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Introduction To Counseling: Human Traits

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Discuss about the Introduction To Counseling for Human Traits.




The diverse perception in the mindset of the people and the influence of the changes in the outer world extensively affects the human brain and the functioning (Ballesteros, 2014). With definition to psychology, every human mind or individual has two sides of the personality. One side is conscious that directly deals with the outer world and one side is kept hidden that lies below the conscious mind and is completely locked under the awareness (Rosenbaum et al., 2012). Under circumstances of stress or external stimuli the human traits starts to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and trauma (Izard, 2013). Sometimes these cases are too delicate for any individual to discuss it freely with anyone and everyone because of which the anxiety or stress turns to take the form of apathy or depression (Proctor & Vu, 2012).

In this essay, the human aspects have been discussed as well as the remedies to rectify and lighten the after effect. On further detailing of this essay, the background of psychotherapy or counseling has been explained along with the classification and the types of counseling. The types of issues that are encountered using psychotherapy and counseling, have been discussed as well as the kinds of clients, depending upon whom the counseling has been diversified. To help in better understanding of the psychotherapeutic counseling process of Gestalt Theory as founded by Fritz Perls, a video has been used as reference. The therapy has been used on a client namely Gloria and represented in form of a film, that has been critically analyzed in this essay.

The purpose of this essay is understand and analyze the importance of psychotherapeutic counseling as well as the classification and diversification of different process that is followed by the counselor. This essay also helps in the better understanding of the Gestalt’s theory and practice that has been used on a client during the process of psychoanalysis and counseling.


About counseling

Counseling is defined as the rational process of helping or assisting a client achieve a better state of mind that is done by the demonstration of a behavior that motivates the client towards problem solving (McLeod, 2013). Counseling has a broad spectrum that deals with behavioral science, procedures of problem solving, making crucial decisions related to career, personal growth and prospects, marriage, familial issues and other interpersonal concerns (McLeod, 2014).

Counseling is usually professional interaction between a trained personnel and a client, which is usually one on one kind of interaction. In few instances, the interaction might involve multiple persons to help in better understanding and expression about their personal views and concerns in their lives (Van Deurzen, 2012).

Group counseling has been designed to help the clients achieve a better learning about their personal choice that targets through a significant and enlightening choice after successfully counteracting with the emotional and interpersonal problems (Rowan, 2013).

Evolution of Counseling      

Counseling had its first period of evolution from the year of 1850 till the year of 1900 that started with the psychoanalysis movement and the setting up of the first psychological laboratory. The second period of emergence of counseling took place from the year of 1900 till 1930. The fascinating breakthrough in the process of psychotherapeutic counseling began from the year of 1930 till the year of 1940, with the beginning of the psychometric movement, that involves the utilization of various psychometric tests to analyze and study the mental attributions and the abilities of individuals. The fourth and the final stage of counseling took place from the emergence of the Second World War and the year after.

With the gradual progress in time, the trends in counseling have changed and modified it. The process conceptualizes the self to include various interpersonal, organized and socio-cultural forces. The relationship with counselor being collaborative in nature along with most of the parameters is related to the qualitative research and the evaluation of the derived data. The psychological problems have been perceived from a speculative and phenomenological perspective. The process elaborates and emphasize on the content of the concern. The counseling process is initiated from the client’s end with the concern being intensely explored that finally ends with the goal setting and the intervention. Apart from face to face counseling, interaction with a counselor can be initiated through emails and other internet facilities like chat rooms, video calling and websites.


Elements of counseling

Counseling has certain features and elements that defines and classifies the process. These elements can also be determined as the features of counseling that are discussed. Counseling is an empathetic relationship between the counselor and the client where the counselor and the client can relate between themselves with a well-established rapport. The counselor focuses and sticks to the issues and concerns of the client and tries to understand and analyze it accordingly. Since the discussion is free and open, the client is provided with the liberty to express anything and everything for the better understanding. An environment of mutual trust and confidence needs to be established to help in better interaction without any gap holes in the communication. In order to achieve a better communication establishment of the rapport is essential. Sometimes the client might be in the state of incongruence, anxiousness and vulnerability. The counselor needs to be unconditional concerning the client’s condition to help in better understanding and creation of a comfort zone.

Counseling can be divided and classified into certain types that have been cited. Individual counseling, Group Therapy, Online and Telephonic Counseling and Self- help Group Therapy.

Reason that demands counseling

Counseling is a therapeutic process that is essential for certain reasons. Individual going through stressful stimuli or individuals looks for moral and emotional comfort retort to counseling for better awareness and realization (Roddy, 2013). Individuals facing issues related to family and interpersonal relationships, parenting and step parenting concerns, crucial and major life changes and decisions (Dryden & Palmer, 2014). Stress from separation and new bonds, concerns related to domestic violence and abuse, suffering from depression and anxiety are also the causes to seek counseling help. Individuals undergoing concerns due to stress, bad temperament, gambling and financial difficulties as well as childhood trauma ask for help to overcome the painful overloading (Hanley, Humphrey & Lennie, 2012).

Traditional style of counseling        

The most common style of counseling is usually traditional in nature. They include individual therapy, couple therapy, family therapy and group counseling.

Individual therapy is the foremost and primary style of counseling that is taken place where the counselor is functional to understand and empathize on the client’s concern (Mearns, Thorne & McLeod, 2013). As the name suggests, this is usually a one on one kind of interaction. Creation of bond and rapport is necessary to conduct such counseling process. Intimate issues related to family, relationships, career, life situations and abuse are mostly discussed in this kind of therapy.

Couple therapy as the name suggests are most done between couples and the counselor. Concerns related to marital affairs, mid life crisis, lack of communication, anger and depression issues, issue due to past relationships, trust issues between partners and sexual concerns are the most discussed topics in this type of counseling.

Family therapy are the process of therapeutic counseling that is mostly concerned with the familial issues such as grief due to loss or separation, child aggression and ill habits, disciplinary differences, difficulty with peers, interrupted cognitive development, teenage concerns, drugs and alcohol abuse (McLaughlin & Holliday, 2013).

Group therapy is usually concerned with psycho educational groups and is mostly the helping procedure that takes place in groups. Execution of skills training such as anger management, mindfulness, relaxation training and social training skills are achieved through this kind of counseling process. Group counseling is beneficial in its own terms since it facilitates interpersonal learning and self-awareness.


Approaches of counseling

Counseling has certain approaches that are taken into consideration while adopting the process of counseling clients (Dryden & Mytton, 2016). These approaches are specifically adopted depending upon the nature and type of assessment or objectives that are to be attained by the analysis (Holm-Hadulla & Hofmann, 2012).

The first approach is behavior eccentric approach. As the name suggests the main purpose of this kind of approach is to change and manipulate the behavior of the clients. The irrational, ineffective and self-critic behavior is changed and mould into an effective and endearing one, concerning the testimony of a successful counseling. Usually the behavior counselors do not consider or validate hypothetical concepts and theories of mental functioning like unconsciousness as an important fundamental of psychotherapeutic counseling. From the behavioral perspective, all the behavior adjustments and the concerns are learnt through the same methodology. As a result, it can be modified by cultivating suitable learning principles. This kind of approach usually drives under four learning principles namely drive, cue, response and reinforcement. As such, it is believed that every behavior is subjected to change and modulation with administration of appropriate reinforcements

The second approach is the humanistic approach or person centered counseling. Carl Rogers was the known founder of this kind of approach (Rogers, 2012). In other words, this kind approach is also known as the indirect approach or client centered approach (Geldard,  Geldard & Foo, 2013). The change to a client centered approach reflects Rogers later on recognized that this kind of systematic approach worked in any kind of setting where the helper reaches out to promote the psychological growth and many of the others who are helped (Rowan, 2015).


Stages of counseling

The process of counseling involves several stages that are incorporated to achieve better results. This stage involves the development of relationship. In this stage the counselor tries to establish a better rapport and relationship with the client to help in creating a comfortable environment in order to ease the client (Cuijpers et al., 2012).

The second stage involves the defining of the problem. This stage involves the enclosure or the revelation of the primary concern or the motive of the counseling session. After a rapport has been set and the client feels comfortable with the counselor, the client decides to escalate the motive to the session towards the primary objective.

The third stage is about the determination of the goals. In this stage, the counselor chooses and decides the primary objective that needs to be attained through the counseling session. The counselor usually considers the prioritizing of the goal along with the making of a commitment and the decision of taking a specific action in order to achieve the objective. The fourth step involves around the decision of planning the action that needs to be done. In order to achieve this the counselor adopts the method of assessment interview that involves the testing, assessment and the diagnosis of the crisis. The problem is examined and the relevant issues are prioritized. Special focus is imparted on the perspective as well as the acceptance of the problem. Emphasis is given on the self-responsibility as well as the analyzing and the solution of the problem.

The fifth and the final step of a counseling session completes with the follow up process. This is the process that involves the imparting of instructions to the clients in order to keep a check and monitor the progress on the indications of the problems as well as imparting supportive provisions for themselves as well. Usually the counselor keeps a record of the clients at regular intervals or the assistant can keep a check on the progress of the clients and impart any back up support if necessary.

Fundamental qualities needed for counseling

Even though counseling has its different stages of execution, counseling requires one of the positive and strong senses to help understand and analyze the issues. The counselor should fully use the power of listening. The listening skill is one of the primary and crucial skill that is fundamental in the counseling process. Listening includes four kinds of listening such as discriminative listening, Comprehensive listening, critical listening and active listening. In order to help counsel better it is necessary to be a motivated listener, be objective and alert to all cues as well as the use of thinking and speaking time difference.

Challenges of counseling

Counseling has several benefits in its own terms but along wise counseling also has its own drawbacks and pit falls. In other word, counseling also has its own limitations. The most crucial miscommunication that can rise is due to lack of effective hearing, personal problems, cultural differences, prejudices and connotative meaning. These limitations are the primary barriers to an effective counseling that should be mitigated in order to achieve a better efficiency of the session.

Ethics in counseling

Certain code of ethics needs to be followed in terms or counseling sessions. These are important since these facilitates a safe, non judgmental space for better reflection and the exploration of the problems and the challenges faced by the client (Bond, 2015). Certain ethics such as conscious about racial and cultural biasness, confidentiality, proper termination, fair judgment regarding rights and dignity should be maintained (Bond & Mitchels, 2014). These ethics are imperative to in the development of a culturally safe and suitable counseling environment.

Critical analysis of the counseling session of Fritz Perls and Gloria

With reference to the counseling session of Fritz Perls and Gloria as well as the Gestalt theory some of the techniques has been demonstrated in the film have been identified (Wagemans et al., 2012). As well as there are notable incongruity between Perls’ description of Gestalt therapeutic process and the interview process. The similarities have been positioned out in the Perls’ interview. At the beginning of the video before Perls speaks to Gloria, he speaks about the contrast of the theories of Sigmund Freud’s depth psychology and with its help the depth about the situation has been contrasted and the Gestalt’s theory has been developed (Wagemans et al., 2012). Several aspects of Gestalt’s theory has been used to bring out the predictable aspects of the client’s persona while undeviating the awareness towards the non verbal behavior of the client such as directing towards the development of the client’s fantasy while exploring the transmission (Clarkson & Cavicchia, 2013).

Throughout the film, Perls have been directing Gloria’s consciousness and her attention towards her non-vocal behavior such as fidgeting with her feet, awareness about the smile, eyes and the facial expression. At one point of time, Perls draws out a consolidated meaning out of one of the gestures drawn by Gloria. Many a times several comments have been made randomly to abruptly break the flow of the communication however as concluded it has been done purposely to serve the concern of meeting the effort to develop the emerging gestalt theory. However, on the notion of Gloria’s actions it has been observed that several times she has been placed on the defensive and the confused end with the thought that Perls did not acknowledge her by being cynical towards her. It can be observed that Gloria gradually shifted her consciousness towards her non-verbal behavior to enlighten the understanding about the facts she wishes to express, although Perls more than what Gloria observed of Perls took this situation into an advantage. However, on a personal notion the benefits of the Gestalt’s therapy could not be administered properly since Gloria did not seem to have developed any new understanding about herself with regards to the emerging Gestalts that rose from her non verbal behavior.

In the video the gestalt makes proper use of the fantasy on Gloria with several question arise that encourages Gloria to elaborate about her wishes and fantasies. One the contrary, in one instance Perls discourages Gloria from probing further into her fantasies about as a child. Furthermore, Perls probes Gloria and tags her of being 30-year-old girl who is afraid of him although it was pretty unclear about the fact why Perls sharps turned Gloria away from the topic of interest without letting her investigate further. It seemed on reflection to represent Gloria’s presence at that particular time being, with Perls. From the perspective of Perls’ evaluation, he referred to Gloria’s withdrawing by the imagination of hiding in the corner. It is relatively difficult to judge this fantastical aspect of gestalts demonstration and it was a clear indication that Gloria was being overly self-protective about herself. With this notion on personal basis, it can be said that no clear indication could be found regarding the fact that Gloria learnt anything new about herself but it was clear that Gloria understood about the negative reaction that Perls exhibited concerning her, being overly protective.

While Perls had a intra psychic orientation about the occurrences in Gloria’s mind, although this was not clear initially but with re evaluation it could be justified about the tags that has been attached to these orientations. The aim for working with Gloria’s transference projections was for Gloria to understand and recognize her own reflected attributes onto Perls and for her to re ingest it again. In an instance, Perls tries to reassign an attribute with an related to respect. Following this Perls tags Gloria about demanding respect, after this while repeating the same. Gloria seems to rearrange it and put a conclusion to the Perls’ fact that she indeed demands respect.


With the help of this essay, it can be concluded that this video indeed reassures and teaches about newer contributing attitudes while dealing with the clients. As per the film, it can be said about the fact that the client is endeavoring through counseling through his or her beliefs and perception about the surrounding world. It was clear that the client was trying to build a reliable framework of understanding the concerns. It can also be concluded that throughout the film Gloria had perceived the fact that Perls was frequently ignoring her opinions, view and was being extremely cynical towards her. Perls responded harshly to her opinion about being sensitive about playing dumb and stupid. Perls responded to it saying that it was an interpersonal and strategy that Gloria would supposedly use against him. Adding further conclusion, it was clear about the understanding of the use of Gestalt’s therapy techniques that has been implied on Gloria. Techniques of using directed awareness, intentional use of manipulation and trying to suppress are the indirect ways of communication from Perls’ end. In this manner, Perls was trying to convey and communicate with Gloria about his ideology of value biasness like self-support. The video depicts Perls’ way of communication as well as his personal style of using domination over Gloria. This video also depicts the process in which Gloria identifies her awareness and speaks about them to Perls as well has her interview experience. Finally, it can be concluded that this film indeed contains huge possibilities or observation and conceptualizing the interview between a counselor and a client.



Ballesteros, S. (2014). Cognitive approaches to human perception. Psychology Press.

Bond, T. (2015). Standards and ethics for counselling in action. Sage.

Bond, T., & Mitchels, B. (2014). Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy. SAGE.

Clarkson, P., & Cavicchia, S. (2013). Gestalt counselling in action. Sage.

Cuijpers, P., Driessen, E., Hollon, S. D., van Oppen, P., Barth, J., & Andersson, G. (2012). The efficacy of non-directive supportive therapy for adult depression: a meta-analysis. Clinical psychology review, 32(4), 280-291.

Dryden, W., & Mytton, J. (2016). Four approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. Routledge.

Dryden, W., & Palmer, S. (2014). Individual counselling. Handbook of Counselling, 39.

Geldard, K., Geldard, D., & Foo, R. Y. (2013). Counselling children: A practical introduction. Sage.

Hanley, T., Humphrey, N., & Lennie, C. (Eds.). (2012). Adolescent counselling psychology: Theory, research and practice. Routledge.

Holm-Hadulla, R. M., & Hofmann, F. (2012). Counselling, psychotherapy and creativity. Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 3(2), 130-136.

Izard, C. E. (2013). Human emotions. Springer Science & Business Media.

McLaughlin, C., & Holliday, C. (2013). Therapy with children and young people: Integrative counselling in schools and other settings. Sage.

McLeod, J. (2013). An introduction to counselling. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

McLeod, J. (2014). Doing research in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Mearns, D., Thorne, B., & McLeod, J. (2013). Person-centred counselling in action. Sage.

Proctor, R. W., & Vu, K. P. L. (2012). Human information processing. In Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1458-1460). Springer US.

Roddy, J. K. (2013). Client perspectives: The therapeutic challenge of domestic violence counselling–a pilot study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 13(1), 53-60.

Rogers, C. (2012). Client Centred Therapy (New Ed). Hachette UK.

Rosenbaum, D. A., Chapman, K. M., Weigelt, M., Weiss, D. J., & van der Wel, R. (2012). Cognition, action, and object manipulation. Psychological bulletin, 138(5), 924.

Rowan, J. (2013). Subpersonalities: The people inside us. Routledge.

Rowan, J. (2015). Ordinary ecstasy: The dialectics of humanistic psychology. Routledge.

Van Deurzen, E. (2012). Existential counselling & psychotherapy in practice. Sage.

Wagemans, J., Elder, J. H., Kubovy, M., Palmer, S. E., Peterson, M. A., Singh, M., & von der Heydt, R. (2012). A century of Gestalt psychology in visual perception: I. Perceptual grouping and figure–ground organization. Psychological bulletin, 138(6), 1172.

Wagemans, J., Feldman, J., Gepshtein, S., Kimchi, R., Pomerantz, J. R., van der Helm, P. A., & van Leeuwen, C. (2012). A century of Gestalt psychology in visual perception: II. Conceptual and theoretical foundations. Psychological bulletin, 138(6), 1218.


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