Personal Model of Counseling Paper

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Personal Model of Counseling Paper
Assignment Instructions
Students will write an 8‐10‐page paper using APA style to integrate what they have learned about counseling
theories and themselves as a counselor. The theory will then be applied to a case of the student’s choice. The person
can be in film, a TV show or any popular character in the media.
The paper should answer the following questions in this four‐section format.
Describe your personal theory of change.
What is my current personal theory counseling about how to effectively assist others?
 NOTE: Be specific and discuss which combination of theories (minimum of two) best fit your personal style
and the clientele you intend to work with.
o If you are unsure in what setting you want to work, then please choose one to help you formulate
your personal theory for that population/setting.
o Students should be mindful of effective the chosen theories will be for the clientele chosen.
o Students will want to refer to the readings in this course to fulfill all requirements and may want to
conduct a brief literature review aimed toward filling any gaps in your paper.
o The discussions should also be a good source to provide some direction on determining the
suitability of your theory according to the clients you may have in your career.
What specific steps will I take to enhance my personal theory and evaluating its’ effectiveness as I progress through
my education and training?
 Students may refer to the readings, the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (2014) and the
Welfel (2016) ethical decision making model to assist with this question.
 Students should name three ways they will enhance their theoretical orientation in their career.
 How will I continue working toward more advanced theoretical orientation given the complexity of
individuals, families and groups as I gain further experience in my advanced counseling courses and
What is my assessment of my own personal and professional development based on my experiences in this course?
 NOTE: Reflect on what you learned about yourself and how your personality may benefit or distract from
your chosen personal theory.
The next section of the paper will use this theory to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and case
conceptualization to a novel individual as portrayed as a character from literature, film, or play.
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You will identify presenting problems, needs and concerns that will lead to a diagnosis.
The paper will include relevant background information with a case conceptualization and treatment plan.
More specifically, the student should write a description of the character, including relevant history and current
events, as well as social, emotional, and behavioral aspects of functioning.
 The reader should be able to obtain a vivid picture of the character from the description.
 Following the description, the student should write a comprehensive case conceptualization that uses the
Sperry & Sperry format and that makes explicit and detailed use of the specific theoretical model you
identified in the personal theory of change section of the paper.
 The student will include all 4 components and 17 elements to inform the clinical conceptualization and
treatment plan. Note that purely intervention models, e.g., Motivational Interviewing, EMDR, are not
appropriate for this assignment; the theory must be a formal theory presented in class.
Students will also describe their view of how people change during the therapy process.
 This analysis should include ideas regarding the role the therapist plays in this change process.
 Also, the role of the therapeutic relationship and the development of the therapeutic alliance should be
discussed in regard to the process of change.
 Your knowledge of the common factors of psychotherapy can be helpful in developing this section of the
This last section entails writing 1‐2 in depth paragraphs on who you would refer the individual to during and/or after
 It is important in the field of counseling and therapy to understand your limitations of competence and to
refer clients to appropriate refers. This leads to increased interprofessional consultation and competence.
 Please ask your instructor if you have any questions about this section.
Additional Details
 The student should include at least three (3) references using primary sources, e.g.,
o if student wants to use psychodynamic theory in case formulation with a brief dynamic therapy
model as treatment strategy and techniques, then a paper by Hanna Levenson, Hans Strupp, Jeremy
Safran, etc, should be referenced;
o if student wants to use behavioral theory that describes the clinical formulation in the frame of
behavioral theory and make use of systematic desensitization or social learning as part of treatment
interventions, then B. F. Skinner, Joseph Wolpe, Albert Bandura, etc., should be referenced;
Cognitive Theory, Aaron Beck, Judith Beck, etc.
 The paper must be written in APA format. Grammar, punctuation, and writing style do count in the grading
of this paper.

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