Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Ghosts of Theorists Past!

Hmmmmm...can't recall who these old, mostly dead White men are, huh? Freud, Rogers, May and Adler. It's been a minute since you had a theories class, eh? These are the Ghosts of Theorists Past! LOL! 

Why is it that school counselors freeze up when they are asked about theories? Why are we afraid to use theory; and for the record...stating that as a school use eclectic theory is out. ANNNNT (that's me doing the buzzer-times up sound)! It's passe. Today, eclectic means that you are so proficient in multiple theories that you blend and mix them. It no longer means that you take a little bit of each to make up your own. Heck, 95% of principals won't even ask you about theory in an interview or otherwise. Shoot! They don't even care! 

As I approach my second to last semester of my PhD program, I have learned to appreciate theory. I now know that I need it in order to be a PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELOR. I know that I am an existentialist. Mostly due to personal experiences in my life and my belief system. However, when working in the K-12 environment I know that Solution Focused is best for students. Therefore, I fuse Existentialism with Solution Focused. I even did a presentation on it for my Advanced Theories class! Created my own version! LOL! So as school counselors, I bet money that you are going to fall back on Reality Theory or Solution Focused Theory. Either one is fine. I can't envision Psychodrama, Transactional Analysis or Gestalt in a K-12 setting, but I could be wrong! Just refresh yourself with the theory, the techniques and do it properly. Theories are not hard to remember when you revisit them, it will come back to you easily...just like it did me. Shucks! You may even think about going back to school to obtain a PhD in counselor education! What I don't want is for you to cheat yourself out of our professional identity by doing some kind of  hodge-podge, crappy crap and what I definitely don't want is for you to cheat your students out of what they deserve...a competent, effective and ethically sound school counselor. 

Remember: You can't be extraordinary when you're in your own way! 


  1. Yes! You will do well to remember those old white guys for what they contributed to our profession. Most modern theories have roots from them. Schools need more reality theory. Control/choices

  2. Reality theory has a place (like prisons), but it's use is fading. It is being replaced by interventions such as Motivational Interviewing, which is strengths-based & much more client-friendly. I use it with (mostly abused &/or neglected) teens in a group home with significant positive results.

  3. Wholeheartedly agree. Counseling theory also guides you in all areas of work including working with parents, leadership, colleagues, and others. Counseling theory has also guided me as a parent and a partner. Theory helps us to be with others and empower them.