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Mental health and stability are very important for our health. Your mind is the strongest and treacherous part of your body. It is our strength and not weakness. Psychology is a subject with deals with the subject of understanding, assisting and guiding our thoughts and actions.

 Counseling psychology is a speciality which consists of research, supervision and solution to emotional trauma, depression, anxiety or any other problems related to your mind and personality. Counseling is a profession which is about helping an individual of any age group. The main focus of this field is wellness, development, maturity, sensibility and mindfulness. It is divided into many theories, regions, approaches and norms. As we are aware that counseling as a profession is filled with responsibility and understanding therefore a consultant must be calm, liable, truthful and a good listener who is able to understand the state of the subject.  

Professional counselor use ‘n’ number of approaches to deal with their subject. Every story needs a different approach depending on their mental state and situation they are in. All approaches of counseling have a different theory and idea of solving certain issue. Most of the approaches fall between four categories: Humanistic, Behavioural, Cognitive and Psychodynamic.

PSYCHOANALYTICAL COUNSELING APPROACH: A classic form introduced by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalytic approach. The approach tries to understand struggles and conflicts of past. The theory says that personal experiences in life are the result of our mental health. The counselor encourages the client to talk about whatever comes to the mind related to memories or experiences. The method helps to deal realistically about what our mental state and understanding is. Unlike other approaches, in this approach the counsellor gets to interpret the client.  

HUMANISTIC COUNSELING APPROACH: The term humanistic has a theory that focuses on the potential of individuals to actively choose and decide matters related to themselves and their environment. Carl Rogers was the first person who introduced  person-centred counseling. Professionals use this approach to make people understand themselves by experiencing their feelings and desire. The main focuses are decision-making, growth and development. The approach can be applied on multiple applicants such as groups, families and communities as well as individuals. The goal is more of person-centred and how a person can deal with their situations. In this approach, the counselor is aware about a direction that the session can take through the person’s language and nature. 

BEHAVIOURAL COUNSELING APPROACH: B. F. Skinner is the person who introduced this approach and made it a popular treatment method. The approach deals with your surroundings and your conduct. It focuses on thoughts of an individual behaviour through the environment as their surroundings has an external effect on development of both our mind and body. A good environment is very important to build a stable mind and a good personality The counselor uses this approach to understand the subject and focus on changing the behaviour. The counselor in this approach tries to change his client’s behaviour and make it healthier. Behavioural counseling approach is popular in institutional settings such as mental hospitals, sheltered workshops, schools and colleges. The approach is useful to tackle problems such as anxiety, parenting, social interactions, tension, assertiveness and disorders such as eating disorders, phobias, personality disorders or abuse. As a result, the person learns and unlearns certain things about behaviour. Adapts a way of behaviour personally and professionally with a proper objective. The most important step in this approach is to get a result where the consultant and his client have achieved their goals. 

COGNITIVE COUNSELING APPROACH: A kind of behavioural theory based on personal experience. The counselor will focus on the clients mental process and their influence on mental health and behaviour. This theory of cognitive approach tries to make an individual believe their ability thoughts and the inner personality. A common premise of all cognitive approaches is that how people think largely determines how they feel and behave. Realisation is the main aspect of this approach. The counselor’s role is to make his client realise how he can live a rational and a productive life. Problems such as high level of distress, addiction, stress or tension due to workload are largely determined in this approach. Cognition is quite similar to humanistic approach as showing a direction is the main aspect of these approaches. 

 ADLERIAN COUNSELING APPROACH: Alfred A’dler was the founder of the Adlerian approach to counseling. This approach is often identified as Individual psychology. It emphasizes on the nature of people and tries to understand the subject’s situation by an assessment of gathering information through family consultation and by client’s earliest memory. The counselor develops a therapeutic relationship with its client so that the client shares his opinions, feelings and concerns with them. They encourage to change a faulty lifestyle by developing social interest. 

 EXISTENTIAL COUNSELING APPROACH: The existential approach is a view about human nature and decisions an individual make of their circumstances. The main focus of this approach is to make the subject realise about free will of choices and its action. This states that everyone is unique in their own way and also helps the client realise the importance of freedom, awareness and responsibility. The most powerful and effective existential counseling method is to have a friendly and healthy relationship with the client. The approach also emphasizes to recognise that it is not necessary that anxiety is a negative condition, it just provides hope to the client to avoid stress and help them connect to the world. Existentialism has not produced a fully developed model to counseling.  

 STRATEGIC COUNSELING APPROACH: The approach  focuses on the problem that occurs within the family and how well is the family life cycle? or Is the family dysfunctional? Strategic theory is something that helps the family to adapt new style and thoughts. The idea behind this approach is to resolve and remove the dysfunctional behaviour by motivating and making an individual learn how to adapt new skills to avoid future conflicts. Strategic counseling approach is pragmatic and flexible to bring change in one’s actions and thoughts in a family, relation or even at workplace. Creating a strategy to understand our surroundings is important. A counselor helps his client to deal with the problems occurring in his daily routine and how one can tackle these problems by understanding different perspectives. 

BRIEF COUNSELING APPROACHES: This approach is systematic in nature. A concrete and goal oriented approach which is about finding the solution and than focusing on the resources. The focus is on the client’s insight than his history of life. Brief counseling approach is classified into two- 

    Is a collaborative process between the client and the counselor. The main focus is the client’s health and strength. The approach is kind of an assumption whether people really will change or not. The goal is to direct the client to a conclusion and make them realise about small changes in life. 
  • NARRATIVE COUNSELING : The approach is used to engage the client by asking questions and listening to the stories in detail and also understanding the problem correctly. The approach emphasizes on creating an alternate story of life in the hope that the client will come up to a better understanding and gets motivated. As our life is filled with stories, a counselor can deal with the client through positive and realistic stories so that the client doesn’t have any negative thoughts and can look into his problems differently. 

CRISIS AND TRAUMA COUNSELING APPROACH: People on a daily basis deal with crisis and trauma of life which is filled with certain loss, grief and sorrows. People who face these losses and miseries are exposed to trauma- an event in which a person is exposed to bad experience like shock, actual death or any serious injuries. As loss is an unavoidable part of life so, developing a healthy state of mind in certain crisis is really important. The goal is to comfort the suffering and help the person to come out of trauma. Counselors who work in this field are mature individuals with life experience they have dealt with. Handling a client of trauma and is a crucial task and one has to be careful enough so that they do not cause any potential harm to the client. The approach helps to show a direction and gives an objective to life. This also helps us understand and makes us realize the cycle of our world. 

Counseling  is filled with theories, techniques and contribution. Human nature is difficult to understand, every behaviour has a different approach which can be understood through care, love and comfort towards the people who need mental help. A consultant uses these approaches depending on the client’s state of mind. In conclusion, we can say that each approach is beneficial in a different way. They have their own strength and frailty. Understanding these approaches are vey important as all approaches have a specific technique to deal with different circumstances.  


Book: Counseling: A comprehensive profession (eight edition)

Author: Samuel T. Gladding  

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Mohammed Fahad Ansari

Good Work


Nicely written

Rizul Gupta

This is an amazing work done to list all the counselling approaches and this for sure is a must read for all!

Janhavi S.

Such extensive research! A lot of approaches have been well-outlined and this was very informative.

As mentioned, these approaches do make use of various techniques in their counselling sessions. One that I’ve happened to be interested in includes the techniques of dream interpretation and the use of free association in psychoanalytic approaches to bring out one’s unconscious thoughts, feelings, desires or conflicts to the conscious awareness of the individual to then deal with them step by step.

Iarisa Nongbet

Good work. You could have started with an introduction about counselling, the three types: Directive, Non-directive and Eclectic; so that we can better understand the motive of each approach.

ashm bun badr

you are right dear

Vanshika sharma

Such extensive research! A lot of approaches have been well-outlined and this was very informative.


This blog is very informative and helpful. I really liked it. It showed about different types of counselling which many people do not know. It will help many people including students of psychology to patients seeking mental help. Loved your work. Thank you

Karen Fernándes

This was very informative. It helped me understand the various approaches to counseling.

Prachi Piryani

hello. This is a very informative article. Loved how u mentioned all the approaches and left out none.
some tips :
#Mention the conclusion heading in bigger font
# Write information in points so that they are clearly understandable
# Little less information.
All else was good. Keep it up. I loved it.
hoping to read more articles from you. 😀

Kirtika Tiwari

these approaches do make use of various techniques in their counselling sessions.
One that I’ve happened to be interested in includes the techniques of dream interpretation and the use of free association in psychoanalytic approaches to bring out one’s unconscious thoughts, feelings, desires or conflicts to the conscious awareness of the individual to then deal with them step by step.
Thec content of the article is very less.
The starting of the article is very interesting and strikes the right points .
I love how the writer expressed their views and at the same time keeps the discussion an open end.
The articulation and simplicity of the language is really commendable.
I love how unbiased the opinions of the writer are and how she believes in equality.
I like the idea of putting facts to support her views is worth appreciating.
It is clear that they have invested a lot of time but also emotionally and psychologically invested themselves in the article.
Though stating so many facts was a good approach but the length of the article could have been limited with more information content.
I love that the articulation is very simple and easy to understand.

Faiza Naved

insightful article on the topic. very helpful.

Miloni Modi

I think a little bit introduction to counselling would have been a great start. Just a suggestion.
Other than that great content and very well conceptualized.

Yashaswini Bhat

Amazingly structured article. your article is esthetically pleases the reader. You have done a good job in holding the readers attention .

Shubham Mundhe

Well written. A very informative article.

Shubham Mundhe

Well written. A very informative article.

Jigyasa vashistha

Thanks for this article ❤Superbly written.. Wishing you all the very best. Have a nice day

Jigyasa vashistha


Riya Rajkotiya

Very informative article

Simone Morarka

A very detailed read. Well done!

Simone Morarka

Looking forward to more of your work :))

Sushmitha Subramani

Well conceptualized. Simple and well iterated.

Sushmitha Subramani

Looking forward to more articles from your end.

Sushmitha Subramani

Well conceptualized and well iterated.

Jigyasa vashistha

this is such a wonderful article!! thanks for writing 🙂

Jigyasa vashistha

This is such a lovely read

Sneh Antil

Very well penned
Though an important aspect

Nidhi Dahiya

Amazingly written. Keep writing