The various approaches to counseling were presented in an attempt to have the physician-counselor examine the systems and select an approach that scems most comfortable to him. Each system makes certain demands on the counselor and patient. Because of these demands, a particular system may not prove effective for a specific patient’s problem or be suited to the style or personality of a counselor. The eclectic approach allows a counselor to utilize parts of various systems in a manner designed to meet the needs of the patient’s problems and the counselor’s abilities. An eclectic approach does not mean the absence of a system of counseling, but rather a synthesis of many systems. This synthesis requires the counselor to be familiar with any systems and effectively select those parts of the system that he feels are most applicable. The knowledge of various counseling systems gives the counselor a broader choice of techniques to apply to a particular situation. The counselor may identify a problem area and begin a clinical counseling or learning theory approach to a specific problem only to meet with resistance and no progress. By changing to a more nondirective approach, it may be possible to get the patient to provide information about the cause of the resistance. The eclectic approach can mean either using parts of different systems with one patient, or using different systems with different patients. A patient who presents in a passive, dependent manner may benefit from a directive, structured approach, while an aggressive, overwhelming patient may respond more effectively to accepting, nondirective counseling.
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