Week 3 Final Project: Theory of Counseling & My Journey to Self-Insight and Personal Growth

  1. Part 1: My Theory of Counseling
  2. Part ll: My Journey to Self-Insight and Personal Growth

Why select a theory?

Part of informed consent is explaining to clients what your services entail so that they may make a decision about whether or not you are a good fit for their needs. Additionally, clients are entitled to the most competent care available. In this day and age, there is a near imperative to use evidence-based interventions. Imagine seeking treatment for a condition like cancer and hearing a vague description of a treatment plan that includes a little bit of this and little bit of that. Would that instill confidence? Likely not. Should your oncologist have specialty training? Of course! Why would we expect less for our mental health? 

If we incorporate different techniques from two or more theories, does that automatically make my theoretical orientation eclectic or integrative?

Not necessarily. For example, it is common for clinicians with CBT orientations to often take a humanistic approach to their work (e.g., provide unconditional positive regard, believe in the autonomy and capability of the person, etc.). The key to keep in mind is that the utilization of an evidence-based intervention requires fidelity to that intervention (if you stray from the model as it was studied, there is no longer evidence that it will work!). For example, if you are using DBT, but only implement part of the intervention, you are no longer implementing DBT as it was intended; thus, the client should not expect the same results that were achieved in trials studying the efficacy of DBT. Does this mean that what you offered is not helpful? Not necessarily. You might have provided very valuable counseling. It’s also possible though that what you offered on it’s own was not potent enough to promote the changes or outcomes the client desires. Thus, it is critical to have a primary theoretical orientation and training related to the interventions associated with that theory. 

  • This video is a nice summary of the difference between orientation and techniques (note: most evidence-based treatments require fidelity to the model – if you drift from the protocol, there is no longer evidence that what you are doing works): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3yBPuf46Jo (also, if you identify as a integrative or eclectic, you must identify and discuss at least two theories that fit within that orientation). I encourage you to act as purist and just select one theory — this is a much cleaner and simpler approach. You are welcome to acknowledge that you might be struggling to choose between two, but for the purposes of this paper are focusing on just one.

Part 1:

  • Choose the theory of counseling that you like best and feel that you would be most comfortable using with your clients.
    • Provide a description of the theory (definition and description with examples of associated techniques).
    • Provide a brief summary of the history associated with the theory, including the major theorists.
  • Explain why you made this selection.
  • Discuss how you could use this theory in your work and life.

Part Il:

Be sure to include at least 4 scholarly references. One may be your textbook.

*There are many scholarly references available. Visit your Keiser Library!! 🙂 There are some fantastic psychology and counseling journals available to you there. 

Grading Rubric


Point Value

Adequately covers the topics using and citing factual information

Demonstrates critical and thoughtful analysis 

Meets the required word count

60 points

Uses the required minimum scholarly and credible resources (at least four)

20 points

Uses proper organization, following APA style.*This paper should include title page, headings, in-text citations, and reference list. Should be double spaced. (Abstract and running head should NOT be included)

10 points

Spelling/Grammar/Posts word count (1200-1500)

10 points


100 Points

Final Paper Assignment Requirements (Use as a checklist)

This is not your Grading Grid, only a checklist. 

  • Your paper should include a title page, headings, numbered pages as well as the word count included at the end.         
  • It should include a strong introduction and conclusion and a works cited page. No abstract page is necessary.
  • Double-space your paper and indent each paragraph.
  • Use a 12 pt. Arial font. Your word count should be at least 1200 words.
  • Minimum of four (4) cited sources (one can be your text) using the parenthetical citations and the works cited page.  Do NOT use Wikipedia as it is not considered to be a scholarly and reliable resource.
  • Use APA format and parenthetical citations right after cited material. (*See attached document for more information and watch the video(s) in the “Getting Started” area for more help.)

*Also rememberThere will be a 10pt. penalty for each day the assignment is late.  It is due Sunday, by midnight, at the end of week 3. Being on time helps you get a higher score.

*There will be a 100 pt. penalty for plagiarizing.  This means that if you plagiarize work you will receive a zero.  If in doubt, cite, cite, cite.Last, but not least, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Here are some additional writing help for your convenience:

Penalty for plagiarism (i.e., failure to cite your sources, failure to use quotation marks for direct quotes) will result in a zero on your assignment. A second occurrence of plagiarism will result in a zero as your final course grade (i.e., course failure). 

Please refer to the APA Power Point in the Start Here section of the classroom for information on proper formatting. You should also use the Purdue OWL site:

In-Text Citations: The Basics – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University

Reference List: Basic Rules – Purdue OWL

More helpful sites on how to properly cite your sources: 

In-text citation example (this is great)

In-text citations resources

Avoiding Plagiarism – Quoting | Academic Integrity at MIT


Plagiarism FAQs – Purdue OWL® – Purdue University


Parenthetical (In-Text) Citations

A parenthetical (in-text) citation is when you place the source in parenthesis ( ) right after the sentence you cited instead of waiting until the end of the paper.  It helps the reader to know exactly what sentences and paragraphs are taken from particular sources.

  • Place the author’s name and the source’s date of publication in parentheses immediately after the end of the cited material. If it is a direct quote, include the page number as well. For example:
    • “Psychology is defined as the science of behavior and mental processes” (Coon, 2012, p. 12).
    • If you have paraphrased the information then you do not need to include the page number. For example: Psychology is a scientific field that specifically studies both mental processes and the associated behaviors (Coon, 2012).

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