Theories are like guiding lights. They give us some direction when we are with clients who have come to us in pain with problems or concerns they do not know how to address. Like light, theories can and do change. Some become brighter with time; others shift their focus. Some fade because they either lack a solid foundation or lose their relevance for the populations we serve. Wondrously new theories, like emerging lights, are generated as insightful clinicians and academics craft them out of the context in which people live. Because this book is about counseling theories that are most prevalent at the beginning of the 21st century, it should be read in the light of its time. Some of the material covered will shine even brighter in the future whereas other ideas will falter or fade. In addition, some theories explained here may change their emphases. New ways of working with client populations will be created as practitioners discover other ways of helping individuals in mental distress. Thus, the knowledge gained from this text will be finite. To keep growing as a professional, you will have to study and read continuously about the latest developments in counseling and therapy circles. So why should you study these theories at this time? They are the best and most complete that we know Furthermore, they provide ways of conceptualizing the words and actions of clients and working constructively with them. In other words, these theories, if employed judiciously, will shed light on your work and give you direction. Without such a basis for making plans and decisions, you would have to rely on trial and error or intuition, neither of which is apt to be as efficient or effective. This book is laid out developmentally so that you can see how various theories of counseling and therapy have emerged: psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theories, Adlerian therapy, existential therapy, person-centered therapy, Gestalt therapy, reality therapy, behavioral therapy, cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, transactional analysis, feminist therapy Bowen family systems therapy, strategic family therapy, and solution-focused therapy Each theory chapter presents important essentials without irrelevant details and follows a uniform outline: Major Theorist(s), View of Human Nature/Personality Role of the Counselor/Therapist, Goals, Process and Techniques, Multicultural and Gender-Sensitive Issues, Evaluation of the Theory, Treating Linda with the Therapy, Summary and Conclusion, Summary Table, Learning More, Classroom Activities, and References. The final chapter of the book discusses ethical and legal concerns related to counseling. Throughout the book I have used the wordscounselorandtherapistinterchangeably, just as professionals in the helping fields commonly use them. Some individuals prefer other terms:psychotherapist, psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, pastoral counselor,ormental health counselor.However, I believe that using justcounselorandtherapistmakes the text clearer, easier to read, and less distracting. I would like to thank my colleagues both past and present for the many contributions they have made to my understanding of theories and the therapeutic process. My work and interactions with fellow clinicians in mental health, private practice, and academic settings have allowed me to gain firsthand experience as a practicing counselor using major theories. For their constructive suggestions during the preparation of the manuscript, I thank reviewers Kenneth F Hughey, Kansas State University; Julia K. Mirras, Middlesex Community College University; John Reese, Waubonsee Community College; and Eric A. Sleith, Jefferson Community College. I would also like to thank my editor at Prentice Hall, Kevin Davis, for continuously urging me to put my thoughts about theories on paper. Finally, I wish tGladding, Samuel T. is the author of 'Counseling Theories Essential Concepts And Applications', published 2004 under ISBN 9780131138452 and ISBN 0131138456.