Counselling Theories Compare and Contrasted

In this section, we are going to look at three different forms of counselling, how they compare and how they differ.

The first thing to consider is that all counsellors, no matter which model of counselling they practise, should offer the core conditions discussed in the section on person-centred therapy.

The main difference is that transactional analysis and REBT counsellors use additional techniques, whereas person-centred therapists believe that the core conditions are not only necessary but also sufficient for the client to heal themselves.

In the grid below, you will see how the therapies compare

Person-centredTransactional analysisREBT
Carl RogersEric BerneAlbert Ellis
Humanistic schoolPsychodynamic schoolBehavioural school
Here and nowPresenting pastHow we think
Counsellor believes the client is an expert on themselves and helps the client gain self-acceptanceCounsellor is an ‘expert’ and helps the client to realise how childhood experiences affect their life todayCounsellor is an ‘expert’ and helps the client to think more rationally about life
Believes that humans can self-heal if the core conditions are in placeThe basis of the model is parent, adult and child ego states The basis of the model is action, belief and consequence
Core conditions are
necessary and sufficient
Core conditions are desirableCore conditions are desirable
The relationship between the client and the counsellor is the most important aspect of the therapy succeedingCounsellor teaches techniques, sets homework and uses worksheets to aid the therapyCounsellor teaches techniques, sets  homework and uses worksheets to aid the therapy