Theories of Psychological Counselling

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychology, Psychoanalysis Pages: 59 (12029 words) Published: May 14, 2012


Introduction to Theories

A theory can be defined as a systematic way of explaining a fact or an event.

It refers to procedure that has been put forward empirically tested that explains a situation as a phenomena.

Importance of Theory in Counselling

Theories help a counselor to;

Explain the existence of a behaviour by understand if how it’s conceptualized, perpetuated and its manifestations. •Theories also help a counsellor to predict behaviour. The prediction of behaviour is quite important in the cases where a client manifests destructive behaviour. •Finally theories also help a counsellor to control behaviour. This is also important in cases where behaviours are destructive. Each theory has stipulated techniques which are meant to control behaviour.

Types of Theories

There are several types of theories which helps a counsellor to understand, predict and control behaviour. But for this course, emphasis will be placed on the following theories:

Psychological Theory
Behaviour Theory
Poison Centred Theory
Cognitive Behavioural Theory



Before the development of the psychological view point in terms of understanding, the human behaviour, in the late 18th Century and Mid 19th Century by Mesmer, Dr. John Breur, Dr. Jean Charcot among others. Psychological disorders and disturbances was mainly looked at from the perspective of the demon existence and from poorly medical/biological point of view. However, some development in the patients who exhibited this symptom could not be explained by medical or physiological factors alone. Therefore, the development of a psychological view point was an opening in not only understanding its development but also interventions. It’s under this background that Sigmund Freud was born.

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) a physiologist, Medical Doctor, Psychologist and the father of Psychologists, is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the 20th century.

He articulated and refined the concept of the unconscious and infantile sexuality of repression and proposed a tri-parte account of the mind’s structure, all as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic frame of reference for the understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of abnormal mental conditions.


Freud was born in Freiberg Monravia on 6th May, 1856. He was born of poor parents. In the present Czech Republic. He was the first born in his father’s second marriage. The other children of the first marriage were already adults.

In 1860 the family moved to Vienna.

Freud’s father was a Wool Merchant and the family faced economic hardship. As a result, it is only Freud who was given opportunity to go to school. He topped his class throughout his school.

In 1873, Freud registered in the University of Autumn where he first concentrated Biology doing research in Physiology for six years under the Great German Scientist Ernst Brucke. Later on, she concentrates Neurology and anatomy.

He later joined University of Vienna Medical School in 1876 where he graduated with a Medical degree in 1881 specializing in Neuropathology and Neurology.

The turning point in Freud’s life was in 1885-6 when he won a scholarship to study under Jean Charcot, who was at the time using hypnotism to treat hysteria and other abnormal mental conditions. Charcot’s success in treating patients with hypnosis has attracted a great interest.

In 1886, Freud returned to Vienna and married Marita Banniers. This was an extremely happy marriage which give Freud six children. The youngest of whom, Anna, was herself to became a distinguished Psychoanalyst – Freud set up private practice in the treatment of psychological disorders, which gave him much of the clinical material on which...
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