Behavioural Approach

This approach is based on the premise that primary learning comes from experience. Behavioral Therapy is effective for individuals who require treatment for some sort of behavior change. Such as addictions, phobias and anxiety disorders. Four aspects of Behavioral approach to counseling are –

  • View of Human Nature 

Humans are living organisms capable of experiencing a variety of behaviors. Their personality is composed of traits.The behaviorist believes that people can conceptualize and control their behavior. In fact, have the ability to learn new behaviors. In addition, people can influence as well as be influenced by the behavior of others.

  • Role of counselor

The counselor functions as a consultant, teacher, advisor and facilitator. The behavior counselor tries to help the individual to learn new and more adaptable behaviors. In addition, to unlearn old non adaptable behaviors.

  • Goals

Basically behavioral counselors want to help clients make good adjustments to life circumstances and achieve personal and professional objectives. Steps involved are –

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Take a developmental history
  3. Establish specific goal
  4. Determine the best method for change
  • Techniques
    • Systematic desensitization
    • Aversive therapy
    • Behavior Modification programs
    • Use of Reinforcements
    • Punishment
    • Shaping
    • Extinction
    • Generalization
    • Discrimination

Reality Therapy

This approach was developed by psychiatrist William Glasser. It helps people gain control over their lives by self-evaluating their behavior. Further, choosing behavior that meets their needs effectively and responsibly.

  • View of Human Nature

William Glasser’s Reality technique focuses on consciousness. s. A second belief about human nature is that there is a health or growth force within everyone.

  • Role of counselor

The counselor basically serves as a teacher and model, accepting the client in a warm and involved way. He/she is who knows what life is all about and is also one who is successful in dealing with life. In fact, not afraid to discuss any subject with their clients.

  • Goals

The primary goal of reality technique is to make their clients psychologically strong and rational. They must learn to be responsible for their own behavior that affects themselves and others. Other goals are to help clients to get connected or reconnected with people they have chosen to place in their quality world.

  • Techniques
    • Teaching
    • Employing
    • Humor
    • Confrontation
    • Role playing
    • Involvement
    • Contracts


Related- Transactional Analysis

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