ERIC Number: ED276917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Critique of the Microcounselling Approach to Problem Understanding.
Robinson, Viviane; Halliday, Jan
This paper concerns microcounseling approaches which involve teaching the component behaviors of effective counseling or interviewing within a problem-solving framework. It notes that Egan, Ivey and Carkhuff, as proponents of this view, stress that later action stages of the problem-solving cycle should be based on an adequate understanding of the client's problem. This paper examines the relationship between the skills which comprise the microcounseling approach and the goal of problem understanding. It is argued that the microcounseling approach: (1) lacks any explanation of how problem understanding is reached; (2) concentrates instead on the communication techniques involved in the discovery and modification of the client's understanding; and (3) that this omission leaves counselors without a rationale for the modification of their clients' views and without a means to regulate their use of the various microskills. Information theory and recent research on complex problem-solving are introduced to explain the skills involved in reaching a high quality understanding of a client's problem. Given that these complex cognitive processes are not addressed in the microcounseling approach, suggestions for its modification are provided. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: New Zealand Dept. of Education, Wellington.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).