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CLIENT-CENTERED, REBT, BEHAVIORAL (Approaches in Counseling)

This article presents a concern and its approaches in the subject of Child and Youth Counseling


As a counselor, you have been deployed to handle children in an area that has been damaged by a strong earthquake. These children and adolescents range from elementary to high school and are now on various "difficulties”. Prior to the calamity these area was also strafed by the military because they were pursuing the Abu Sayaff rebels who passed this way. A number of people were killed, leaving behind orphaned children.
How would you approach these children who are shock, grieving, some are violent and others suicidal?  How would a client-centered, REBT, and behavioral counselor each "treat” these children and adolescents? Describe how would you a handle these counselees if you adopted each of the three approaches?

  1. Client-centered
Since it’s not easy to deal these kind of counselees especially  children who are shock, grieving, violent or suicidal, I would be flexible and creative enough for them. In establishing rapport, I might integrate art or play therapy approach so that it will be easy for me to reach and enter in their warlike-world. It is important that the counselee should understand that he/she has the responsibility of working on his/her problems. I, as the counselor, do not have the answers but can facilitate him to work out his/her own solutions to his/her problems. Whatever hostility, anxiety, of concern and guilt they have, I would be interested, friendly, and receptive in attitude. For example:

Client: Whenever I saw people quarreling, I would find a place where no one could see me and felt helpless and cried very loud. I’ m always thinking about my past experiences.

I: You feel sad and worried much seeing people quarreling because of your past.

Client: I don’t know what I’m going to do. I ashamed with myself whenever somebody saw me sobbing and sobbing.

I: It seems that your consciously aware crying very loud when somebody sees you.

Responding to the feelings underlying the intellectual content of the client’s verbalization is one thing I would consider. It would result to the creation of an atmosphere in which the client can come to recognize the existence of these negative feelings, and accept them as part of himself/herself instead of projecting them on the others or hiding them behind defense mechanisms.

Negative expressions of the client which are accepted and recognized are also important to note because it may create positive expressions of love, social impulses, fundamental self-respect, and the desire to be mature. The understanding and acceptance of both positive and negative expressions in the same manner gives the client the opportunity to understand himself/herself.

An insight leading to the understanding and acceptance of the self takes place and provides the basis for the individual’s movement to new levels of integration.

I will encourage more the client to achieve new level of insight the client develops less fear in making choices and more confidence in self-directed action. It would result to the part that the client feels the  decreased need for help and recognizes that the counseling relationship must end.

  1. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
The goal of REBT is to reduce or eliminate irrational behavior. In order to achieve this, the client needs to learn how their thinking, emotions, and behavior are interrelated. Negative and self-defeating thoughts and emotions must be reorganized so that the client’s thinking becomes logical and rational.

The REBT therapist may frequently challenge, provoke, and probe the irrational beliefs of the client. In the relationship, the counselor is viewed more as a teacher and the client as student. As a result, procedures may include not only teaching and related activities such as reading or other assignments, but also questioning and challenging, even confrontation techniques, contracts, suggestions, and persuasion. REBT can be applied not only to individual therapy but also to group therapy, marathon encounter groups, marriage counseling, and family therapy.

REBT is frequently relatively short term and is not helpful with the serious disturbed individuals. Clients usually have little difficulty in learning the underlying principles and terminology of REBT. Although REBT therapists may challenge clients , such confrontation with minority clients should not bring into question the client’s cultural values and background.

  1. Behavioral Therapy
At the start, client participation must be emphasized in the process and I would specify the emphasis in interview, behavioral problem solving. Many children who are violent can hardly or cannot control their temper and anger. Below is a sample interview that is helpful for the children and adolescents:
I: You say you are always angry to anybody, even though you can control yourself. What’s going on, what are you doing when you are angry? What’s happening around you?
Client: Well, so many things bothering me, that I never get time to stop and think. Something is happening all the time… I just keep going. It’s very frustrating not being able to ever have a minute.

I: I see; some things are bothering you. What are some objectives you have for yourself today?
I would listen on concrete behavior and facts, with secondary emphasis on feelings. I would focus more comprehensively and aware of contextual-environmental issues than other theories. Positive asset search is also helpful to find positive behaviors and strengths in person and in the environmental support system. Role-play of a specific example can be used to review for behavioral specifics, self-talk, some emphasis on feelings.
Client: Yes, that’s right. There were  times when I manage to control my anger.

I: Could you give me a specific, recent example of a time you manage to control your anger?

Client: Well I’m talking to my brother today and…
I would facilitate the client in determining goals for behavior change. Major emphasis is on defining very accurately the desired behavioral change.
I: Given what’s going on, Mr. X. (client), what are some specific goals you might want to change the next time we try that role-play?

Client: Well, I’d like to smile, talk and behave calmly.

I may repeat the role-play again and again until client can demonstrate the behavioral goals to both for him/her and for me. There will be a discussion of the many factors in the client’s environmental context that tend to work for or against the maintenance of the newly learned behavior. I may used directives, feedback, and logical consequences. I’m always willing to influence the client, but always towards the client’s goal. I would focus ultimately on the client’s being able to demonstrate new behavior and to plan it’s transfer to the "real world”.
I would follow-up the client some type of homework on decisions after the session.

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"CLIENT-CENTERED, REBT, BEHAVIORAL (Approaches in Counseling)" was written by Mary under the Relationship category. It has been read 4795 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 17 April 2011.
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