Sharf: A Literature Review

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Introduction Summary In chapter one, the introduction, Sharf (2016) begins by stating, “theory can be briefly described as a group of logically organized laws or relationships that constitute explanation in a discipline” (2). He follows by explaining the aspects that must be considered when a theory is developed, these consist of precision and clarity, comprehensiveness, testability, and usefulness. Theories in psychotherapy and counseling differ from those of physics because, “human behavior is far too complex to have clearly articulated theories” (Sharf, 2016, pg. 3).Due to the creativeness and drive to help clients reach the healing process, therapists have come up with upwards of a thousand, or more, theories of psychotherapy. The theories…show more content…
Sharf begins by highlighting the main focus of each theory and the therapy used to correct client’s unwanted behaviors or thoughts. Because of the diversity among clients, therapists are now more focused on what the best therapy is for a specific type of client (Sharf, 2016, pg. 13). With that, Sharf transitions into discussing several different psychological disorders in which these theories can be applied. The chapter concludes in a concise explanation of current trends, research and issues, all being imperative factors to understand psychotherapy theories. Sharf provides a plethora of vital information in a condensed manner throughout chapter one. He states, “this book is an opportunity to become familiar with some of the most influential theories of psychotherapy and counseling” (Sharf, 2016, pg. 25). Though the choice of theory is different in each therapist, it is an ever evolving process guided by continued studying of the theories. Sharf’s information throughout this chapter holds much value in that regard.
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I found myself trying to determine which theory would be best to use to confront those certain issues. While reading about Adlerian Therapy I could not help thinking about the relationship I had, and still have, with my mother. Because of our harrowing kinship I have acquired some very dysfunctional beliefs, thoughts, and subconscious behaviors. My mother used to always say, “I am the most honest person you will ever meet.” A rather bold statement from someone whose behavior was everything but honest. My mother’s infidelity lead to the demise of my parent’s marriage. Once my parents were divorced, my mother’s responsibility for her children fell to the waist side. I found myself resenting my mother for everything she was. When someone’s words do not match their actions, trust is lost. When someone that “loves” you decides that friends and dating is suddenly more important, indignation is formed. From a very early age I stopped trusting anything anyone said. Because of my abandonment issues, I have yet to be involved in a healthy, mature romantic relationship. I find it hard to be vulnerable and emotionally available to someone who has the power to leave me once I am attached. All of this has become obvious to me recently. It was not until I was an adult and taking care of myself, that my mother decided to try to “be a mom”. I have never discussed any of this with
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