Understanding The Human System As A Client In Psychotherapy And Counseling

  1. General System Theory

One of the advantages of the systems approach is that it helps us to understand the nature of man-machine as well as person-to-person interactions. In today's computerized era, the systems approach has become a very important aspect of human life, the systems approach offers a very powerful tool for understanding the influence of machines on human attitudes and experiences.

  1. Cybernetics

Cybernetics is the study of how human cognitive processes are stimulated by computers. This was first discovered by Nobert Wiener (1948) who introduced the study of control and communication problems between humans and computer control centers.

The field of cybernetics provides several important concepts that are useful for operating all kinds of complex human systems; These concepts are: control, entropy, and feedback.

  • Control, focuses on various procedures and tools that regulate various work processes in a system.
  • Entropy, shows the tendency of various systems to stagnate or ' run down'. In the human system, entropy is often caused by the gradual erosion of beliefs and beliefs in the system's ability to meet needs and aspirations. 
  • Feedback, is only possible when communication between components takes place. In systems analysis we recognize the form of relationships that enable communication as ' feedback loops'. 
  1. Open and Closed System

Based on the basic understanding of feedback loops we can conceptualize two types of systems; namely open and closed systems.

  • A closed system is a system that isolates individuals from their natural environment. this happens because the individual does not exchange energy, goods or matters and information with the outside environment. The individual has little or no capacity for renewal.
  • An open system is a system that continuously exchanges information, energy and materials with the surrounding environment. All living things are part of an open system, where when they are restricted from the outside environment they will get sick and die. 

When a system is still open, it is characterized as self-regulation and steady state performance. Open systems maintain stable output and are self-characteristically regulating because they are able to utilize feedback to establish control In the human system this type of ability is called self-renewal or 'self-renewal' (Gardner, 1962).

  1. System analysis Human

One of the advantages of systems analysis is that it allows us to focus on the operation of one part of the related aspects of the system without ignoring or fearing the components or parts therein (Barrien, 1976). 

Systems analysis emphasizes the relationships and interrelationships inherent in every phenomenon which makes them a powerful tool for understanding social systems and the behavior of people within those systems.

System analysis shows us that changes in the total part of the system in terms of system function bring changes to other components that are in a system. Awareness of the complexities and interrelationships in the functioning of the system has a greater possibility of interference (Goulner, 1964). 

Systems thinking shows us that we do not only think as part members of an individual personality but as part of a system that plays a role and occupies a position in an interconnected and connected system.

Systems thinking is not something simple because it demands a high level of tolerance for complexity and ambiguity. Systems thinking encourages individuals in it to move into a cognitive level that is increasingly developing and complex.

  1. A Framework To Help Client Systems.

The framework that will be discussed in this section can be a good guide to follow, even in individual counseling situations. As client systems become more diverse and complex, the use of the following principles becomes increasingly important;

  1. The change process should be done collaboratively in a natural context This principle states that changes to the client system should be carried out in a democratic and open manner.
  2. Changes should be educative and productive for all members of the client system. The second principle in working with client systems is that the process of change planning should condition all of its members to be productive.
  3. The change process should be formative and experimental in the context of a natural environment. The third principle of democratic change in the client system is that the process should be experimental or trial and error in innovating and the change should also represent an attempt to improve functionality within the client system and develop all members of the system.
  4. Change should focus on solving problems, not focusing on individual personal needs that aim to increase prestige The basic principle in working with client systems is that processes should be task oriented. The efforts of participants, including professionals, should be relevant to the task at hand rather than an increase in personal power and status 

When a counselor is able to build good relationships and help clients solve problems based on the four principles above, all client problems related to diverse and complex racial, ethnic, and practitioner issues will be resolved.

  1. Understanding the Resistance of the Client's System

Resistance to change is a homeostatic element that helps a person maintain stability, consistency, and balance in the human personality (Watson, 1967). The more unstable, painful, and turbulent experiences one has the better an individual will be at trying to avoid change, even one that is clearly planned and detailed.

A professional counselor who works with families and organizations should have the ability to deal with this and consider resistance as an integral process in a change process. 

  1. School and Community as Client System

The success or failure of a professional counselor in working in educational settings such as schools, universities or communities on a large scale that includes humanitarian services can be seen from the way he understands the social context of their clients.

  1. Community

Community is a complex human system that depends on collective and cooperative efforts to achieve goals. Communities have sub-systems that include large communities, have different forms, and develop different norms and expectations and reflect their size, composition, age, cohesiveness, and most importantly the basis and purpose of the organization being founded. 

  1. School

School is an education system that generally has unique characteristics and problems.

Schools can be classified into service organizations (Blau & Scott, 1962). In this case, students act as public-in-contact of the school, namely the population that the school builds to serve.

Students are more considered as inputs in an input system where a system works. Students are also considered as passive input, active partner or the main advantage of an operating system. While teachers and other administrators are considered as active participants of a system in which they improve the behavior of other members in the system. 

In the human system we can identify two broad patterns, namely: instrumental communication related to cognitive areas where the aim is to change simple behavior, for example closing windows, etc. Communication expressive namely communication aims to share emotions and attitudes.   

Sumber

Donald H.Blocher ( 2007).The Professional Counselor. New York : Macmilan Publishing Company.Page 73-202)

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