To choose the best theory or theorist you will want to take some time to familiarize yourself with a variety of theories and theorists. This will take some time and some exploration.
Even though your area of study is counseling you may find a theory in another area of study that will mesh better with your research topic. Below are some examples of theories:
For more on finding theories, see the main Theorists and Theories guide.
As you do your exploratory research you will want to start with sources that give you the broad overviews. Finding primary sources and peer review sources will come later.
Below are good places to start your exploratory research:
You will not cite these sources in your research. These are for your knowledge and understanding
After you've identified some theories you will want to find the original works. Books and websites will often list a theorist's influential books and articles—these are the original, primary sources.
The primary sources are what you will read and cite in your own work (not textbooks, encyclopedias, websites, or "secondary source" books—ones not written by the original theorists)
Unsure how to research a theoretical framework? Learn how to find theories and models for doctoral research that apply to a variety of subject areas. Session recorded December 2016 (YouTube 55 min 12 sec)
Readers Guide and Subject Index tabs can be used to browse encyclopedias and handbooks for theories and theorists.