Counselling Theory | Case Study application | Elements of the theories


In the following report, the information related to physiotherapy will be discussed. The report depicts the information on how a person can gain moral support with the help of a therapist. The information related to gestalt and family system therapy will be discussed. The case study depicts that a child whose name is Tom lost his father and due to that he became an aggressive person and his attitude also changed.

Identification and evolution of theories

According to the chosen case study the theories of gestalt and family systems are implemented as in the chosen study Tom lost his father due to the sudden death of his father and as a result, he has become a person full of aggressiveness. These theories can improve the mental ability of Tom. The theory of gestalt mainly focuses on the present condition of the patient and treats him accordingly. This therapy creates awareness of the client’s physical sensations and emotions. The theory of gestalt therapy came under consideration in the year 1940 by Kritz and Laura Perls (Suess, 2019). It mainly focuses on the humanistic and experiential approaches. It has been observed that Gestalt therapy supports the clients to take the next step in their personal growth and improvement. The word gestalt defines a pattern, configuration, integration, and whole. The theory of gestalt therapy mainly supports enabling creative contact with the people and the environment we live in. In this therapy, the client and the therapist build a strong relationship which is most essential for the healing process. The therapist mainly focuses on the creation of awareness of the present experience. The therapist emboldens the exploration of client recognition, feeling, and actions. This therapy includes both the process of conversing and listening activities from the person who is teaching (Pill, & Hyndman, 2018). The change which came into consideration in the case of gestalt theory is the therapists show it to the client through experiential methods and dialogue thus increasing the self-awareness of the client. 

Similarly, the theory of family systems therapy is also much relatable with the chosen case study. This theory was established by Murray Bowen, MD in the year of 1959 (Robbins, Alexander, Turner, & Hollimon, 2016). He researched families in his life and developed family system therapy. Murray Bowmen described this counseling session based on conceptualized reciprocity in functioning between family members. This therapy describes the relationship between the family therapists and the clients who desire to change his/her functioning level among the family. This therapy mainly focuses on the interaction between the family members. In this theory, the therapist conducts a session among the family members to deal with the important issues and to improve the environment among the family members. This theory also aims to solve family problems, improve communication, handling special family situations. It also develops the family environment through which the clients achieve some support from the members of the family. Murray Bowen also illustrated eight principles of this theory. The principles are the emotional process of the nuclear family, sibling position, the emotional process in the society, the multigenerational transmission process (T'Airra, 2019). Murray Bowen also enunciated an encyclopedic theory of human functioning related to families and other natural systems. In the session of this therapy, the therapists improve the behavior of the family members and due to this the clients feel secure and share his/her problems with the family members. Murray also derived that this therapy can be more effective as compared to other therapy.

Elements of the theories:

The relationship between the therapist and the client occurs when the client clarifies his/her problem to the therapist. The relationship becomes strong after conducting the session. The therapists engage the client positively and collaboratively so that he/she obtains emotional powers to overcome the problem he/she is facing. The therapeutic relationship also defines the connection, interaction, and process between counselors and clients to solve the problems of the client. There are several elements of the theories. Gestalt therapy mainly focuses on the self-awareness of the client, as it provides positive support so that he/she becomes emotionally strong (Palombi, 2018). Many experimental exercises help the client to become more comfortable with the current situation. This theory implements some useful strategies which easily increase the self-awareness of the client. Similarly, the elements of family system therapy increase the interaction skills of the client. The client can reduce his/her stress level by completing the session of this therapy. In this therapy, the therapists teach how to rectify psychological disorders. According to the case study, Tom is an introverted child who never shares his feelings with other so after his father died he became more aggressive and due to this, the therapist needs to teach the family to interact with him in a good manner so that he feels comfortable to share his feelings with his mom or brother.

Application of, comparison, and contrast between chosen counseling theories to ONE of the case studies listed below including 

Ethical/legal considerations

The gestalt therapist declares that there are good values and valuing processes in each individual. The objective of the ethics of gestalt theory is to inform and protect the client who is seeking the session. In gestalt therapy, there is confidentiality from both client and the therapist. The therapist must take permission from the client before gathering information from the family. The information which is exchanged between the client and the therapist needs to be kept confidential. The therapists should pay attention to their capabilities and refer the client to some other therapist. Two ethical stances are considered legalistic and the antinomian (Rydberg, 2017). Legalistic ethics define that society is more important as compared to the decision of the individual. Whereas antinomian ethics are controlled by nature or spontaneity. Similarly, the ethics of family system therapy are autonomy, justice, fidelity, beneficence, nonmaleficence. In a family system therapy, the therapist teaches the client to implement his/her own decision and the therapist also keeps their commitment to the client. The ethics in this therapy is long-held understanding. The therapist performs the session according to the demand of the client. This also helps in maintaining a good relationship between the client and the therapist.

Comparing and Contrasting

According to the case study, the useful techniques are mirroring activity that comes under the section of family system therapy and empty chair technique which comes under the section of gestalt therapy. Here both the techniques are the same but the process of utilization is different. According to the case study, Tom is the client who is facing problems in interacting with each other and due to this, his behavior changed into aggressiveness. So, the therapist needs to engage the family members in the session. The family members stand in a mirror position and interact with each other and this technique easily supports the client to share his/her problem with the family members. Similarly, the techniques of empty charge are also the same as the technique of mirroring activity but the process is different (Cattaruzza, 2018). Here the client considers him as two different people and interacts by sitting on different chairs. The contraction of these two techniques is the same and this may help the client to increase his/her self-awareness.

The outcome of the counseling session

The outcomes of a counseling session can be illustrated in two ways efficacy and effectiveness. The efficacy refers to the benefits gathered from the comparison of the treatment. Whereas effectiveness defines the benefits of therapy that occur in mental health. In the context of the chosen case study, if the counseling session of Tom goes well then he can comfortably interact with his family members. He could also share his feelings with his family members and this will reduce his aggressiveness which he shows to his friends. The family system therapy can also encourage him to interact with his brother with whom he hasn’t talked for more than 5 years. The therapy of gestalt will support him to increase his self-awareness through which he can maintain himself with the outer environment. Sometimes there are negative outcomes as the clients become worse. The rate of a negative outcome is 5% (Selohilwe, Bhana, Garman, & Petersen, 2019).

Requirements needed for the counseling to go ahead as planned, again comparing, and contrasting the TWO theories

The session depends upon the nature of the problem. The client needs to attend the session regularly to get a cure in a less period of time. The therapist made the routine for how long the client needed to attend the session. The therapist and the clients use creative techniques to increase self-awareness and self-direction (Sommers-Flanagan, & Sommers-Flanagan, 2018). Whereas family system therapy helps the family members to resolve conflicts and maintain a better interaction between them. The main motive of both the therapy is the same but the process of utilizing it is different. The therapist needs to implement the plan in a routine wise.

A final statement that outlines which of the two theories would best suit the client’s needs, based on your analysis.

According to the chosen case study gestalt therapy will be best suited. The benefits which can be gathered through gestalt therapy are enumerated below:

  • A greater appreciation and compliance of behavior and attitude to extraneous stimuli. This therapy will focus on Tom’s self-awareness through which he can cope up with the external environment.
  • This therapy support making a good decision. Tom can implement his own decision while interacting with other members of the family.
  • Greater competence to lead life authentically (Altizer, 2018).
  • The therapy also develops the ability of Tom to handle every difficult situation more effectively.
  • It also improves Tom’s relationship with the world around him.


In the above-discussed report information related to physiotherapy and how it helps a person to become successful in his life is discussed. It also focused upon the interaction quality o0f a person how he/she cope up with both the internal and external environment. The information related to therapy theories is also illustrated.


Altizer Jr, R., Handman, E., Bayles, G., Jackman, J., Cheng, K., Ritchie, S., ... & Wright, C. (2018, October). Choreografish: Co-designing a choreography-based therapeutic virtual reality system with youth who have autism spectrum advantages. In Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts (pp. 381-389).

Cattaruzza, S. (2018). The Aesthetic Theory of Gernot Bühme and Gestalt Phenomenology. Dialogue and Universalism, (4), 167-176.

Palombi, M. (2018). From Gestalt Therapy to Family Systems: How Theoretical Frameworks Inform Clinical Applications. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 39(4), 514-527.

Pill, S., & Hyndman, B. (2018). Gestalt psychological principles in developing a meaningful understanding of games and sport in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 37(4), 322-329.

Robbins, M. S., Alexander, J. F., Turner, C. W., & Hollimon, A. (2016). Evolution of functional family therapy as an evidence?based practice for adolescents with disruptive behavior problems. Family Process, 55(3), 543-557.

Rydberg, J. A. (2017). Research and clinical issues in trauma and dissociation: Ethical and logical fallacies, myths, misreports, and misrepresentations. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 1(2), 89-99.

Selohilwe, O., Bhana, A., Garman, E. C., & Petersen, I. (2019). Evaluating the role of levels of exposure to a task shared depression counseling intervention led by behavioral health counselors: outcome and process evaluation. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 13(1), 42.

Sommers-Flanagan, J., & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2018). Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice: Skills, strategies, and techniques. John Wiley & Sons.

Suess, B. (2019). Bereavement-an evolution. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand, 15(2), 73.

T'Airra, C. B. (2019). Reshaping Counselor Education: The Identification of Influential Factors on Multisystemic Therapy (Doctoral dissertation, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing).

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