THE ROLE OF QUESTIONING IN ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION
|COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL MODELS ARE USUALLY COMBINED|
The focus of cognitive therapy is on the idea that people are born with the potential of correct thinking. Therefore, the focus of therapists using cognitive modalities is on fighting distorted thinking by asking clients questions related to rationale. Currently, the A-B-C theory is a cognitive modality commonly used. Using questions and confrontation, therapists explore (A) activating events of clients’ issues; (B) beliefs surrounding these events; (C) the consequences of clients’ A and B thoughts. The hope is that clients’ will see the errors in their thinking, change these distortions in logic, and ease or eradicate negative consequences in their lives.
Behavior therapy is grounded on a scientific perspective of human behavior. Behaviorists believe people are producers and produce in their own environment. The questions clients face from behavioral modalities are designed to help them gain skills to help facilitate more choices and eventually gain full control over their lives. One important goal of behaviorism is to help clients to rid themselves of maladaptive behaviors. Clients are active in their therapy by learning and applying coping skills, role-playing, and completing homework assignments from their therapists.
|PAVLOV, FATHER OF BEHAVIORISM|
Psychodynamic theory focuses on the id, ego, super ego, unconscious motivations and libido (which refer to sexual energy. When therapists follow a psychodynamic modality the role of questioning in assessments and interventions use the following main concepts:
1. Understanding and exploring client resistance such as: quitting therapy prematurely, canceling appointments, and resisting self-exploration.
2. Exploring underlying issues and giving new endings to some issues.
3. Exploring and using transference and countertransference.
4. Understanding the reasons clients overuse ego defenses in both counseling and other relationships that keep clients from healthy functioning.
Therapists act as a blank slate. They engage in very little self-disclosure with clients and, as clients make projection onto them, they are more able to connect and understand how clients’ feelings are associated with their unfinished business. Therapists doing psychodynamic counseling ask probing questions to help clients gain self-awareness, healthy relationships, anxiety-reduction skills, and incorporate healthy work, love and play into their lives.
While practitioners of psychodynamic theory believe freedom is restricted by unconsciousness, past experiences and libido, existential therapy views freedom as a choice implying responsibility for actions and choices. Existentialist approaches focus on helping clients explore and understand passivity in their lives and how they have accepted circumstances, thus giving up control over their lives. The goal of the existential modality is, therefore, to help clients gain control over their lives. The first step in the therapeutic journey is for clients to accept responsibility. “Once individuals recognize their role in creating their own life predicament, they also realize that they, and only they, have the power to change that situation” (Corey, 2004, citing Yalom, 2003, p. 141).
The main concepts existentialist therapists focus on are: freedom and responsibility; clients’ self-awareness; clients’ ability to establish healthy relationships with self and others; life as including anxiety and death; and clients’ personal purpose, meaning, goals and values in life.
Existential therapy focuses on life passages including the struggle for identity in adolescents, coping with disappointments in middle age, adjusting to children leaving home, coping with failures in marriage and work, and dealing with increased physical limitations as clients age. Existentialist counselors tailor questions to help guide their clients through self-discovery and realize the potential power within them.
Family Systems Theory
The family systems approach focuses on the clients’ family rather than only clients alone. The belief in family systems theory is that every event and action in families has an impact on each member of the family and displaces some of the clients’ blame externally. Therapists using a family systems approach usually try to include family members in clients’ sessions to help address issues. Questions are geared to triangulations, individualism, anxiety, and emotional disconnects.
SEE POSTS: COMPARISONS OF THEORETICAL COUNSELING MODELS PARTS 1, 3 AND 4
(References available on request.)