Week 3 Discussion

Theory in Action: Humanistic/Existential Applications

Human beings often place blame on people and forces outside of themselves. “Ever since I was fired from my job, I have experienced high levels of anxiety.” “My parent’s divorce caused me to abuse drugs at an early age.” In both of these statements, the blame is given to an external force. Humanistic and existential counselors ask clients to look internally to explore the meaning in these situations. By employing interventions that focus on growth, acceptance, and self-awareness, counselors address the root cause of a client’s problems. In addition, focusing on the person and not the disease or addiction can empower clients to take responsibility for their choices and their lives.

In this Discussion, you use this week’s media to continue your exploration of humanistic and existential theories.  In addition, you select one presentation that depicts a theory that resonates with you the most. Watch your selected media in its entirety, carefully observing the interactions of both the client and the counselor.  Then, imagine you had not known the counselor’s theoretical approach before accessing the media. Without this knowledge, how might you use his or her actions or interventions to identify the theory that he or she is applying?

When developing your Discussion post, support your ideas by providing references to specific examples from the video. In addition, cite the video frame (e.g. 8.32 minutes) that the action or intervention occurred. You do not need to summarize the demonstration itself, as your instructor and many of your colleagues have also viewed it. Instead, provide insight into the interventions used and major constructs of the theory.
Post by Day 3 a brief description of the video you selected and the theoretical approach used. Explain how this theory resonates with you. Then, describe the counselor’s specific interventions that would indicate his/her theoretical approach and explain how effectively they demonstrated the approach. Finally, share one insight you gained from watching the counselor in the media.  

Respond by Day 5 to at least two of your colleagues using one or more of the following approaches:

·         Identify colleagues who selected a different theory than you. Critically appraise your colleagues’ critique of the counselor’s actions.

·         Provide insight into how another humanistic/existential theory could have been used to address this client.

·         DUE BY 12/16/15@ 5PM EASTERN STANDARD TIME

Week 3 Learning Resources

This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week’s assigned Learning Resources.

Required Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.


·    Capuzzi, D., & Gross, D. R. (Ed.). (2011). Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions (5th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

o    Chapter 6, “Existential Theory” (pp. 119–142)

o    Chapter 7, “Person-Centered Theory” (pp. 143–166)

o    Chapter 8, “Gestalt Theory” (pp. 167–191)

Note: This week’s chapters are for review, as they are the same as assigned for Week 2.

·         Document: Analyzing Counseling Theories (Word document)

Note: This document will be used for the completion of this week’s Assignment.


·         Psychotherapy.net. (Executive Producer). (2008). Existential-humanistic psychotherapy [Video]. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 108 minutes.

·         Psychotherapy.net. (Executive Producer). (2008). Person-centered expressive arts therapy [Video]. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 118 minutes.
There is not a video for Gestalt therapy in this video series.

Week 3 Assignment

Application: Analyzing Counseling Theories

Theories help to build the foundation for almost all the actions you will engage in as a counselor. In fact, there might be one or more theories guiding your work without your conscious effort to actually use them. Employing an integrative approach allows counselors to utilize a wide variety of interventions and techniques to best address the needs of clients. Although it is common for many counselors to be influenced by one theory more than others, it is imperative that you are mindful of the ways each theory can contribute to your overall theoretical approach.

The Assignments in this course will support you in your efforts to successfully identify, apply, and evaluate theories. In each “Analyzing Counseling Theories” Assignment, you complete a 1-page chart and a 1-page reflection on two of the many theories discussed each week. When selecting your theories, think about how these theories could help to drive your work as a scholar-practitioner who effects social change. At the conclusion of this course, your completed Assignments will become a useful resource that can assist you as you progress through this program and your professional career. Download the chart template, “Analyzing Counseling Theories” from this week’s Learning Resources to begin your Assignment.

Part 1: Chart

·         Use the chart template to analyze counseling theories.

·         Select two theories from this week’s Learning Resources

·         Describe the background theory, human nature, major constructs, applications, and evaluations of each counseling theory.

Part 2: Reflection (1-page)

·         Describe a specific population of clients with whom you hope to work in the future.

·         Explain which of the two theories in your chart would be the most effective in working with this client population and explain why.

·         Describe the interventions you would suggest from this theory and how these interventions would assist this client population in reaching counseling goals.


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