18 Explain the role of theory in relation to helping relationships. (AC 3.1)

The theory should be used as a signpost and help counsellors to select the most appropriate solution suitable to customer shape. For new counsellors theory is a skeleton and search engines help to navigate. For more experienced counsellor theory help to integrate external knowledge into the counsellor profession. Without a solid foundation of the theoretical approach, the counsellor is at risk of being ineffective and may cause harm to the customer. In relation to helping relationships Boy and Pines (1998) identify that theory can help with:

Assisting counsellors to find unique approaches according to unique individuals and respect diversity.

Force counsellors to examine the skeleton of relationships that differ from their own experiences.

Provide to counsellors constraints of operational guidelines and help them to evaluate those.

Help counsellors support customers in the modification of their behaviour in relation to emotion and interpersonal relationships.

Enable counsellors to evaluate and test new and old approaches with the therapeutic relationships.

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