Over the last 100 years, the underpinning concepts in the fields of psychology and counseling were wrought. Within this period, these concepts have transformed and evolved from somewhat crude conceptions of the psyche toward more holistic interventions and approaches. As the profession continues to move forward, adaptations of the original theorists regarding the nature of man and the development of personality continue to emerge. These adaptations, along with the integration of new concepts and ideas, continue to contribute to the field. The author describes his view of man and human nature, personality development, and explores potential implications for counseling.
My pursuit of becoming a School Counselor led me to apply to the School Counseling Master’s Program at University of Maryland, College Park. I am a former student at University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After graduating and teaching for two years in Prince George’s County Public Schools, I discovered my true passion lies not only in the classroom and students’ academics, but playing a pivotal role in the growth of their career, social, and personal development. Although I am no longer teaching full-time at the moment, my interaction with students from diverse backgrounds left an indelible responsibility to continue making a difference in our students. The objectives and mission of the School Counseling Master’s Program at University of Maryland can best help my goal of becoming an effective counselor and leader who is an agent of change to students and service the mental and emotional well-being of the younger generation.
There are many theoretical models of counseling. Often, a diverse approach or the use of several approaches is best for the resolution of problems. I utilize several different theories and strategies in my role as a counselor. However, it is the Individual personal theory and the Family theory model that anchors my orientation to counseling as a Christian counselor.
Values, Morals, and Beliefs are components that play a role in an individual’s self-identity. The establishment of these components shape human nature, behavior, and the development of an individual’s purpose. The basis of these fundamentals has contributed to my desire to become a counselor. This paper will discuss my views of human nature, factors of behavior changes, goals of therapy, the roles of a therapist, and the counseling approaches that I chose to incorporate in a practice.
As a counseling student, it is very important to formulate a counseling theory tailored to ones’ own personality and beliefs. A counselor may choose a single theory to model when practicing therapy or pick and choose components and techniques from various theories, otherwise known as eclecticism. No theory is considered right or wrong. Understanding the different therapeutic approaches are important to effective counseling, however, counselors must also understand their own personal value, view of human nature, human behavior, counseling techniques and the purpose and goals of counseling. Understanding these components along with the different theoretical approaches will provide the counselor with a 9 knowledge of their own counseling, orientation and is essential to not only the productivity of counseling but the growth of the counselor as well.
The Comprehensive School Counseling Program Notebook which follows the ASCA National Model third edition was created in School Counseling Programs. This notebook is divided into four components as directed by the comprehensive school counseling program: foundation, delivery, management, and accountability. The Foundation section includes my core beliefs, my vision, my mission, rationale, description, and goals of the program at Mountain Home Junior School. Delivery, Management, and Accountability (AR 1.2).
In schools all over the world today, School Counselors are crucial to assisting students, parents, school administrations, and the community. I believe that creating an effective counseling program that supports the counselors’ role in education will foster a close interaction between students and counselor to achieve success in their personal/social lives, academic achievements, and college readiness careers.
This paper identifies the three major counseling theories that have been the most influential in the development of my ideas on counseling. The major points of Person-Centered Therapy, Adlerian Therapy, and Behavioral Therapy are looked at in brief. Each theory is then shown how a school counselor can apply them into their work with students. While one theory does not work for every situation in the school setting, each theory brings something beneficial to the school counselor.
It is imperative to study counseling theories when beginning field based work. Counseling theories provide a foundation to be able to learn and develop my own techniques. Some ideas that exemplify the significance of counseling theories are; research, application of theories, and case studies.
This quarter’s course of “theories of counseling” felt like a whirlwind of theories, theorist, therapeutic techniques, and proper application of theoretical framework to help counsel students. As the course continued each new theory and therapy style I learned about seemed more appealing and useful than the last. In deciding which therapy styles I would favor using I have to take into account the general demographic of the students and communities I wish to work in. I plan to work with middle school to high school students that are from urban low social economic status and are recent arrivals to the country. Some of the characteristics of obstacles these students and families face daily are, single parent home/income, past/recent trauma, history of low family education level and legal trouble. I am fortunate to live in the community and society I want to help and that I have grown up in. I am equally blessed to be raised and have the opportunity to give back to my community and society the best way I know how by giving back in a positive manner.
This week I had the opportunity to fulfill my practicum hours at two different locations. The locations that I observed were Columbia Elementary School’s summer care program and a Mad City Money Event located at Members 1st Credit Union. Both experiences opened my eyes to see a wide range of situations and behaviors among kindergarten through high school. Each observation provided two very different outlooks and each contributed to my knowledge in some way.
Impacting the lives of children must be approached from a team perspective to address all aspects of the child’s environment and relationships including caregivers, peers, teachers and school. Behavioral Counselors must collaborate with school counselors to understand the impact that school and teachers have on the child’s life. To appreciate School Counseling a review of the specialization’s history is important. School Counselors have evolved from vocational guidance and job-orientated counseling following World War I to educational guidance following World War II due to the passing of the GI bill as veterans were given right to education counseling (Minkoff, 1985). Today School Counselors support a wide variety of needs from a wide variety of student populations including but not limited to depression, college guidance, anxiety, oppositional disorder and developmentally delayed due to change in access to mental health care being more privatized (Lockhart & Keys, 1998). Lockhart states that because of the restructuring in access to care school counselors have been pushed to handle a wider variety of needs within mental health (1998).
School counseling as always caught my attention. When I started my higher education, I had a focus on studying Elementary Education. However, after completing a college assignment for one of my psychology course, I found a very interested area in Psychology which is counseling. Since then, I have falling in love with counseling, and have spent a lot of time researching the career. I have conducted different interviews and have engaged in different counseling events that have helped me get to know the career. Therefore, when given this assignment, I felt more than prepared because I have spent a lot of time researching this career. However, I used the given source, ONET, to have more of a broad understanding about School Counseling.
School counselors help students in setting up their career path to college, ensuring that student achieves academic success and maintain a positive personal/social behavior during their educational years. As stated in The role of the professional school counselor, (ASCA, 2009b), through leadership, advocacy and collaboration, school counselors promote equity and access to rigorous educational experiences for all students. For this reason, counselors help students become proactive and judicious grown-ups for their future. “The ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs....unites counselors with one vision and one voice, which creates unity and focus toward improving student achievement” (ASCA National Model: A framework for school counseling programs, para. 1). This program was designed for school counselors to promote student success in their academics, emotional and social life.
While completing my undergraduate courses I was looking into different career paths to continue my education. Educational psychology, marriage and family therapy, and developmental psychology, were some options, but they did not work for me. Mrs. Amos was the first school psychologist, I met in Maryland, other than BSU faculty. After conversing with Mrs. Amos, I was able to analyze the theory that most of my mentors, teachers and friends foresaw the profession of School Psychology to be. Their theory consists of testing, testing, testing and report writing. Most of the people that I consulted my interest in School Psychology advised me to consider counseling instead. As I am learning more about the school systems in Maryland I have found that approximately 75 percent of the school psychologists in Maryland distribute their time through testing and report writing. However, there is a small percentage of School Psychologist who emphasize working with students through intervention and consultation, instead of testing and report writing.