Mental Health Counseling Essay example

828 Words 4 Pages
Theories play an important role in how a counselor serves their clients. Theories provide counselors with a foundation on which to build their counseling style. “Theories ground us as professional counselors. They provide a means to understand what we are doing, how we are serving clients, and how to explain counseling to clients” (Erford, 2010). Counselors are responsible for being aware of different theories in order to apply them appropriately within their practice. Established and new theories play an important and constant role in mental health counseling. Established theories in mental health counseling are based on “empirical or scientific foundations” (American Counseling Association, 2005). The best way to gain the most …show more content…
All counselors have the ability to bring new perspectives and research into the field. It is an expectation that new counselors will continue to improve mental health counseling. “Some emergent theories were developed for specific purposes. For example, motiva-tional interviewing is an approach designed to work with individuals struggling with chem-ical dependency. Brief and solution- focused counseling provides a framework for working in a time- limited, perhaps managed care, counseling environment” (Erford, 2010). I would first review the data behind a new theory. Careful review of a theory would allow me to understand its purpose in my practice. I would also ensure that the new theory would benefit my client without creating further distress in his or her life. My goal would be to keep my client informed and involved in their therapy. While new theories are important a counselor has to closely evaluate the effectiveness of that theory. Erford, 2010 states that a good theory is: “clear and easily understood, comprehensive, explicit and heuristic, generating further research, specifically geared to help clients reach their desired outcomes, and be useful to practitioners”. A counselor should always look for these important characteristics when reviewing a new theory. New theories have to continually be tested in order to be considered safe and effective for clients. The emergence of a new theory does not automatically mean that it will work or fit