Counseling: Theory and Practice

Theworld has witnessed a significant rise in violence among school goingchildren in the recent years. Studies have indicated that violentbehavior as a result of over indulgence in drugs has directly orindirectly affected both teachers and students. Due to the worryingtrend, psychologists have come up with various interventions aimed atstudying the behavior of young people. These interventions owe theirfoundation to earlier psychologists that postulated many theorieswhich attempt to understand the behavior (Sharf, 2012). As a result,the behavior of students has positively changed from preschool tohigh school as a result of positive behavior support, courtesy of theintroduction of counseling psychology in schools. Schools provide astructure that supports an effective positive behavior.

Counselingpsychology ensures both personal and interpersonal functioning in thelife of an individual and places emphasis on educational, emotional,social and vocational concerns. It is unique in its attention todevelopmental concerns to problems associated with mental, physicaland emotional disorders. Counseling involves theory, skill andprocess (Fenishel, 2006). Some philosophical schools of thought arguethat practitioners should study one theory and subsequently follow itwith practice. While another school of thought holds the view thatskills and techniques are of great help to clients, another arguesthat counseling involves more process and is less in theory. One ofthe open groups used Psychoanalysis theory while the other group usedAdlerian theory.

Apsychologist named Sigmund Freud developed the psychoanalytic theoryin which instincts and drives were used to describe the behavior ofpeople. He observed that people behaved differently in work socialsettings. He was concerned with the conscious contents of the mind.The two groups had some similarities. For example, Freud and Adlershare approach regarding understanding of human behavior. Theapproach is called teleological approach. Both theories assume thatbehind the actions of an individual, there is a master plan whichguides both their actions and emotions (Unga, 2011). In the case of astudent that indulges in drug abuse, he doesn’t do itunconsciously. Rather, his actions derive their basis on a preplannedthought that can be a consequence of an earlier indirect experience.Adler and Freud believe that an individual can borrow a habit fromother individuals and practice it. They believe that a man has tomake a fundamental choice to cooperate with what his mind thinks atany time. They say that it is a human being that chooses himself.That a criminal chooses to be a criminal, a homosexual chooses to begay. That man becomes what he makes out of what the society has madehim become. Psychoanalysis and Adlerian theories believe that aperson sexual behavior is not the sexual drive but essentially anexpression of one’s plan and choice (Unga, 2011). They believe thatlife plan and fundamental choice are not results of rationalthinking. Both life plan and choice are pre-reflexive because otherpeople can understand them.

Themost striking difference in the theory and practice of the two groupsis Adler rejected the notion of the unconscious that Freudpostulated. He was very categorical in his rejection, arguing that aperson’s past actions can influence his present actions. The notionof the unconscious was not the only point of difference (Carlson,2006). Adler failed to agree with the importance attached to sexualdrive. Psychoanalysis theory attached some relevance to the first sixyears in the life of man, as opposed to Adlerian theory. Whilepsychoanalysis differentiated between anal, oral and phallic stagesof development of a person, Adlerian theory believed that a man canbegin to reflect consciously between the ages of 7 to 17. The theorycalls that stage the decisive years of man’s life.


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