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Personal Theory of Counseling

Perhaps nothing is as significant to the success of the therapeutic process and nothing represents the foundation of successful therapy more than one's personal theory of counseling. All individuals in all aspects of life work from some belief system, perspective, or model of how the world works, how things are, and how things interact. Developing a deep understanding of one's own personal theory leads to better decision-making with respect to the therapeutic process, including therapist approach and client interaction. Such an understanding also promotes a greater ability to intervene more effectively with clients whose values are in contrast to one's own. Being aware of one's own personal theory of the world and, subsequently, one's view of counseling, also helps the therapist identify individual strengths and areas for improvement.

The personal orientation of the therapist is a sum total of many influences such as interests, self-awareness, experience, values, and compassion for others, among many other things. Such influences have a direct impact on one's personal theory of counseling. For instance, my Christian upbringing, experiences, and beliefs have a significant impact on my personal view of the world and others and, therefore, also on my theory of counseling. My religious beliefs and values coincide with some therapeutic approaches and not others. Like clients will be most happy when the therapeutic approach is most in alignment with their own personal values, so the therapist will fill most rewarded and happiest approaching the therapeutic process from a foundation that is congruent with their own personal values. The same is true for one's personal skills and temperament.

The process of developing a personal theory of counseling is a bit like shopping for the best fitting clothes. One may find a suit jacket that fits best in an upscale designer clothing store, a shirt that fits best in a retail chain sto...

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Personal Theory of Counseling. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:00, May 31, 2016, from