Selective Theory Analyzation

Question Description

  • What are my beliefs and values that are contributing to the score on the highest
  • How did my experiences shape those values?
  • Which of my values, beliefs and behaviors are conducive to providing effective,
  • Which of my values, beliefs and behaviors are likely to present challenges for me

scored theory?

strengths-based counseling, given my values and beliefs?

as a counselor?

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Top 10 Ways to Find Your Theoretical Orientation 3 Selecting your theoretical orientation in a purposeful manner requires both knowledge of counseling theories and self-knowledge. As presented earlier, learning about yourself and your own life philosophy is the first step in integrating a theory of counseling. The Intentional Theory Selection (ITS) model serves as a road map to finding your theoretical orientation. Finding your theoretical orientation requires you to be active in learning about yourself and how this information influences what theory might best fit for you. In the style of a late-night show, we will give you the top 10 ways to find your theoretical orientation. We believe that each strategy can lead you closer to your theoretical orientation and that each is important in the overall process of developing your theoretical orientation. 1. Find yourself. 2. Articulate your values. 3. Survey your preferences. 4. Use your personality. 5. Capture yourself. 6. Let others inspire you in your learning. 7. Read original works. 8. Get real. 9. Study with a master. 10. Broaden your experiences. We will discuss each of these top 10 methods in this chapter. 27 28 chapter THREE Find Yourself To choose a theoretical orientation that best fits you, you need to consider your own values, life philosophy, and worldview in an honest way. All helpers may aspire to provide unconditional positive regard and respect for clients, but the reality of clients’ lives and behaviors may make that difficult to accomplish. Thus, we encourage you to be thoughtful and honest as you participate in the following activities, which are designed to help you examine your values. You may find journaling about your values and reactions to the following questions helpful. 1. Who should go to counseling? Ask yourself, “Who is counseling for?” Is it best for those who have major life traumas? Those who have “small problems”? Or perhaps for those whose problems are somewhere in between? Figuring out “who are our clients?” may be just as important as the process of figuring out “who are our counselors?” 2. What would you want in a counselor? Would you like a counselor who asked you lots of questions? Would you want a counselor who gave you lots of advice? What would you not want a counselor to do? Ponder the type of counselor you might want, and perhaps such thoughts will give you insight about your own theoretical orientation. 3. What do you think should be the focus of therapy? Should facts, feelings, or behaviors be the focus of therapy? Are therapists there to solve the client’s problems, or should the client be in charge? Therapies and therapists vary greatly. What do you think is the basis of therapy? 4. What do you think makes an effective counselor? Should counselors be serious? Is there a place for humor in therapy? Should therapists share about themselves? Or should therapy be focused on the client? Is rapport a needed component of therapy? Should therapists have “experienced” problems to be a good problem solver? 5. Should therapy consider spiritual or religious aspects? If you answered yes to this ques- tion, do the spiritual beliefs of the therapist make a difference in therapy? Do you believe in free-will? Is morality an absolute or is it defined by the situation? 6. What “causes us to be the way we are”? The past, the present, or even the spiritual? Should therapy look at these factors? Therapy is often about fixing something or making something better. What you believe about how we get to our current state of affairs may affect what you see as valuable in therapy. These questions will help you examine your values as they relate to the counseling process. As you think about the questions, write down your answers, which can help you identify your theoretical orientation. Your values, as they relate to the helping process, are just one way to examine yourself. To get a complete picture of your values as they relate to the helping process, you need to examine your counselingrelated values and your personal values. You will examine your personal values more in the next step. Top 10 Ways To Find Your Theoretical Orientation 29 Articulate Your Values We have developed some questions to assist you in examining your values and life philosophy. To begin the journey of introspection and imagination that will lead you to uncover your own value system and life philosophy, consider your honest answers to the questions in the following scenarios. n The Funeral. Imagine that you have been transported through time to your own funeral, where your family and all the friends in your life have gathered. As part of the ceremony, an open microphone is provided for people who want to speak about their remembrances of you. What do you think people would say about you? What would you like them to say? n Free Week. Imagine that suddenly you have been given one magical week of “free” life—you do not have to take care of tasks at work, finances, family, and household responsibilities. No backlog would accumulate. You would reenter the year at exactly the same time you left it, but you would have seven days for yourself. It would be as though the calendar had 53 weeks, just for you. What would you do? Who, if anyone, would you include? n Change. Imagine that you have been given the power to change three things about yourself permanently. What three things would you choose to change? Why? What would you change in your neighborhood? In your town? In your city? Why? What would you change if your power were extended to people in general? Why? 30 chapter THREE If your power were now extended to the world, what would you choose to change permanently? Why? How do your views of multiculturalism and diversity relate to the details and ideas that you selected to change permanently about your city? About your state? About the world in which you live? Review your answers to the personal values questions, and then answer the ­following questions: n n n n n n What themes emerged from your answers? How are the changes that you strive for related to the changes that you hope your clients will make? What are your priorities? How are those priorities related to the way you work with clients? What kind of changes do you want to make for yourself and the world around you? How do these changes affect your role as a helping professional? Survey Your Preferences Now that you have had a chance to reflect on your priorities and values as a person and as a professional, you can participate in a survey that we developed to help you determine your theoretical orientation. The Selective Theory Sorter–Revised (STS–R) survey items are based on a literature review of numerous important counseling books and articles (e.g., Corey, 2004; Doyle, 1998; Ivey & Ivey, 1999; Jackson & Thompson, 1971; Murdock, 2009; Nichols, 2008; Young, 1998). The survey is designed to give you insight into your theoretical preferences and assess your views of pathology, the counseling process, and treatment modalities. It is not designed to be a diagnostic tool; rather, it is another tool for your self-exploration. The STS–R appears on pages 31–36. Use Your Personality Your personality type can help to guide you toward a theoretical orientation. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a measure commonly used to examine personality characteristics, can be another way to help you to understand your way of ­viewing the world (Myers & Myers, 1977). If you do not know your Myers-Briggs type, you might find it helpful to take the test, which is typically offered at career services offices on college campuses. 31 Top 10 Ways To Find Your Theoretical Orientation Selective Theory Sorter–Revised Read the following statements and indicate the strength of your beliefs in the white box following the statement. Your response for each item can range from 23 to 13 depending on the extent to which you believe a statement is not at all like you (23) to a lot like you (13). For example, if you believe the statement presented in item 30, “People are sexual beings,” is a lot like your view of counseling, your answer might look like this: Not At All Like Me −3   −2   −1 30. People are sexual beings. Neutral 0 A Lot Like Me 1 2 3 Neutral 0 A Lot Like Me 1 2 3 3 Not At All Like Me −3   −2   −1 A B C D E F G H I 1. Individual problems are best viewed in the context of a family system. 1 3. A warm relationship between the therapist and client is not a necessary or sufficient condition for effective personality change. 2 2 4. Behavior is a way to control perceptions. 5. Behavior is both consciously and unconsciously motivated by the environment and psychic energy. 7. Childhood sexual attractions toward parents are responsible for later neurotic symptoms. 8. Clients are capable of imagining which behaviors are desirable and then working to make those images a behavioral reality. K 1 2. A major goal of therapy should be to assist the client in reaching a stage of unconditional self-acceptance by changing irrational beliefs. 6. Childhood events are the baseline for adult personality. J 1 2 1 1 L 32 chapter THREE A B C D E F G H I J K 9. Clients must take ultimate responsibility for the way their life is lived. 3 10. Coming to grips with the unconscious part of the personality is the only way to truly achieve individuation. 11. Dream interpretation, free association, hypnotic techniques, and fantasizing are good ways of gaining access to the client’s unconscious. 2 2 12. Each person determines the essence of his or her existence. 2 13. Each person is unique and has the ability to reach full potential. 3 3 14. Everyone is unique. 15. Counseling should include advocating for clients. 2 16. Culture should be of utmost consideration in the counseling relationship. 3 17. Goals of therapy should include assisting the clients in learning the consciousness of their responsibility, bringing unconscious spiritual factors to the conscious, and recovering meaning to existence. 1 18. How a person thinks largely determines how that person feels and behaves. 2 19. Human problems stem not from external events or situations but from ­people’s views or beliefs about them. 1 20. Humans are constantly striving to maintain equilibrium. 21. Humans are pulled by the future and are self-controlled. 22. Humans strive for actualization—to maintain or promote growth. 23. Irrational beliefs are the principal cause of emotional disturbance. 24. It is important to fulfill one’s needs, and to do so in a way that does not deprive others of the ability to fulfill their needs. L 2 -1 1 1 2 33 Top 10 Ways To Find Your Theoretical Orientation A B C D E 25. Maladaptive behaviors, like adaptive behaviors, are learned. They can also be unlearned. F G H J K 1 27. Gender is an important dynamic in the counseling relationship. 1 28. Movement toward psychological growth and self-actualizing is often sabotaged by self-defeating thoughts. 3 29. Mutual trust, acceptance, and spontaneity are important when building the counselor-client relationship. 3 3 31. People control what they believe, not what actually exists. 2 32. People have both internal and external definitions of themselves. 2 33. People have the need to survive and reproduce—basic biological needs. 2 34. Personality development is founded more on a progression of learned cognitions than on biological predispositions. 1 35. Personality is acquired through the use of negative and/or positive reinforcers. 1 36. Personality is constructed through the attribution of meaning. 1 37. Providing genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding is essential to promote growth in the client. 2 38. Recognizing cognitive processing in emotion and behavior is central in therapy. 39. Social urges take precedence over sexual urges in personality development. 40. Successful adaptation to life depends on the degree of social interest in goal striving. L 2 26. Maladjusted behavior results in losing effective control over perceptions and over entire lives. 30. People are sexual beings. I 2 1 1 34 chapter THREE A B C 41. The central focus of counseling should be the client’s experiencing of feelings. D E F G H I J -1 43. Therapy would be optimal if all impacted family members came into the counseling office together. 1 44. Major therapeutic gains can occur in a short amount of time. 1 45. The integration of the total person in his or her own unique field is essential in therapy. 1 46. People’s problems are best viewed as separate from themselves. -1 47. The past determines the present, even though human motivation should be focused on the future. 2 48. The process of individuation and selfrealization should be the goal of living and of therapy. 50. The role in the family is one of the biggest influences in determining the personality characteristics of the client. 51. The unconscious contains more than repressed material; it is a place of creativity, guidance, and meaning. 52. The ways people form, organize, and interpret their basic cognitive structures determine how they will perceive and behave. 53. Often individual problems occur due to the structure of one’s immediate family. 54. Therapy should be based in the hereand-now, where every moment of life matters. L 1 42. The conscious rather than the unconscious is the primary source of ideas and values. 49. The purpose of therapy is to bring the unconscious to the conscious. K 2 2 1 2 2 1 -2 35 Top 10 Ways To Find Your Theoretical Orientation A B C D E F G H I J K 55. Therapy should focus on living more honestly and being less caught up in trivialities. -1 56. There are no underlying causes for maladjustment. Maladjustive behavior can be directly defined and attacked. -2 57. Individual change occurs best by changing the family. -2 1 58. Much of how we define ourselves comes from our family. 59. There is no such thing as free will or voluntary behavior. -3 60. Viewing an event or situation out of context is one of the systematic errors in cognitive reasoning. Column Totals L -1 10 2 11 10 11 5 -1 8 9 7 0 2 SCORING THE SELECTIVE THEORY SORTER 1. Add the scores in each column. Be sure to add the positive numbers and subtract the negative numbers accurately. You may have scores below zero. 2. Transfer the column totals to the corresponding theories listed below. THEORY OR SCHOOL OF THOUGHT TOTAL SCORE 10 A. Psychoanalytic _______ 2 B. Analytic psychology _______ 11 _______ C. Individual psychology 10 D. Person-centered _______ 11 E. Gestalt _______ 5 F. Constructivist school of thought _______ -1 _______ G. Behaviorism 8 H. REBT _______ 9 _______ I. Reality therapy 7 J. Cognitive-behavioral _______ 0 _______ K. Family theories school of thought 2 L. Existential _______ 3. Find the two or three theories or schools of thought with the highest scores and list them below. Based on your scores, these are the theories or schools of thought most appealing to you. THEORY OR SCHOOL OF THOUGHT PSYCHOANALYTIC __________________________________ INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY __________________________________ GESTALT AND PERSON CENTERED __________________________________ TOTAL SCORE _______ _______ _______ 36 chapter THREE Explanation of Scoring The STS–R is based on a comprehensive review of literature surrounding counseling theories. The items contained in the STS–R reflect the beliefs inherent in each theory or school of thought. Currently, no published psychometric properties are attached to the STS–R; however, the survey has been effective in tracking changes in individuals’ theoretical orientation choice (Johnson & Halbur, 2013). Consequently, it is a survey that is intended for self-discovery. The two or three theories or schools of thought you found most appealing and thus scored the highest are those that likely match your life philosophy as it is today; however, these are only preferences. For example, if you had two theories that tied, then you might need to examine and read about them in more depth. You may have also discovered that your preferences match a theory with which you are unfamiliar. Regardless of your results, you might find that looking in greater depth at the theories you identified gives you a better understanding of the theories and greater confidence in your ability to select one. The theories corresponding to the constructivist and family schools of thought contain such great philosophical overlap that they are identified only as overall schools of thought. Consequently, their individual theories are not included in the STS–R. This is not intended to imply, however, that they are not as important. Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs in the 1950s, the MBTI is a forced-choice, self-report inventory that classifies individuals into 1 of 16 personality types, each with a unique set of characteristics and tendencies ­(Willis, 1989). Because the MBTI is theoretically conceptualized from a personal wellness rather than a pathology perspective, all the choices presented are seen as appropriate and acceptable ways of interacting with the environment and emphasize the traits or characteristics that support the balance of the individual’s psychological personality system. According to Myers and McCaulley (1985), the main objective of the MBTI is to identify a combination of four basic preferences that determine type. An individual receives a four-letter code type determined by her scores on four theoretically independent dimensions. Each dimension has two dichotomous preferences, with only one preference from each dimension ascribed to any one individual (Willis, 1989). The first dimension is the Extraversion/Introversion (E/I) index. The E/I index is designed to reflect whether a person is an extravert or an introvert. An extravert is defined as a person who directs energy and attention to the outer world and receives energy from external events, experiences, and interactions. An introvert prefers to focus on the inner world of ideas and impressions, thoughts, feelings, and reflections and draws energy from that process (Myers & McCaulley, 1998). Sensing/iNtuition (S/N) is the second index. The S/N index reflects a person’s preference between two opposite ways of perceiving, sensing or intuiting. A person who relies primarily on the process of sensing reports observable facts or happenings through one or more of the five senses. People with sensing preferences observe the world around them and are skilled at recognizing the practical realities of a situation. A person who responds more to intuition reports meanings, relationships, and/or possibilities and sees the big picture, focusing on connections, understandings, and relationships between facts (Myers & McCaulley, 1998). Top 10 Ways To Find Your Theoretical Orientation 37 The third dimension is the Thinking/Feeling (T/F) index. The T/F index describes a person’s preference between two contrasting ways of making judgments. A person who typically reacts from a thinking perspective to make decisions on the basis of logical consequences or objective truth is identified as a thinking type. Thinking relies on principles of cause and effect and tends to be impersonal (Myers & McCaulley, 1985). People associated with thinking may develop characteristics associated with analytical ability, objectivity, and concern with justice and fairness. In contrast, a person who operates based on feeling makes decisions on the basis of personal or social values with the goal of harmony and recognition of the individual (Myers, 1993). Feeling-type people support their decisions with an understan ...
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Throughout the course of endeavoring to discover my theoretical orientation, my
beliefs and values were exhibited as the highest for Individual and Gestalt Psychology. Due
to the nature of Individual Psychology, my values prevail through self-realization and
unconscious awareness; by reshaping and exploring intuition to recognize behavior, I can
better assist myself and others in a personal growth environment. Additionally, my beliefs
pertain to individual uniqueness and human equilibrium from my interest in Gestalt

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