Sample essay on theoretical orientation


The paper is about personal theory of counselling. The theory is mutual to a person’s cognition and behaviour hence the paper shall discuss different terminologies and views concerning the personal theory in relation to cognitive behavioural theory. The personal theory also known as personal construct theory (PCT) developed by an American psychologist, George Kelly. The paper shall examine how the basic skills of development counselling facilitate the use this theoretical orientation (personal theory of counselling). In order to understand how the basic skills learned in development counselling skills facilitate the theoretical orientation, a wider and deeper view of the personality theory shall be discussed in this paper. Therefore, in other words, the paper relates how the study and understanding of the individual behaviour and cognition helps in counselling.
Counselling involves communication between two people for the purpose of making long-term decisions that are directly influenced by our behaviour and mental perception. It’s a matter of diplomacy and understanding of how individual behaves and think before counselling. Hence, the theoretical orientation of this paper is person-centred and developed under the base of the psychological process and how the psychological processes are controlled by the situations or the environment. Generally, the paper examines and describes the personal theory of counsels and its significance in the field of guiding and counselling as far as individual’s mental process and behaviour are concerned.


Personal theory of counselling is a person-centered therapy also referred to as psychotherapy that involves finding purpose and meaning in an individual’s life as central or in relation to individuals psychological healing and health. Basically, the theory is a humanisticounsellingng that shall look at two importandomainsin that armutuallyal to each other. They include cognitive domain and behavioural domain.

The Cognitive domain.

The domain entails the mental or psychological process of individuals. The psychological process has a significant influence to the personality of an individual as he/she interact and interpret the event and situations around him or her. In other words, the theory states that the feelings, emotions, action and behaviour of a person are controlled and determined by the thoughts or mental processes. The study of psychological process as a humanistic counselling tries to give a treatment known as cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy is both social and psychological that reflects how thoughts or mental patterns results to “ maladaptive behaviour” and emotional responses. The treatment entails how a therapist or counsellor can change individual or clients’ thoughts for the purpose of solving personality and psychological problems.

Behavioural domain.

The domain reflects what is known as behavioural theory. The behavioural theory entails interaction between a person or an individual and his/her surroundings (environment). The interaction results to the personality of an individual. It does not take into consideration the effects and influences of a mental process (thoughts) and feelings (emotions). However, it entails the measurable and observable behaviours of the individual according to B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson, the founders of the behavioural theory. The study gives a treatment known as behavioural therapy. Behavioural therapy is a goal oriented therapy and tries to treat behavioural and emotional disorders. The disorders are considered “ maladaptive learned responses” that can easily be changed or replaced by other healthier emotions and behaviours with appropriate and relevant training.
Therefore, the understanding of the personal theory of counselling is mutual to the cognitive and behavioural domain. Hence, the personal theory of counselling can also be referred as the cognitive behavioural theory as discussed below.

The cognitive-behavioural theory.

The cognitive-behavioural theory relates behavioural domain to the cognitive domain. In other words, it relates the features involved in modification of behaviour into the traditional cognitive approach. The theory gives a treatment known as cognitivbehaviouralal therapy. The therapy examines thought patterns or “ cognitive restructuring” and uses the techniques of behavioural therapy in order to changes the patients’ unwanted behaviours. The cognitive-behavioural therapy treats insomnia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety disorder, dissociative identity disorder and eating disorder.

The process of personal theory of counselling.

The success of the theory as a form of therapy during counselling is determined by the attitude of the counsellor. The attitudes are mutual and interrelated; congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy.
Congruence entails the counsellor’s openness and authenticity (genuineness). The counsellor should be willing to interact with the patient without being restricted or limited to his profession. In other words, he or she is open and ready to share their feelings and emotions with clients or patients.
Unconditional positive regard involves the counsellor accepts and acknowledges the emotions and behaviour (personality) of the clients without being bias. The counsellor should be willing to listen to the clients’ attitude without judging or interrupting. The purpose of this attitude is to enable the client expresses his/her positive and negative attitudes without worrying.
Lastly, the most important component or attitude of the counsellor is empathy. The counsellor accepts and shows emotional understanding of the client’s situation, views and feelings. It reflects the sensitivity of the counsellor towards the emotions and the situation of the client, which in this case, is a very important step that determines the success of the treatment (personal theory of counselling)

Relationship between the counselling skills and the theoretical orientation (personal theory of counselling)

The basic skills learned in the development of counselling skills the use of personal theory of counselling in the following ways. The skills are important as far as the client’s openness is concerned.
Firstly, listening is a basic skill learned during the development of the counselling skills. It’s important and facilitate the personal theory of counselling because it gives the client an opportunity to develop and express his/her thoughts without interruption. The counsellor understands the psychological process of the client effectively while he/she expresses his/herself.
Secondly, another skill that is learned from the development counselling skills is not being judgmental or “ not judge.” Such a skill plays a major role in this theoretical orientation because the clients feels respected and safe. It promotes the attitude known as “ unconditional positive regard” in the personal theory of counselling. Hence the client is in the position of expressing his emotions and feelings without worrying about the counselor’s rejection.
Thirdly, empathy is a basic skill learned in the development of counselling skills. The skill facilitates the personal theory of counselling because the counsellor accepts the client’s feelings that translates to the client’s openness. The client believes that he/she is not judged due to the emotional understanding of the counsellor towards him/her. Empathy as a basic skill of counselling skill is the core component of the personality theory of counselling.
Lastly, being attentive as a basic skill of counselling is significant in the personality theory of counselling because the counsellor pays perceptive and personal attention through eye contact that enables clients to feel he/she is nurtured or taken care of her emotions and feelings.


The personality theory of counselling enables the counsellor to come up with an appropriate treatment of the individual personality in relationship to the psychological process and behaviour. The therapies involved in this theoretical orientation guide and control the thoughts of the individual in order to instil appropriate and healthier behaviours that defines one’s personality. In order to facilitate the theoretical orientation, the basic skills learned in the development of counselling skills such as listening, empathy and being attentive should be integrated to give excellent results during the application of the theory in counselling.


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