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Psychological Counseling Theories 

Psychological Counseling Theories
Psychological Counseling Theories

Barbara B. Biesecker

, Kathryn F. Peters

, and Robert Resta

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date: 15 August 2020

Due to the diversity of clients’ needs, there is no central theory of genetic counseling. Psychological counseling offers an array of theories pertinent to the goals of genetic counseling sessions. These theories offer frameworks in which strategies emerge that may be most effective in meeting client needs. Person-centered theory was introduced at the origins of genetic counseling for its contribution of the concept of nondirectiveness. Yet Carl Rogers himself obliterated this from his person-centered theory once he came to appreciate that all human interactions have directive components. Since then, this theory has remained pertinent to genetic counseling because of its high regard for clients’ personal resources and their self-actualizing potential. Cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused theories can be applied to cases where decisions are being deliberated to help clients weigh potential consequences. Strength-based counseling leaves clients empowered to effectively cope with challenging circumstances. Such theories are contrasted to practical approaches that include bereavement and crisis counseling. In the latter, the counselor attends to clients’ need for safety and care from loved ones as they absorb devastating news.

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