VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Which Family Therapy Approach Will Inform My Practice? Counseling Students Journeys Through Application to Personal Lives
Darren A. Wozny
Does this theory have any relevance to my life? If the theory can be used with the student’s life difficulties, the student can become more engaged with that theory and
committed to learning more about that theory. Case vignettes, role plays tend to be less engaging than the students’ life challenges therefore learning a theory well involves personal application with that theory. If we are to apply the theory with other people’s problems should we not first be sure that the theory has practical applications through personal application with the theory. Similarly, if you were hosting a dinner party, would you really want to experiment cooking a meal for the first time not knowing what the result will be for your guests or would you want to experiment preparing the meal for
yourself first and then deciding if it was good enough for company. While most would concede that they would never dream of jeopardizing a dinner party with an untested meal, how many counselors would attempt to apply a theory with others without testing the theory on their own life first? In the grand scheme of life, therapy is a whole lot more important than dinner parties and therefore we as counselors need to know the idiosyncrasies of our chosen theories that often must be personally experienced by the counselor through application to personal life challenges.