Developing a Theoretical Framework – Theory Application

Theories of Counseling
Introduction
Theories of counseling addictive and compulsive behaviors have their foundation in general counseling theories. Frequently the terms theory and model have been used interchangeably. In principle, there is a major difference between a theory and a model:
• A model is a description or representation of a system, an object, or a characteristic set of events. It need not explain anything.
• A theory seeks to “explain and predict by proposing the existence or operation of entities that have not been observed” (West, p. 18).
Theories seek to provide a conceptual framework for explaining behaviors. Thus, how counselors understand addictive and compulsive behavior disorders informs their theoretical conceptualization and treatment of clients. Your readings for this unit explore the following major theories related to addiction treatment:
• Psychoanalytic and Adlerian
• Existential, Person-Centered, and Gestalt Therapies
• Control Theory and Reality Therapy
• Behavior Therapy
• Cognitive Behavior Therapy
As you explore and review each theory, consider how it could be used in addictive and compulsive behavior treatment.
Reference
West, R. (2006). Theory of addiction. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Objectives
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Evaluate the selected theory and model to determine possible course of action for treating the identified client.
2. Describe approaches for dealing with various issues that may arise given the identified client, selected theory, and chosen treatment model.
3. Understand how attitudes and beliefs define a therapeutic approach.

Learning Activities
Assignment 1: Studies Guides
Readings
In your Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling text, read Chapter 2, “Theories of Counseling Related to Addiction Treatment,” pages 19–36.

CASE STUDY 2.3 from page 29:
The client is in her fourth treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. She is a former prostitute
who was severely traumatized as a child. She has little trust or faith in treatment or
treatment counselors. Answer the following questions:
1. How might you establish a rapport with this client?
2. How would you work with her in terms of the present moment?
3. Which Gestalt techniques might be most helpful and why?

Theory Application
Assignment 1: 1 page needed with 2 or 3 references.
The Miller text identifies several theories of counseling related to addiction treatment.
For this discussion, review Case Study 2.3 in your Miller text on page 29. The client is in her fourth treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. She is a former prostitute who was severely traumatized as a child. She has little trust or faith in treatment or treatment counselors.
Respond to this case from the theoretical perspectives of self-awareness and awareness of the world, which are components of existential, person-centered and Gestalt therapies, as you answer the following:
1. How might you establish a rapport with this client?
2. How would you work with her in terms of the present moment?
3. Which Gestalt techniques might be most helpful and why?
Reference
Miller, G. (2010) Learning the language of addiction counseling (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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Developing a Theoretical Framework
Assignment 2: 1 page needed with 3 references.
For this discussion:
• Describe some of the pitfalls to developing an addiction counseling theoretical framework.
• Discuss how attitudes and beliefs inform a therapeutic approach and explain how they might enhance or limit therapeutic effectiveness.
• With which theory or theories do you most align?
• How might your preferred theory be helpful in addressing addiction and compulsive behavior?

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