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Counseling theories have mainly been advanced on the basis of background, behavior, emotions and thoughts .In order to develop these theories, proper background research needs to be done. Research establishes if, how and why counseling is necessary. The key objective is for counseling psychologists to study their clients' emotional, behavioral or mental health hence establish a theory for treatment and deepen their knowledge on how to apply it on the client. Therefore, the psychologist can understand further onto what extent they are able to help a person under a given set of conditions, extent to which a psychologist can collaborate with the client to achieve realistic objectives, carry out a complete study of the client in order to individualize treatment, assess the progress and modify the treatment if need be. Finally, research enables counseling psychologists to broaden and deepen their understanding of various theories through the experience gained.
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If research is carried on a client's background and important issues are found to emerge, then the theoretical belief formerly assumed might have to be changed in order to ensure the effectiveness of the chosen theory. If psychoanalysis is also carried on a client's behavior, emotions and thoughts, and there is need to research further, new information might emerge necessitating the need to change a theoretical belief previously implied. Research on behavior entails a person's exposure, experiences and conditioning which can change previous beliefs held by the counselor. Human emotions are based on esteem and actualization which if research unearths a different scenario, then the beliefs previously held are bound to change. Emotions and behavior are said to grow from thoughts. For instance, if research indicates that the root cause of a clients' problems are due to thoughts rather than emotions, then the theoretical beliefs shall have to be adjusted in order to focus on more productive counseling theories. (Bruner, 1986) ((Ed.), 2007)