Holistic Counseling: Integrating Cognitive, Humanistic, and Behavioral Approaches - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-20
Holistic Counseling: Integrating Cognitive, Humanistic, and Behavioral Approaches - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Counseling Behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1904 words
16 min read


Counseling may be defined as the application of professional skills to empower. Counseling helps individuals, groups, and families in gaining mental health, education, wellness, and career advancement. It is the analysis of a person's state of mind based on their description of how they feel and understand their condition. Once the condition is examined, a counselor with professional skills needs to help the person or group solve the dilemma and be in a better mental health position.

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Goals of Counselling

The first goal of counseling is to encourage behavioral change in the victim. A counselor sells to improve the wellness and way of life of their clients. Thus, motivating behavior change is an initial step to achieving a satisfying life. The second goal is the reinforcement of coping skills. Most counselors expect that through their interaction with clients, they can improve an individual's ability to cope with difficult situations.

The third goal of counseling is to encourage decision-making among clients. If I am a counselor, I hope to assist my clients in developing decision-making skills to improve their lives. In this case, I will not make decisions for my clients, but I hope to guide them in making the right choices. I will also help them to understand the consequences of their choices, which impact their future.

The fourth goal of counseling is to improve the relationships in the list of my clients. I hope that I can help my clients to improve their interpersonal relations in society. On many occasions, people who have a negative self-image have poor interpersonal skills and do not relate well with others. Lastly, I hope to improve the potential of my client by improving their perception of themselves. I hope to impact the wellness of a client's entire self. Thus, I will impact the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of an individual.

Integration of Theory

Psychoanalysis Theory

In this section, five primary theories of counseling are identified. Psychoanalysis theory is also known as psychodynamic theory. It is a historical approach to counseling and s associated with Sigmund Freud. According to Freud, the behavior results from unconscious forces that accumulate in a person's brain. During psychoanalysis, it is expected that a client can use various approaches to ensure that the therapists understand them and solve the issue at hand (Portera, 2014). For instance, one may opt to freely talk to a therapist or counselor who deduces the open conversation problem. In contrast, a counselor may also use dream analysis as an approach to understanding the subconscious of a person and determining the issues they experience. Thus, this theory may be used to help in the counseling process of a person.

Behavioral Theory

In this theory, it is believed that behavior is learned. Thus, a therapist focuses on classical conditioning or operant conditioning. Classical conditioning is the idea that the impact of a learned or acquired behavior increases in the case of a stimulus (Portera, 2014). In contrast, operant conditioning believes that positive action rises if rewarded, while a negative behavior decreases if it is punished. Therefore, a therapist evaluates an individual's behavior and determines how to stimulate the behavior to either encourage or discourage it.

Cognitive Theory

In this theory, Aaron Beckon proposes the idea that their thoughts and feelings can influence the behavior of an individual. Therefore, as the person thinks about something, the idea is transferred into the actions they take afterward, which shape behavior. The theory is brief and direct. Unlike the psychoanalysis theory that focuses on the past, this theory is only directed at the recent experiences of a person.

Cognitive theory is also focused on solving the problem at hand and does not channel energy to the genesis of the problem, especially if it falls on the past experiences of the client. In most cases, counselors apply this theory alongside behavioral therapy (Larsson et al., 2012). Studies show that this theory has effectively helped patients with various conditions, including personality, anxiety, eating, personality, and drug abuse disorders.

Humanistic Theory

It is a theory that focuses on improving the behavior of a client. The approach only focuses on the current positive actions of the client; hence, the therapist will only address the nurturing of positive steps in the clients. Humanists believe that people are naturally good and that their goodness should be emphasized in their self-image and self-growth (Larsson et al., 2012). Thus, such a therapist will encourage a positive perception of oneself, which builds interaction with others.

The humanistic theory is customer-centered, existential, and gestalt. In this case, the idea is based on the belief that clients can control their destinies. Therefore, the analysis approach has to be in favor of the client's interests. Thus, the role of the therapist is to listen to the client and guide them accordingly. The theory is in fulfillment of counseling, which implies therapists have to help clients with decision-making. Therefore, a therapist does not decide for the client but guides them on what is right depending on the situation. A gestalt therapist will focus on what is being said in therapy compared to that which is occurring. In contrast, an existential therapist will help the individual to find meaning in their lives.

Holistic Approach

The approach focuses on building a person's personality by focusing on several elements of the other theories. It incorporates significant views by applying what is necessary to improve the lives of the victims. It is also known as integrative therapy since it borrows ideas from other theories. The approach uses traditional talk therapy, which involves the free talking of a client who explains the feelings without fear of prejudice (Kasket, 2012). In contrast, the theory also incorporates guided imagery and hypnotherapy. The main aim of this approach is to determine which tools work best for a specific client with specific problems.

My Theory

From the discussion above, the cognitive theory proved to be the most effective mainly is applied alongside the behavioral approach. The approach proved useful for clients with anxiety, substance use, or eating disorders (Kasket, 2012). Thus, in my case, I hope to incorporate various theories to form my idea. For instance, I looked at the psychoanalysis theory element, which digs up the history of an individual and relates it to their current situation. Such an approach helps solve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. It is believed that the two have an experience that affects the present and is sometimes hereditary.

The element in cognitive behavior that evaluates the present is also essential. I would also seek to understand the relationship between an individual's thought and their actions (Joseph, 2010). In the end, I want to know how focusing on the positive side of an individual can be effective based on a humanistic approach. I hope to discover the elements that stimulate the increase of positive behavior and a decrease in negative behavior. From this analysis, I can say that my theory is a holistic, human, cognitive, and behavioral approach to counseling.

Nature of People

My theory seeks to address the psychological needs of people who have a history of suffering that impacted their mental state. For instance, there are cases of people who suffered from the aftermath of environmental disasters like the Titanic or the 2020 explosion in Beirut. Such people are likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, my theory seeks to address a problem's genesis before designing an effective way to address it.

I also believe that being human implies that you can make mistakes but not allow the errors you define. Hence, this approach will focus on the aspect of humanity that needs you to brace yourself after a fall and focus on the positive side of your lie. I also target people who have no historical association with mental problems. Instead, they are experiencing emotional turmoil after a recent occurrence that requires them to seek therapy. Thus, my theory's focus is to help people who are experiencing historical disorders, and current disorders, and the solution to them.

The Process of Change

The process of change implies that the therapist is in a position to effectively help the individual heal from the condition at hand. Based on my theory, this process requires that the first step analyze the history of the client. From this analysis, I can determine whether or not the current situation is associated with past experiences. In the next step, I need to analyze the behavior of the individual. I have to determine which factors catalyze positive or negative action.

Thus, I intend to evaluate how the thoughts of a person impact their actions. Essentially, my third step is to analyze the cognitive elements in the individual. I want to focus on the present situation of the client and how this can affect their condition and whole life. Lastly, I need to evaluate the holistic approach and how I can improve the entire wellness of a person I need to improve physically, emotionally, and mentally by use of my theory.

Counselor's Role

Based on my theory, the role of a counselor is to facilitate transformation in an individual. If I am the therapist, I need to guide the client on the right decisions they need to make and not decide for them. Therefore, I intend to use this idea to understand my clients. I expect to build an open relationship with the client to feel comfortable telling me about themselves. I want the whole story before I can deduce the condition (Clark & Braun, 2081). My role is not to judge but to advise my client on the right thing to do and foster positive change in their lives.


To ensure that the counseling session is useful, I need to apply specific tools to facilitate the process. Skills are essential in the process of change. For instance, empathy is the feeling that you completely understand or can relate to your client's experiences. You have to show concern and interest in what they can tell you (Clark & Braun 2018). I may even comfort my clients and assure them that all is well for them to feel the concern and feel comfortable when confiding in me. The use of open-ended questions may cause the client to spill more information that can help me to analyze the problem at hand.

Multicultural Application

My theory applies to everyone who can experience mental conditions. I do not limit my view to specific people. I have combined various techniques that apply to specific people to create a hybrid of an analysis approach. Therefore, persons of all ages, genders, nationalities, or races can use this theory to solve their mental problems.

Strengths and Limitations of My Theory

The advantage of my theory is that it can help a variety of people with several conditions. It is not specific to a single situation. However, the disadvantage is that it is time and resource-consuming. Therefore, my theory can be applied to a variety of therapy sessions despite the stated negative factor. Since the results are assured, the time spent is worth the resources.


Finally, the purpose of this paper was to evaluate the cope with counseling. It is the ability to assess a person's feelings, emotions, and thoughts and help them solve emotional turmoils with professional; skills. The paper looked at the various goals of counseling. Notably, the report evaluated the theoretical application of counseling. I define my theory as holistic, cognitive, humanistic, and behavioral change.

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Holistic Counseling: Integrating Cognitive, Humanistic, and Behavioral Approaches - Essay Example. (2024, Jan 20). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/holistic-counseling-integrating-cognitive-humanistic-and-behavioral-approaches-essay-example

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