Free Essay Sample: My Counseling Style and Beliefs Concerning Human Nature

Published: 2022-07-14
Free Essay Sample: My Counseling Style and Beliefs Concerning Human Nature
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Human behavior Human services
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1218 words
11 min read

My Counseling Style

I believe that my counseling style is more directive as opposed to being less directive. According to Howatt (2000, p.59), a person's counseling approach can be placed in a continuum based on McGregor's X-Y theory. The 1960's McGregor's X-Y theory posits that leaders or managers have two opposing leadership styles, which he referred to as X and Y. He described the Theory X leader as autocratic and more directive and Theory Y leader as less directive and democratic. These theoretical approaches to leadership or management are also applicable in the counseling field.

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When McGregor's X-Y theory is applied to counseling, I consider my counseling style as autocratic and more directive because of three reasons. First, I believe that an individual's behavior can only be changed through authoritative techniques. According to Agarwal (2009), directive counselling utilizes authoritative leadership style

That is unless a person is forced to replace irrational and emotional behaviors with rational ones, changes in behavior cannot be achieved. Consequently, once I have diagnosed the client and come with a treatment or a therapeutic approach and a timetable, I need to ensure that the treatment is followed without fail. Therefore, I prefer being in constant touch with the client and checking on his or her treatment progress as well as the challenges that he or she might be encountering. This will help in ensuring that the client does not miss any of the therapeutic sessions and obtain the maximum benefits that can potentially be derived from them.

Secondly, I consider my counseling approach as more directive because I prefer advising the clients to follow my viewpoints when they are trying to change their behaviors. According to Rattan (2002), counsellor is dominant in directive counselling and offers solution to the client. Similarly, I prefer identifying the issue that is making the client behave in a way that is not normal and give advice or resolution for the client to follow. Specifically, in an interview session with a client, I will give him or her room to explain or discuss his problem and allow him to provide all the options that he or she needs to get the problem solved. However, the final direction the counseling will take, or the steps necessary to attain the desired behaviors will come from me. Also, as much as possible, I conduct follow up sessions to ensure that the client is progressing towards the achievement of the desired goals.

Thirdly, I believe that my counseling technique is more directive because, during the interview, I play a more active role than the client. My tasks include listening and helping the individual determine how to proceed towards the attainment of the preferred behavior. Naik (2007) also agrees that directive counselling involves listening to the counselee, deciding with the client what needs to be done, and motivating him or her to do it. I tend to be more directive because after diagnosing the client, I do all it takes to ensure that the client sticks to the therapy or the treatment considered helpful in remediating the problem. That is, I try to guide the thinking of the counselee by explaining and advising him or her on the benefits of sticking to the therapeutic or treatment regimen. I firmly believe that a client who is informed about his or her problem and the approaches that need to be taken to reverse the problem is more likely to stick to the therapy that he or she has been advised to follow than the uninformed client. Consequently, such a counselee has a higher likelihood of having his or her problematic behavior treated.

My Belief System Concerning Human Nature

Any person who acts as a counselor does so from certain standpoints and particular assumptions regarding human nature. According to Burnard and Campling (2013), every individual carries within himself or herself certain beliefs concerning his or her psychological make-up as well as those of other individuals. The articulation of such belief systems helps human beings to make decisions on how to help others. My belief system regarding human nature is that human behavior is learned.

Consequently, if desired, a particular behavior can be unlearned. This approach to understanding human behavior is referred to as the behavioral approach. It was developed by John Watson who held the view that the study of human behavior and set of behaviors should be examined from a scientific lens rather than introspective methods suggested by Watson (Burnard & Campling, 2013).

I believe that a human being is capable of learning and unlearning any behavior if he or she is given the motivation or is encouraged to do so. Burnard and Campling (2013) explained that such learning takes place through positive reinforcement. That is, a person learns a behavior if he or she is motivated to learn and forgets a behavior if no motivation is forthcoming. Consequently, changing of undesirable behavior can be accomplished by, first, encouraging the client to identify the unwanted behaviors. Once the unwanted behaviors have been identified, the counselor and the counselee should organize a scheme whereby desirable behaviors are encouraged.

In behavioral terms, a plan or a program aimed at making a client adopt desirable behaviors is referred to as 'schedule of reinforcement.' In this arrangement, the client is encouraged by the counselor to go and develop the positive behaviors through a scheme designed in collaboration with the counselor. In this arrangement, no effort is put towards understanding the genesis of the behavior regarding the past and no causation is inferred in understanding the cause of a particular behavior. Instead, a person is positively reinforced whenever he or she displays the desired behaviors. Positive reinforcement of behaviors is praising the individual and providing gifts to sustain the newly learned behavior. Positive reinforcement encourages the likelihood of repeating the desired behavior in the future by presenting a reinforcing stimulus to the individual after the desired behavior is manifested.

Based on behavioral approaches of human behavior, my belief system regarding human behavior is that positive behavior change can be fostered by examining the present behaviors and identifying ways in which they can be changed as opposed to focusing on insight and delving into the past. However, in trying to rectify a behavior, it is still essential to understand how an individual learned the unwanted behavior. Moreover, I believe that an individual can be helped to discover new positive behaviors and to minimize the undesired behaviors through social learning. That is, people learn different behaviors by observing the behaviors of other individuals. That is, human behavior is acquired observationally via modeling or watching others perform particular behaviors.

Consequently, an individual's unwanted behavior can be changed by making him or her see another person carry out the desired behavior. Also, the desired behavior can be achieved through negative reinforcement. This refers to the process by which the therapists discourages manifestation of unwanted behavior by administering aversive stimulus whenever the behavior is shown by the client.


Agarwal, K. (2009). Perception management: the management tactics. Global India Publications.

Burnard, P., & Campling, J. (2013). Counselling skills for health professionals. Springer.

Howatt, W. A. (2000). The human services counseling toolbox: theory, development, technique, and resources. Brooks/Cole-Wadsworth.

Naik. (2007). Training and Development: Text, Research and Cases. Excel Books India.

Rattan, R. (2002). Vocational training in general dental practice: a handbook for trainers. Radcliffe Publishing.

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