Theoretical Orientation Paper
Your 5-8 page theoretical orientation paper is designed as a process paper on which to build your personal counseling theory and personal counseling style.
Specifically, this paper will provide an opportunity to integrate aspects of the theories learned this semester with your developing theoretical orientation. I will
be using Vericite. If your paper shows a high percentage of plagiarism, you will receive a zero for this assignment. An explanation of the specific
requirements for the content of the paper is included below.
My Personal Counseling Theory
Discuss your personal counseling theory. Next, discuss how your personal approach is informed by the existing theories you explored throughout the
semester. In particular, you are asked to name and describe existing theoretical orientations that inform your personal theory (e.g., Client-centered,
Existential, Cognitive-Behavioral, Psychoanalytic, Reality, Gestalt, REBT, etc.).
Be specific about what elements of the existing theoretical orientations relate to your personal theory. You may select one or two theories; however, all
elements must be supported and adequately referenced. As this is the beginning of your counseling journey, focus on one or two theories that resonate with
How Client Problems Originate
From your theoretical position, describe how client problems originate. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your perspective.
For example, do problems stem from client beliefs? The way people think? Feelings? Unconscious forces? Chemical imbalances in the brain? Issues related
to the family of origin? The way people view themselves, others, their lives? Be specific in your descriiption and discussion.
How Clients Are Best Helped
Describe your view of how clients are best helped in the counseling process. This must be related to your personal perspective (e.g., “This is how I would
approach working with clients . . .” “I would . . .” etc.).
Be specific with techniques and interventions and justify your rationale. Use brief examples to illustrate your position. Specifically, you are asked to discuss
how your approach is supported (or not) by the existing theories’ techniques and interventions and/or research.
Format for Theoretical Orientation Paper
All papers and subsequent addendums MUST utilize APA style.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed) is an essential reference for this paper and others you will be writing during your
enrollment in the counseling program.
Each paper will contain a title page, text pages (content), and reference page(s).
Minimum and maximum numbers of text pages DO NOT include the title and reference page.
The title page (see APA manual for specific directions) will include a page number, a title, name, course, and date (i.e., name, course, and date should all be
centered under the title).
Additional references are expected. Continued reading outside of textbook material is expected; therefore, please refer to additional notes below. A minimum
of 5 references is required.
Utilization of course texts is expected.
You can access journal articles from the university’s library. Please consult with a librarian and feel free to ask questions for assistance.
References shall be from appropriate professional books and peer-reviewed journals. Note: Brochures, popular magazine articles, encyclopedias,
dictionaries, and other non-professional materials are unacceptable as reference material for this paper.
No more than one source from the Internet (e.g., Buzzfeed, Wiki, Psychology Today, etc.)
A reference page containing all references in APA style is required.
Evaluation and Grading
See the rubric attached below. Papers will be evaluated on the following:
Clarity and continuity of writing style
Appropriate citation of material, reference list, spelling, and grammar
Ability to follow the established format
Depth of thought about personal theory