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Personal Theoretical Orientation Portfolio

Personal Theoretical Orientation Portfolio


This assignment is designed to assist you in developing a personal theoretical orientation to counseling. Students will write a Theory Portfolio based on their personal beliefs and attitudes related to the counseling practice. Select a counseling theory(ies) from those studied and create/write a scholarly and reflective portfolio/paper using 6th edition APA style guidelines. Describe your personal theory/philosophy of counseling.

Development of this Theory Portfolio is designed to assist the beginning counselor-in-training student to adopt a comprehensive counseling theory. Theory serves as a conceptual framework and guide in the process of effective counseling. A professional counselor portfolio is a visual representation of her/his experience. It is a collection of experience-based materials and reflective information that authenticates a student’s philosophy, growth, abilities, knowledge, attitudes, and values. The goal is to demonstrate how diverse activities and insights have contributed to the professional counselor’s theory development. A portfolio is as much a process as a product. Reflective learning requires opportunities to summarize, analyze, and synthesize one’s learning in a meaningful and integrated context.
A portfolio should be a well-organized and attractive presentation of professional materials. The portfolio will be shared via google drive
All work should be neatly and accurately typed, double-spaced using at least a 12-point font utilizing APA format.
It will be organized with a table of contents, and individual sections.
Each section should contain a heading as well as a description of materials included in the section.
An APA formatted reference list crediting resources used from books, journal articles, websites, etc. (a minimum of 5)
Section I. Life Philosophy
Demonstrate self-awareness of motives and beliefs that drive your desires to be a professional counselor.
A. Personal Influences:
Please examine and write about the experiences and beliefs/values from your personal/professional life that shapes your perspectives on clients.
Describe professional/work experiences and history that have influenced your view of the change process and theoretical assumptions.
Provide a contextual description of childhood, familial, religious/spiritual, gender role, and cultural experiences that have been instrumental in shaping your theoretical approach as a professional counselor-in-training. Respond to this question: How did you decide to become a counselor?
B. Values Assessment and Self-Awareness
Summarize the most important, useful, or meaningful realizations you discovered in your journey in your life, career, training, etc. toward self-awareness and exploration. Describe your view of yourself, others, and the world around you.
C. Personal Strengths and Limitations
Your personal influences and values may help you understand your clients, and at the same time, can potentially be a point of restriction in your understanding. Please address both sides. Reflecting on your personal influences and values identify strengths you have that will facilitate your becoming an effective counselor. Also identify the limitations you have that could hinder your ability to be effective with your clients. Identify values that may conflict with those of a client (e.g., perfectionism, religious, pro-life or choice, sanctity of marriage, heterosexism, gender role, etc.)
Section II. School of Thought – Knowledge Base
Present your knowledge base of four major theories of which two that fit best and two that are most at odds with your life philosophy. Provide a summary chart, table, or some other creative presentation that compares and contrasts what is most useful and least useful for you about the theories you selected.
Section III. Theoretical Framework
Integrate and synthesize all of the information above into your own personal theory or approach to counseling. Address the following areas:
Ways of Thinking/Knowing about clients
Roots of Client Concerns: What is your perception of how the concerns that bring clients to counseling develop and are maintained? You are to go beyond just identifying types of concerns clients experience. Please explain those concerns; include the impact of lifespan development and other contextual/systems influences in your explanation.
Client Change: What is your perception of what has to happen for clients to grow and improve their lives? What, ultimately, leads to client change? What do clients need in order to change? What do they need to change (behaviors, thoughts, emotions, relationships, etc.) and what must you as the counselor do to facilitate student change (your role as counselor in the change process)?
Ways of Applying the Theory:
Goals: In your theory, what is the role of goals? Do you have some goals for all your clients? How will you set and evaluate goals?
Interventions: List some of the most common activities that you might use to help create client change. Briefly describe what you will do and how you will know what to do.
Ways of Being a Counselor:
Counselor’s Role: What kind of role will you take as a counselor? Is it close? Distant? Does the counselor advice? Direct? Egalitarian? How should the counselor be with clients?
Flexibility: How will you adapt your theoretical approach when clients have a very different way of perceiving and being in the world? Are there things you will not change?

Personal Theory Growth
Discuss how your study of the major theories in counseling has influenced your personal theory. What will you need to actively do in your clinical courses to continue understanding your theory and developing it to be more helpful to your clients?
Theory Limitations
All theories have limitations. Review the strengths and limitations of your approach. Which client populations will be a challenge for you? Address how you will manage the limitations in your theory. 

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