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Basic Psychological Theories. Dr. Carolyn r. Fallahi. Psychodynamic Theories. Psychodynamic theories: focus = child’s instincts and how his/her social environment produces many characteristics and behaviors. Mind = dynamic and active.

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Basic Psychological Theories

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Basic psychological theories l.jpg

Basic Psychological Theories

Dr. Carolyn r. Fallahi

Psychodynamic theories l.jpg

Psychodynamic Theories

  • Psychodynamic theories: focus = child’s instincts and how his/her social environment produces many characteristics and behaviors.

  • Mind = dynamic and active.

  • Goal: To coexist with society. Can we get our needs met within society’s restrictions?

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Freud’s views

  • Freud postulated 2 instincts: eros and thantos.

  • Sexual drives.

  • Aggressive drives.

  • How did Freud view sex?

  • Psychodynamic theory.

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Sigmund Freud

  • 1856-1939

  • Viennese physician trained in neurology.

  • While treating patients suffering from hysteria, he began to develop his theory of psychoanalysis.

  • Freud worked with another physician, Joseph Breuer, from whom he learned the technique of catharsis, the so-called talking cure.

  • The treatment of hysteria.

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Freud’s techniques

  • Free association.

  • Hypnosis (Breuer & Freud)

  • Dream interpretation

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Freud & repressed childhood experiences

  • Sexual abuse or hysteria?

  • Defense mechanisms

  • Repression

  • Regression

  • Reaction formation

  • Projection

  • Rationalization

  • Displacement

  • Sublimation

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The Structure of Personality

  • Freud proposed that the mind has 3 parts:

    • Conscious

    • Preconscious

    • unconscious

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The Psychosexual stages of Personality Development

  • Oral: B to 1

  • Anal: 1 to 3

  • Phallic: 3 to 5

  • Latency 6 to puberty

  • Genital (puberty)

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Concepts to cover

  • The Oedipus complex

    • Women do not resolve the Oedipal complex as fully as men do.

  • Fixation

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Problems with Freud

  • Lack of research

  • Views about women

  • Neo-Freudians

  • A critique

  • Freud’s legacy

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Humanistic therapies – Carl Rogers

  • Person-Centered Therapy

  • Based upon a phenomenological view of human life & helping relationships.

  • Carl Rogers.

  • Ideas: genuineness, nonjudgmental caring, & empathy.

  • Every living being has an actualizing tendency to realize their potential.

  • The therapist has an attitude of respect.

  • Nondirective attitude.

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Carl Rogers

  • Congruence, unconditional positive regard, empathy.

  • Congruence

  • Unconditional positive regard

  • Self-actualization

  • Differs from an analyst…. How?

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Behavioral Treatments

  • Behavioral theories only focus on observable behaviors (rather than unseen, e.g. unconscious).

  • Forces in the environment and outside the person have the primary influence on behavior.

  • Ivan Pavlov

  • John Watson

  • Classical conditioning

  • Operant conditioning

  • The focus is on the present

  • Behaviors are shaped by the environment.

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Applied Behavioral Analysis

  • Behavioral therapy based on Skinner’s operant conditioning paradigm.

  • Requires careful analysis of the environments in which problem behavior occurs.

  • Careful assessment of the antecedents and consequences of problem and non-problem behaviors.

  • This information is analyzed by the therapist who then describes to the child and important adults how the child’s behavior is being shaped.

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Classical Conditioning

  • Systematic desensitization (Wolpe, 1958).

  • Used to treat phobias with a technique called reciprocal inhibition = pairs a response that inhibits anxiety (typically relaxation) with the source of the phobia.

  • Explain how it works.

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Cognitive Treatments

  • Cognitive theories focus on how our thoughts influence our emotions and our behaviors.

  • Behaviors are seen as resulting mainly from thoughts and belief systems rather than emerging from unconscious drives or being shaped by the environment.

  • Albert Ellis - RET

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  • Demanding: I must, should, have to, need to.

  • Catastrophizing: it’s awful, terrible, catastrophic

  • Overgeneralizing: I’ll always be a failure; I’ll never make it

  • Copping out: you make me angry; it upsets me

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  • These dysfunctional beliefs have rigid, dogmatic demands at their core, e.g. “I absolutely must have this important goal unblocked and fulfilled!

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Common Dysfunctional Beliefs

  • I need the love and approval of every significant person in my life.

  • I must be competent and adequate in all possible respects.

  • People (including me) who do things that I disapprove of are bad people who deserve to be severely blamed and punished.

  • It’s catastrophic when things are not the way I’d like them to be.

  • My unhappiness is externally caused; I can’t help feeling and acting as I do and I can’t change my feelings or actions.

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Common Dysfunctional Beliefs

  • When something seems dangerous or about to go wrong, I must constantly worry about it.

  • It is better for me to avoid the frustrations and difficulties of life than it is for me to face them.

  • I need to depend on someone or something that is stronger than I am.

  • Given my childhood experiences and the past I have had, I can’t help being as I am today and I’ll remain this way indefinitely.

  • I can’t help feeling upset about other people’s problems.

  • I can’t settle for less than the right or perfect solution to my problem.

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Classification Issues

  • Why Classify?

  • To describe & communicate symptoms.

  • IF you know about the diagnosis, you can retrieve information about the etiology of the disorder, treatment, and prognosis.

  • Knowing the disorder provides us with a way of describing the disorder.

  • Knowing the disorder allows us to predict what treatments are going to be clinically useful.

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Why classify?

  • Why classify?

  • The classification & systematic description allows us to formulate theories which play a central role in research.

  • Classification can have a direct impact on broader social consequences by influencing health policy; social policy; forensic decisions; and the economics of the mental health professions.

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The antipsychiatry movement

  • During the 1960s, psychiatry came under attack from the antipsychiatry movement. Much of the criticism was focused on the clinical activities of diagnoses and classification.

  • Szasz (1961) went so far as to argue that mental illness was a myth.

  • Three major criticisms 1960s

    • 1. psychiatric diagnoses are unreliable

    • 2. diagnoses are based on the medical model

    • 3. problems with labeling and stigmatizing people

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Rosenhan’s famous study (1973)

  • A paper published by Science – “On being sane in insane places”. In this study, 8 normal persons sought admission to 12 different inpatient units.

  • What happened?

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  • Axis I: Clinical syndromes

  • Axis II: Personality disorders; mental retardation

  • Axis III: General medical conditions

  • Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental problems

    • Problems with primary support group

    • Educational problems

    • Occupational problems

    • Housing/economic problems

    • Problems with access to health care services

    • Problems with legal system/crime

    • Other psychosocial problems & environmental problems

  • Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning

    • Ranges from – (inadequate information) – 100 (superior functioning)

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    Psychological Testing

    • Intelligence testing

    • Achievement testing

    • Testing for a learning disability

    • Personality testing (objective versus projective)

    • Projectives: Goal: present ambiguous stimulus and ask test-takers to describe it or tell a story about it.

      • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) or CAT

      • Draw a person, Draw a family, Sentence Stem

      • Rorschach Inkblot test – 1921 Hermann Rorschach

        • 10 inkblots reflects our inner feelings and conflicts.

        • For example … if we see predatory animals or weapons, we infer that we have aggressive tendencies.

    • Neuropsychological testing

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