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.
Theoretical Integration of Humanistic and Cognitive/Behavioral Approaches in Counseling
Ann M. Miller, Jon M. Sward, Robert C. Nielsen, and Samuel N. Robertson
Counseling involves a process of human interaction that encompasses the client’s thought process, emotional makeup, and behaviors. The degree to which the counseling experience focuses on these specific aspects of the individual is generally thought to be strongly influenced by the theoretical orientation of the counselor. Various theories or counseling approaches have as major components a particular focus on specific aspects of the client’s condition and/or functioning. According to Corsini and Wedding (2008), there are over 400 counseling theories that have been identified. Most of these approaches would be better labeled as variations on a much smaller number of theoretical themes. Hackney and Cormier (2009) placed them into five dominant categories: psychodynamic, cognitive/behavioral, humanistic, transpersonal, and systemic approaches. Fitch, Canada, and Marshall (2001) stated that their research involving the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited counselor training programs indicated that cognitive/behavioral approaches were most represented in clinical training programs followed closely by humanistic approaches. Therefore, through the contributions of two dominant categories of counseling theory most presented in counselor education programs, this article will focus on the integration of a humanistic counseling approach with a cognitive/behavioral approach.