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Lecture 10......
Jeremy Jackson
|     May 5, 2014
NW 3431
|     New Westminster
Carl Sagan: "Science is a way of thinking much more than a body of knowledge"

Key concepts - you will be responsible for knowing a number of definitions of key concepts. You may be asked to give an accurate definition and example of any of the key concepts. Key concepts are in italics, bolded and colored red throughout the notes.

Discussion exercises and class activities - the lecture notes contain a number of discussion questions and class activities. You should conduct these exercises as soon as they are introduced in the notes. Exercises are in italics, bolded and green throughout the notes.

Critical points - there are some points that require extra emphasis because they are fundamental to the example or concept being discussed. Critical points are bolded, in italics and colored orange.

Movies - throughout the notes I have made short videos explaining various ideas.

Types of Therapy

Humanistic Therapy

The keys here are:

1) Active listening: A form of listening in which we attempt to understand and reflect what a person has said.

Active listening is a method of listening and responding to others in which all attention is focused on the speaker. The listener try's to:

a) Suspend their own frame of reference.

b) Suspending judgment or excessive interpretation and evaluation.

c) Attend fully and completely to what the person is saying (e.g., avoid distraction).

In active listening, the listener DEMONSTRATES that they are listening actively by:

a) Repeating what the person has said.

b) Paraphrasing what a person has said.

c) Reflecting the speaker's message but not perhaps the actual content of the message.

2) Acceptance of a person for who they are. Not attempting to evaluate or assess the moral or ethical legitimacy of what a person says or feels but attempting to understand the feelings and conflicts they do have.

3) Recognize internal struggles as normal rather than disturbed or pathological. So taking a positive approach to life struggles.

Here is an example of active listening as employed in a humanistic therapy session. Carl Rogers, an inventor of the humanistic approach is the therapist in this video. It is critical that you identify the keys to humanistic therapy described above in this video. The woman is struggling with lying to her children about a relationship she had with a man that is not the father of her children. Carl Rogers

The technique is about acceptance, not evaluation. We don't see problems to be resolved, we see what is good. We do not seek judgment and compliance, we seek acceptance. We help the client find their own way. We do not give them the answer.

One reason to take a humanistic approach is to avoid the pitfalls that may occur when we pathologize behavior. That is, when we see behavior as flawed or disordered from our own point of view. In the following video, the speaker identifies one possible negative consequence of viewing the behavior present in some young people with ADHD as disordered.

Watch: Ken Robinson  

Do you see that the perspective of viewing ADHD as a problem to be solved can lead to the destruction of people and talent? The humanist's point is that we must be careful here. We must be careful not to foist our own ideologies on to our clients.

Now, sometimes this is very hard to do. We sometimes do have clients that may be very disturbing to us. Our initial reaction might be to strongly reject the whole person rather than just those things about the person that are specifically disturbing to us. We must also be careful, the humanist says, to appreciate a person from their own perspective or point of view. To do this, we must sometimes put aside what is normal, sensible and reasonable within our own context and understand what might be normal, sensible and reasonable within a context that is very different to our own.

In the following videos, Charles Manson is interviewed. Charles is a disturbing man and does meet the DSM criteria for at least one if not more mental disorders (he would be diagnosed today as a sociopath but probably not a paranoid schizophrenic). See if you can put aside your own evaluations as you watch him to appreciate what is and is not pathological in his behavior.

We will start with two videos that clearly indicate some level of deep mental disturbance.

1) Charles Manson 1

2) Charles Manson 2

Now let's watch another video of Charles.

Charles Manson 3

There are aspects of Manson's thinking and behavior that are not particularly disturbed. It seems he has important things to say about his life and how people like him are treated in our society. Humanists must hear and understand these things rather than reject them outright. The interviewer clearly is not taking a humanistic approach. Even though he says many times "I am only asking", it is clear he is not. It is clear he wants to "put words in Manson's mouth".


In psychoanalysis, the purpose is to uncover and resolve anxieties that derive from early childhood experience. Of course, these anxieties are difficult to uncover because patients use defense mechanisms to repress their own anxieties. The use of defense mechanisms to repress anxiety provoking thoughts and feelings is called resistance within the therapeutic context.

The job of the therapist is to get past resistance to identify and resolve deep-seated early childhood psychic conflict. The idea is to find anything one can find to explore anxiety provoking issues. Freud used the idea of the archeologist brushing away "defensive" sand to uncover deep-seated 'treasure". Others use different metaphors and approaches but the idea is always the same.

The following are techniques that are used to aid the therapist is getting past resistance:

1) Projective tests: The Rorschach and Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), for example.

These tests present subjects with ambiguous, potentially dramatic and sometimes sexual and/or aggressive stimuli to provide possible insights into unresolved conflict. The patient PROJECTS their thoughts, feelings, unconscious anxieties, etc., onto the image.

Below are two images from the TAT.

The subject is asked to tell as dramatic a story as they can for each picture presented, including the following:

   a) what has led up to the event shown
   b) what is happening at the moment
   c) what the characters are feeling and thinking
   d) what the outcome of the story was


The therapist then uses the story to delve into deeper aspects of the client's unconscious.





2) Dream Analysis: the following is a good example of how dreams are used and analyzed by therapists: Dreams.

3) Relaxation: the point here is to get the patient "off-guard". When a person is relaxed they are more likely to free-associate. That is to say what comes to mind without excessive conscious control/filtering.

4) Word Association:

Today, many therapists interpret these conscious recollections of their clients to understand what these might say about unconscious anxieties. What we leave out of our life-stories, accounts of stressful life events, fights with spouses, etc., can tell a therapist about what may be provoking anxiety. For instance, watch the following video in which the therapist uses the failure of a client to pay their bill as an indication of possible personal anxieties: Yalom.


Behavior Therapies

Classical Conditioning Techniques: The following diagram illustrates the technique of counter-conditioning. Watch the following video for an explanation of this diagram and the technique itself: Conditioning.



Another common classical conditioning technique is aversive conditioning. We use this method when we wish to condition a negative response to a neutral stimulus. The following is an example of how we might use aversive conditioning to condition a negative response to females in male sex offenders.


After aversive conditioning the offender feels fear or anxiety when around females. The sexual attraction is replaced by a fear response.


Operant Conditioning Techniques: In these techniques we increase the likelihood of a desired response by FOLLOWING the response with a reinforcer.

Cognitive Therapy

The basic principle of cognitive therapy is that poor thinking patterns cause emotional distress which feeds back to cause even more destructive thinking patterns. The purpose then in cognitive therapy is to change the way we think about things. Let's start by looking at self-destructive thinking patterns.


Here we see a self-destructive pattern of thinking in which the individual makes a global, individual attribution to a stimulus that is not global (the test score is merely one event in a life of successes and failures) or individual (the poor test score might have to do with situational factors rather than individual ones) in nature.


Let's take a look at an example from sports psychology.



If we can re--train thinking patterns here, we can avoid the anxiety associated with this stressful situation and perhaps increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. The diagram below shows how this might work:




Sports psychology focuses a great deal on the idea of encouraging the development of natural abilities. Rather than fixing what is wrong, the idea is to enhance what is right.

Watch: Tiger

That's it for new course lecture material. I hoped you enjoyed the course and found interesting the subject of psychology.

For the remainder of the course, you should be conducting and completing your group projects.  Ask questions if you have them. Best, Jeremy


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