Select at least three theories learned about in class (psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, existential, humanistic, feminist, liberation theories) that resonate with you. Explain and summarize these theories, and articulate how each contributes to your own personal theoretical perspective of psychology., human nature, psychological suffering, and psychological well-being.

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Select at least three theories learned about in class (psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, existential, humanistic, feminist, liberation theories) that resonate with you. Explain and summarize these theories, and articulate how each contributes to your own personal theoretical perspective of psychology., human nature, psychological suffering, and psychological well-being.

3-4 pages, double-spaced, in length. I will attach the ppt information for each theory so you can choose, once you choose I will attach additional information to assist with your writing



MODULE 1: PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY 1. Human beings are driven by the unconscious: irrational forces, motivations, memories, and instincts 2. Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious Freud: Father of Psychoanalysis • Trained as a neurologist, studied biological factors and symptoms • Neurotic/hysteric symptoms as meaningful symbols for psychic issues buried deep in the unconscious • “The talking cure” to make the unconscious conscious 3 levels of consciousness: we’re aware of the tip of the iceberg! We are driven by unconscious instincts • Life instinct: constructive drive for life, love, pleasure, creativity, and species preservation. • Death instinct: destructive drive of aggression, sadism, violence, and death. Our unconscious contains memories of our earliest experiences, which shape our personality PSYCHOSEXUAL STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT Our psyche is at battle with itself: id, ego, superego Our psyche is at battle with itself: id, ego, superego This battle creates ANXIETY • Reality anxiety: (ego) fear of danger from the external world • Neurotic anxiety: (id) fear our instincts will get out of hand and do something that will cause us to be punished • Moral anxiety: (Superego) ear of one’s own conscience We cope with anxiety through defense mechanisms Psychoanalytic therapy techniques • Free association • Dream analysis • Interpretation • Transference Transference • We project our early childhood relationships onto others • Unfinished business from early development • Repetition compulsion • Therapy: make unconscious projections conscious and work through them Module 1: psychoanalytic theory • The role of the unconscious • Experiences in early childhood impact our adult lives • Suffering comes from repressing experiences and important parts of our psyche, keeping us “stuck” in difficult dynamics • Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious to gain insight into the past and reclaim our present/future MODULE 2: BEHAVIORAL THEORY • “Nurture” instead of nature • Focuses on objectively observable behaviors • Explains all behavior as learnt Learning via classical conditioning • Our behavior can be conditioned when an association is made between a previously neutral stimulus, and a stimulus that naturally evokes a response. • Pairing something that previously evoked a neutral response with something that evokes an emotional response to shape behavior • i.e. Pavlov’s dogs Little Albert: conditioning fear Classical conditioning in everyday life 1. Specific phobias / anxiety struggles: fear of spiders, dogs, flying, etc 2. Being “triggered” – trauma 3. Hearing a significant other say: “We need to talk” -fear of what’s to come Classical conditioning and extinction • • When pairing of conditioned and neutral stimuli stops The association weakens and eventually disappears Classicalconditioning Extinction via Relaxation Training • Reduces physical anxiety response (i.e. trembling, hyperventilating) through relaxation skills. • Diaphragmatic breathing • Mindfulness meditation Classicconditioning Extinction via Systematic Disensitization Client creates a list of fears and learns to relax while concentrating on those fears. Classicalcondi:oning Extinction via Exposure Therapy • Exposing client to fearinvoking stimulus repeatedly • Rank distress from 0 to 10 • i.e. virtual reality exposure therapy for PTSD Learning via Operant Conditioning • Conditioning behavior via direct reinforcement or punishment. • Skinner’s Box • An association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior • Negative and positive reinforcement • Negative and positive punishment Operant conditioning Therapy: Behavioral Modification Behavioral Modification • Plan to develop new behavior or eliminate old behavior • Setting goals b • Establishing rewards/ incentives • Establishing punishments Social learning theory: observational learning (Bandura) 1. Live model: actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior. 2. Verbal instructional model: descriptions and explanations of a behavior. 3. Symbolic model: real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, television programs, or online media. Social learning theory in therapy: modeling Client learns new skills or acceptable behaviors by watching someone else perform desired skills. Module 2: Behavioral Theory Module 2: behavioral theory • Pavlov, Skinner, Watson, Bandura • Scientific principles—observable and measurable • Classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory • Suffering comes from problematic behavioral responses to situations • Healing comes from paying detailed attention to specific situations and practicing/implementing new behavioral techniques. b COGNITIVE THEORY • Rationality: efficient, flexible, logical, and scientific cognitive state • We must learn to override our “irrational instincts” and train ourselves to think rationally The psychological impact of our thoughts • Our thoughts/beliefs trigger our emotions and behaviors • Example: a rapidly approaching deadline for school The psychological impact of our thoughts Cognitive Processing Situation/ Event Response: Behavioral Emotional Cognitive Albert Ellis: Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) • We must become aware of our self-talk in order to control it. • Goal: to increase rational thinking and decrease irrational/self-defeating beliefs • Encourage self-tolerant thoughts rather than thoughts that dwell on mistakes or flaws. 3 Kinds of Irrational Beliefs 1. SELF: “I absolutely must perform important tasks well and be approved by significant others or else I am an inadequate, pretty worthless person” • Emotional and behavioral responses: anxiety, depression, demoralization, inhibition. 2. OTHERS: “Other people, especially my friends and relatives, truly must treat me kindly and fairly, or else they are rotten, damnable people” • Emotional and behavioral responses: anger, rage, fury, fights, abuse, assault, murder and genocide. 3. WORLD: “The condition under which I live absolutely must be comfortable , unhassled, and enjoyable, or else it’s awful, I can’t stand it, and my life is hardly worth living!” • Emotional and behavioral responses: low frustration tolerance, compulsion, addiction, avoidance, inhibition, and provocation . REBT’s Theory of Therapeutic Processes • Homework: take note of irrational thinking patterns • Record Events, Thoughts, Emotions and Behaviors • Counterconditioning: identify irrational thinking and replace with rational thinking Reality-Testing 1. What’s the evidence? 2. What’s another way of looking at it? 3. So what if it happens? Aaron Beck • Maladaptive schemas: core beliefs about self, others, and world • dysfunctional/negative schemas lead to depression • Dysfunctional schemas are accompanied negative automatic thoughts that get frequently triggered SCHEMAS • A mental map of beliefs, perceptions, interpretations that individuals use to organize/make sense of their experience • Developed from our accumulated experiences over time • Schemas can be functional or dysfunctional (irrational) Schema therapy • Identify underlying maladaptive schemas • Discover roots of schema from past experience, and create new understandings of those experiences • Become aware of schema activation in the present, and replace with more adaptive schema Cognitive Distortions Errors our minds make that cause us suffering: • • • • • • • “All or Nothing” Thinking Overgeneralization Magnification Personalization Labeling (Mislabeling) Catastrophizing Negative Predictions • Teach clients to monitor and challenge these cognitive distortions with realitytesting Module 3: Cognitive Theory • Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis • Belief system and thoughts affect our behaviors and emotions • Suffering comes from maladaptive thoughts and schemas • Healing comes from changing the maladaptive thoughts and replacing with more productive thoughts Module 4: Existential Theory Existential Psychology • What doWhat you do youwantout of want out of your life? your life? Existential Anxiety The basic anxiety that emerges from a person’s endeavors, conscious and unconscious, to cope with the facts of life, the “givens” of existence. The existentialists: View of Human Nature • The inevitability of death • Freedom and responsibility • The search for meaning • Aloneness and relationship 1. The Inevitability of Death • To practice death is to practice freedom • Instead of denying death, acknowledge mortality • Time on earth as precious • Meditating on death to live in the present moment 2. The Freedom to Make Our Lives • ‘Transform ourselves from passive recipients to active agents of the world • From “It happened to me” to “I did this” • From “It’s a busy day”to “I keep myself busy” • Learning to own and author our own lives Pursuing freedom & responsibility through willing 1. Wishing: (dreaming, fantasizing) 2. Willing: (making decisions, taking action) 3. The Search for Meaning • Viktor Frankl: The Holocaust • Choosing our own attitude in the face of adversity • Finding meaning in all parts of our life, including the suffering • “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Nietzche Viktor Frankl: LOGOTHERAPY • THEWILL TOMEANING: The strive to find meaning in life is the primary motivational force in humans. • Psychotherapy: focuses on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in his future. • Neurosis/boredom: signs of existential frustration in which will to meaning is frustrated Logotherapy 3 routes to meaning • Creating a work or doing a deed • Experiencing goodness, beauty, truth and love • Turning suffering into a human achievement 4. Existential Isolation – Our Ultimate Aloneness • Interpersonal isolation: disconnected from others • Intrapersonal isolation : disconnected from self • Fusion – desire to merge with others • How to transform loneliness into creative solitude, and seek meaningful relationships with others? Irvin Yalom: Client and therapist as Fellow Travelers Irvin Yalom: Group therapy 1. INSTILLSHOPE 2. GROUP COHESIVENESS 3. CATHARSIS 4.PRINCIPLE OF UNIVERSALITY Module 4: Existential Theory • Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, Irvin Yalom • A philosophical approach to the fundamental givens of human existence • Life and death, freedom and responsibility, meaning, isolation and relationship • Suffering caused by anxiety • Healing comes from confronting anxiety and using it to live an intentionally meaningful life Module 5: Humanistic psychology • Human growth and potential • Self-actualization as ultimate goal of our lives Carl Rogers: person-centered approach • Optimistic view of human beings as inherently good • Focus on human well-being and potential vs. pathology • Every client has a ”self-actualizing tendency” • Client as expert of their own lives, therapist listens and helps empower clients’ journeys Self-actualization: Help a person’s self-image become more congruent with their ideal self. Suffering caused by lack of growth-promoting climate • Humans are shaped by environment but can transcend environment • Necessary social environment in psychotherapy: 1. Genuineness 2. Unconditional positive regard 3. Accurate empathy Accurate Empathy: A definition • “Accurate empathic understanding means that the therapist is completely at home in the universe of the patient. It is a moment-to-moment sensitivity that is in the “here and now,” the immediate present. it is a sensing of the client’s inner world of private personal meanings “as if” it were the therapist’s own, but without ever losing the “as if” quality. Accurate sensitivity to the client’s “being” is of primary value in the moment-to-moment encounter of therapy…. its value would lie in formulating his empathic response to the patient’s immediate living.” • Empathic understanding requires active listening Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of Needs Self Actualized People • Wisdom, accuracy and depth in their perception of reality • Comfortable with themselves & others • Open, direct, spontaneous, independent, playful, creative • Focus on problems outside themselves (society/world) • Need aloneness and privacy • Establish deep intimate relationships • non-conformists but highly ethical • In touch with spirituality (peak experiences) What is a peak experience? • A special moment when everything seems to fall into place • People transcend the self and are at one with the world • Similar to a religious, or mystical experience • Exuberance, joy, bliss, peace Spirituality and the sacred • Spirit: “animating or vital principle, breath of life” • Elkins: “Spirituality is available to every human being ….is a human phenomenon… an inborn, natural potential of the human being….is found at the inner phenomenological level….has to do with our capacity to respond to the numinous…there is a certain mysterious energy associated with spirituality…the aim of spirituality is compassion • The sacred is “characterised by various elements including a feeling of being overwhelmed, a sense of the mystical awe, a feeling of fascination, and an experience of intense energy” The Jonah Complex • the fear of success which prevents self-actualization, or the realization of one’s potential. • The fear of one’s own greatness • The evasion of one’s destiny, • The avoidance of exercising one’s talents. Self-actualization requires courage “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson Module 5: Humanistic Theory • Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow • Focuses on human growth and development • Empathy, positive regard, acceptance, hierarchy of needs • Suffering comes from external and internal blocks to self-actualization • Healing comes from creating optimal conditions for the development of the “selfactualized” person LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY the political is psychological and the psychological is political LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY: VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE • Psychological well-being influenced by sociopolitical context • “Psychopathology” as “social pathology:” a sick society inevitability causes suffering for its citizens • Raising critical consciousness (conscientização) of psychological effects of sociopolitical oppression • Oppressed and oppressors joining in solidarity to create a new society STUDYING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF STATE TERRORISM • Ignacio Martin-Baró: Jesuit priest and social psychologist, El Salvador 1970/80s • Government’s armed forces as “terrifying abusive force” that violently imposes “authority” to serve needs of elite • Systemically denying fundamental human rights for majority : the right to shelter, to have a job, to obtain education • El Salvadorans: 87% living in fear, 75% accelerated pulse rate; 64% generalized bodily trembling PSYCHOSOCIAL TRAUMA • Sociopolitical trauma: Sociopolitical oppression as cause of trauma symptoms (vigilance, functional paranoia) • Minority stress theory • Racial trauma • Since trauma is political, healing must take place in the public domain where advocacy and activism can happen LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY 1. A re-orientation to psychology: • A psychology that caters to the needs of the marginalized, the poor, the oppressed. • The role of the psychologist is not to explain the world but to change it • Psychology as a “force for transformation rather than for conformity to status quo cultural arrangements that contribute to injustice, poverty, violence, and war” LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY 2. Concientization (critical consciousness) • Awakening of consciousness about the true nature of oppression • Awareness leads to continual discovery and action • Oppressed work to gain consciousness among themselves and then raise consciousness among oppressors LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY 3. De-ideologizing everyday experience • Rupture “cultures of silence” by dialoguing about oppressive realities • Dismantle the “strangehold” of messages perpetuated by dominant culture • Reclaim knowledge-production from the voices of marginalized community members • Dialogue about every day lived experience LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY 4. Recovering historical memory • Reclaim the histories of marginalized communities • Study historical legacy of oppression and its effects in present day • Study avenues for empowerment from ancestors LIBERATION PSYCHOLOGY 5. Problematization • Identify concrete problems that exist in oppressed people’s lives • “Limit situations” open possibility for a new way of living • Transform problems into creative solutions towards a more just society 5 AVENUES FOR PRAXIS 1. PSYCHOTHERAPY 2. RESEARCH 3. EMANCIPATORY ARTS 4. DIALOGUE-BUILDING 5. EDUCATION Feminist therapy 1. Therapy for change, not adjustment 2. Self-nurturance and self-esteem 3. Body image and sensuality 4. Affirming diversity 5. Empowerment and social action …
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