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Cnl-500 Family Systems Theory Versus Individual Theories Worksheet

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CNL-500 Family Systems Theory versus Individual Theories Worksheet

Directions: Choose one family systems theory (Bowenian, Structural, or Strategic) and one individual counseling theory studied in this course (CBT, REBT, or Person Centered) and compare the two theories. Complete the specific fields listed in the chart for each theory chosen. Provide a 25-50-word response for each field. Provide an in-text citation in each field as appropriate and include a full reference below.

Family Systems

Individual Counseling



Person Centered

Roles of the Counselor and Client

In this sort of therapy, the counselor plays an indifferent role and encourages the family members to communicate through the counselor instead of with one another. Because the idea is for the client to maintain a neutral state, the counselor will explain and help implement “differentiation moves”.

The client has to be able to cultivate their own life. When any issue/ problem has surfaced, it is the client’s role to decide if it is worthy of being addressed and the way it’ll be addressed, (Titelman, 2014)

The counselor should be able to produce the type of environment that induces the client’s potential. Empathy and genuine understanding is going to be the counselors best friend with this therapy, (Rogers, 2012).

In this therapy, the client must be willing to be unadulteratedly themselves. The client should attempt to balance what they put out into the atmosphere by maintaining theory individuality and self-definition.

Strengths of the Approach

Bowen focuses on the family as an individual unit. In doing so, this theory focuses on creating a solution on the basis of such. It allows the counselor to broaden their views on their perception by the inclusion of the family-based theory through counseling, (Nichols, 2001).

This approach allows the client to remain in charge. As long as the client is comfortable and able to release adequate info, the balance of respect, good conversation, and focus will be used as a tool to not only progress the clients current standing but potentially get them wherever they want to be in the future, (Rogers, 2000). (With good judgement and plausible cause of course).

 Limitations of the Approach

This treatment more so focuses on each individual of the family to better understand the unit. This means that the constant inclusion of the entire family is unheard-of. This theory also ignores a few very positive functions of the family unit, (Goldenberg, 2012).    

This therapy is pretty much in the hands of the client and can be wielded in whatever way the client’s wants. It is up to the client to make rational decisions and process information for the progression of their treatment. In the event that the client is leading the therapy in a bad direction, the counselor must attempt to remain positive and not pass judgment; instead, they should start trying to get the client to realize the fault in their ways, (remotely), (Meyer, 2013).

Appropriate Scenarios for Using the Approach

When a family is undergoing issues evolved from dysfunction, this theory can be used to access the initials causes from the relationship patterns. Children develop the basis of their personality from their sibling position within the family unit. This theory can aid a family in assuring that the child is not growing up in a negative manner thus causes less family conflict, (Glasscock, 1998).

This approach can be used on many types of individuals suffering from an array of issues. Anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, alcohol issues, depression and personality disorders are amongst the concerns. It can also be presented in the form of play therapy.

Appropriate Therapy Methods (Include 2 to 3)

Family evaluation: Family history and patterns are gathered by the counselor from the client through the form of genograms, (amongst other tools), (Nichols, 1996).

Coaching: The person who aspires to be in charge or feels like they need to achieve a higher rank within the family will benefit from this method. Coaching teaches the individual family member to support themselves through everything and gives them the tools on how to support and instruct other family members as well.

Listen nonjudgmentally: Clients are in complete control when dealing with this therapy. That means the client should be the one to make all of the final decisions and take full responsibility.

Be Genuine: It is important for the client and the counselor to build rapport. If not, the client will not trust the counselor enough to conduct therapy, (Cepeda, 2006).

Important Ethical Considerations

Personal values – the counselor should be able to maintain personal boundaries and not interfere with extremely biased notions when dealing with clients, (Haug,1998).

Confidentiality – although this ca be presented as a family therapy, each unit of the family has their own voice. There are cases where the counselor will relay information that is fundamental for togetherness; however, each person should be addressed separately for private/ personal issues.

Minimizing bias in counseling – the counselor should be aware of the cultural/ personal beliefs, values, needs and limitations of not only the client but of themselves. This can all impact the work of the counselor potentially. Personal opinions should be left at the door if they aren’t in respect to the client’s ways.

Careful observation – the counselor should be very detailed in the explanation of this therapy. It should be openly client-driven, (Patterson, 2007).


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