Gerald Corey is Professor Emeritus of Human Services and Counseling at California State University at Fullerton. He regularly teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in group counseling and ethics in counseling. He received his doctorate in counseling from the University of Southern California. Dr. Corey is a Diplomate in Counseling Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology; a licensed psychologist; and a National Certified Counselor. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 17, Counseling Psychology; and Division 49, Group Psychotherapy); a Fellow of the American Counseling Association; and a Fellow of the Association for Specialists in Group Work. He and Marianne Schneider Corey received ASGW's Eminent Career Award in 2001 and the American Mental Health Counselors Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He received the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award from California State University at Fullerton in 1991. Dr. Corey is the author or co-author of 16 textbooks in counseling currently in print, along with more than 60 journal articles and book chapters. He has published six books with the American Counseling Association, including THE ART OF INTEGRATIVE COUNSELING, Fourth Edition (2019). Other Cengage titles he has authored or co-authored include ISSUES AND ETHICS IN THE HELPING PROFESSIONS, 10th Edition (2019), GROUPS: PROCESS AND PRACTICE, 10th Edition (2018), I NEVER KNEW I HAD A CHOICE, 11th Edition (2018), THEORY AND PRACTICE OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, 10th Edition (2017), THEORY AND PRACTICE OF GROUP COUNSELING, Ninth Edition (2016), GROUP TECHNIQUES, Fourth Edition (2015) and CASE APPROACH TO COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, Eighth Edition (2013). Dr. Corey also has made several educational DVD programs on various aspects of counseling practice, which are available through Cengage.
While there are many books on counseling, we have included three of our favorites below that encourage a strong foundational knowledge of counseling theory and the skills that underpin successful treatment.
This comprehensive, topically arranged text provides a contemporary account of counseling theories as practiced by internationally acclaimed experts in the field. Each chapter covers the way mindfulness, strengths-based positive psychology, and the common factors model is integrated into the theory. A special emphasis on evidence-based practice helps readers prepare for their work in the field.
Professional counselors apply a variety of clinical approaches in their work, and there are hundreds of clinical counseling approaches to choose from. The most recent edition of The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Counseling and Psychotherapy lists over 300 different approaches to counseling practice.1 So how do counselors come to know what approach is the right one for them? To answer that question, it is first necessary to understand that no one counseling approach is better than the rest. That is because counseling approaches are based upon theories about human function and change as opposed to hard evidence.
Such differences are hard to control for experimentally, thus making it almost impossible to prove that one approach to counseling is the absolute best way. Without such proof, it becomes the responsibility of counselors to do all they can to see that the treatment model(s) they apply are the best ones to address each client's needs. That responsibility starts with becoming familiar with the models that have shown to be most beneficial in actual practice.
Cognitive: Cognitive counseling theories hold that people experience psychological and emotional difficulties when their thinking is out of sync with reality. When this distorted or "faulty" thinking is applied to problem-solving, the result understandably leads to faulty solutions. Cognitive counselors work to challenge their clients' faulty thinking patterns so clients are able to derive solutions that accurately address the problems they are experiencing. Currently preferred cognitive-theory-based therapies include cognitive behavior therapy, reality therapy, motivational interviewing, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Behavioral: Behavioral counseling theories hold that people engage in problematic thinking and behavior when their environment supports it. When an environment reinforces or encourages these problems, they will continue to occur. Behavioral counselors work to help clients identify the reinforcements that are supporting problematic patterns of thinking and acting and replace them with alternative reinforcements for more desirable patterns. Currently preferred therapies based in behavior theory include behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, multimodal therapy and conjoint sex therapy.
Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalytic counseling theories hold that psychological problems result from the present-day influence of unconscious psychological drives or motivations stemming from past relationships and experiences. Dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns from the past have become unconscious "working models" that guide clients toward continued dysfunctional thought and behavior in their present lives. Psychoanalytic counselors strive to help their clients become aware of these unconscious working models so that their negative influence can be understood and addressed. Some currently preferred therapies grounded in psychoanalytic theory include psychoanalysis, attachment therapy, object relations therapy and Adlerian therapy.
Constructionist: Constructionist counseling theories hold that knowledge is merely an invented or "constructed" understanding of actual events in the world. While actual events in the world can trigger people's meaning-making processes, it is those meaning-making processes, rather than the events themselves, that determine how people think, feel and behave. Constructionist counselors work collaboratively with clients to examine and revise problematic client constructions of self, relationships and the world. Some currently preferred constructionist-theory-based therapy models include solution focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, feminist therapy, Eriksonian therapy and identity renegotiation counseling.
Systemic: Systemic counseling theories hold that thinking, feeling and behavior are largely shaped by pressures exerted on people by the social systems within which they live. Accordingly, individual thinking, feeling and behavior are best understood when examined in relationship to the role they play within a person's family or other important social networks. Systemically focused counselors work to revise social network dynamics that influence a client's undesirable thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Some currently preferred therapies drawing from systemic theory include structural family therapy, strategic family therapy, human validation process family therapy and Gottman method couples therapy.
Most counselors will find that some therapy models are a particularly good fit, while others may not be a good fit at all. Consequently, they are most likely to apply those models in counseling practice that fall within their "comfort/competency zone" and avoid those that do not. When confronted with client situations that fall outside of their zone of comfort and/or competency, counselors must decide between (a) working to expand their comfort/competency zone to include alternative models more appropriate to the client's needs or (b) referring the client to another counselor who is more comfortable and competent in the needed alternative models.
This innovative new text presents a comprehensive review of major theories of counseling and psychotherapy using four paradigms: organic-medical, psychological, systemic/relational, and social constructivist. Designed to be accessible and relevant to practice, the book reinforces learning with the inclusion of objectives, chapter summaries, applications of each theory in practice, and brief biographies of major theorists.
The text moves beyond traditional approaches with expansive coverage of relationship-centered and postmodern theories such as Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and others. Each theory is explored in depth in a student-entor dialogue that examines and debates the challenges that arise with each theory. The book also addresses the counseling role in psychiatric case management, reflecting the growing reality of cross-professional collaboration.
Gerald Corey is Professor Emeritus of Human Services at California State University at Fullerton; a Diplomate in Counseling Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology; a licensed psychologist; a National Certified Counselor; a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Counseling Psychology); a Fellow of the American Counseling Association; and a Fellow of the Association for Specialists in Group Work. Dr. Corey taught undergraduate and graduate courses in group counseling, as well as courses in experiential groups, the theory and practice of counseling, and ethics in counseling. He is the author or co-author of 15 counseling textbooks currently in print and numerous journal articles. Along with his wife, Marianne Schneider Corey, Dr. Corey has conducted group counseling training workshops for mental health professionals at many universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, England, and Ireland. The two received the Association for Specialists in Group Work's Eminent Career Award in 2001. Dr. Corey earned his doctorate in counseling from the University of Southern California.
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