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GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY

James Rosow, Ph.D.


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Introductions:
Name, year, major
Where are you from
Something interesting about you
What is interesting about Psychology to you

How does the APA (American Psychological


Association) define psychology?
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior.

The discipline embraces all aspects of the human


experience from the functions of the brain to the
actions of nations, from child development to care
for the aged. In every conceivable setting from
scientific research centers to mental health care
services, "the understanding of behavior" is the
enterprise of psychologists APA
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What is Psychology?
The science of mind and behavior
Normal, Optimal, Abnormal
Our conclusion are based on data
- obtained by planned, controlled, and repeatable
experiments or through clinical/observable interactions
Important Terms:

Mind
The totality of all conscious and underlying

unconscious processes originating in the brain and


directing all behavior. In the philosophical sense, it is
one part of the mind-body dichotomy
How is it possible for the brain activity to give rise to

mental activity?
How does our mental processes, both CS and UCS
effect our behaviors?
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Behavior
Any activity:
cognitive processes, emotional

states & actions


Two types:
I. Overt: observable actions

Usain Bolt

II. Covert: private, internal activity

El Sueo
Salvador Dal,1937

Other Important terms:


Clinical versus Experimental
Nature versus Nurture
Organic/Biological versus Emotional
Schools of thought
Continuum

Psychology studies how and why people


think, feel & act

What is a Psychologist?
May have a master's degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology
or a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) in clinical,
educational, counseling, or research psychology
They can provide psychological testing, evaluations, treat
emotional and behavioral problems and mental disorders,
and provide psychotherapy. Some are more research and/or
physiologically focused.

Psychotherapy
Therapy:
Treatment of mental disorders and/or the relief of
distress in a client by a trained professional who uses a
particular approach based on a psychological theory
Trained and licensed professional
Therapy, therapeutic techniques, and interventions vary
widely:
- Psychodynamic/ Cognitive-Behavior therapy
- Meditation/ Relaxation/ Biofeedback/ DBT, etc.
- Differences based on philosophy and also on the
problem being treating: nature, content, and degree
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Psychotherapy
Core features that they share:
Therapeutic alliance (collaborative relationship):
cognitive and affective component
quality and strength
positive association between positive alliance and
psychotherapy outcome
Empathy: the psychotherapist's sensitive ability and
willingness to understand the client's thoughts, feelings, and
struggles from the client's point of view Carl Rogers
Positive association between empathy and outcome
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Psychotherapy Objectives:

Understand your illness or issues


Define and reach wellness goals
Overcome fears and insecurities
Cope with stress

Make sense of past traumatic experiences


Separate your true self from the issues caused by the problem
Identify triggers that may worsen symptoms
Improve relationships
Establish a stable, dependable routine
End destructive habits
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Psychotherapy
Other core features that different types of
psychotherapies share:
Therapy offers a protective setting
Therapy offers an explanation and a solution
Therapy provides with a new perspective and an
opportunity to develop a new behavior

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TYPES OF THERAPY
Individual Therapy: One therapist and one client
Group Therapy: Several clients and one therapist
and/or Co- therapist
Couples Therapy:
Family Therapy:
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DIMENSIONS OF THERAPY
Goal
Insight Therapy: Look for the origin of the
conflict, deeper understanding of the conflict
Action Therapy: Direct change of actual conflict;
learning new skills and by unlearning
unproductive behaviors

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DIMENSIONS OF THERAPY
Guidance
Directive Therapy: Strong guidance to solve the conflict
Nondirective Therapy: Clients assume responsibility;
therapist assists

Supportive Therapy: The therapist provides personal


support and accepting counseling relationship
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DIMENSIONS OF THERAPY
Number of sessions
Time-limited Therapy: specific amount of time and
sessions

Non time limited Therapy: no specific amount of


time and sessions

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Psychotherapy
Started: late 19th Century (Psychoanalysis)
Beginning: one type of psychotherapy fits all types of
disorders
When different therapies emerged (early and mid 20th century):
depending on the disorder they will recommend a
specific type of therapy
Nowadays: individualized. Depending on personal
characteristics. Not all disorders are manifested
in the same way in every single person

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Psychotherapies
I. Psychoanalysis/Psychodynamic
II. Humanistic Therapies
III. Existential Therapies
IV. Gestalt Therapy
V. Behavior Therapy
VI. Cognitive Therapy
VII. Interpersonal Therapy
VIII. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
IX. Psychodrama Therapy
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Freuds divan
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Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud- 1856 Moravia- 1939
London
First interest: Neurology
Objective: Understand the unconscious
influences on our behavior (both in illness
and health).
Overall approach: make the unconsciousconscious
Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic
theory practiced through out the world
Some of his ideas are being confirmed by
modern Psychology and Neuroscience
Made major contributions to modern
therapies.
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Psychoanalysis
three main components:
Topography and structural understanding of the mind
Systematized theory of the human behavior
Importance of Unconscious conflict
Method of treatment

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Psychoanalysis
Freuds 1st view of the human mind:

Conscious-unconscious continuum
Conscious: All aspects of mental life currently in

awareness or easily remembered


Preconscious: Aspects of mental life remembered with
help, not currently in awareness
Unconscious: Thoughts, feelings, actions, experiences,
dreams not remembered; difficult to bring to awareness;
not recognized

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Conscious and
unconscious

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Psychoanalysis

Structure of the Mind


1. ID:
The source of our strong sexual and aggressive feelings or energies
Life (eros) and death (thanatos) instincts
Pleasure Principal
Primary Process Thinking
2. EGO:
We need to adapt our needs to the real world, there are social rules and regulations
The mediator
The reality principal
Secondary Process Thinking
3. SUPEREGO:
The morality principles

Psychoanalysis

Structure of the mind

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CONFLICTS
Intrapsychic conflict between the Id and Superego must be
resolved by the ego
If conflict is unresolved, it leads to anxiety and neurosis
Ego then uses defense mechanisms (ego-defense

mechanisms) that are protective and reduce anxiety


Therapy: To reduce internal conflicts that lead to emotional

suffering (Marcus, 2002)

Ego-defense mechanism
Coping mechanisms/ ways we think or act to protect

ourselves
Categorized based on how primitive they are
More primitive, more effective short-term
Usually unconscious

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Ego-defense mechanism
Primitive Defense Mechanism
1. Acting out: performing an extreme behavior to express
2.
3.
4.

5.

feelings or thoughts
Denial: refusal to accept reality
Dissociation: a person loses track of time or themselves,
disconnected view of themselves in their environment
Projection: falsely attributes their own undesired
thoughts or feelings to another person who does not
have those
Regression: reversion to an earlier stage of development
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Ego-defense mechanism
Less Primitive Defense Mechanism
1. Displacement: transfers thoughts and feelings towards

one person to another person


2. Intellectualization: overemphasis on thinking when
dealing with an unacceptable feeling or situation
3. Repression: Blocking of unacceptable thoughts and
feelings, having no access to it
4. Sublimation: channeling of unacceptable desires or
thoughts into acceptable ones

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Psychoanalysis four important tools:


Free association
- say anything that comes to your mind
Goal: to lower defense mechanisms
Analysis of resistance
- Blockage in the flow of ideas
Goal: to make aware of issues that can reveal unconscious conflicts
Analysis of transference
- to analyze the tendency of a client to transfer feelings to a therapist that
correspond to those the patient had for important persons in the past
Dream analysis
- Royal road to the unconscious
- latent content ( hidden, symbolic meaning)
- manifest content (obvious & visible content)

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DREAMS
The issue about dreams is that they
feel inherently meaningful
In many cases, dreams are thought
to be messages from the
Unconscious
We can either interpret dreams in
two ways: straightforward way, or
in a symbolic way

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DREAMS
Sigmund Freud: Interpretation of
Dreams
Dreams arise from the subconscious
wishes, mostly of a sexual or
aggressive nature, that the
preconscious and unconscious mind
suppresses during the day
The unconscious must distort and
warp the meaning
Dreams are symbolic reflection of the
dreamers repressed unconscious
wishes
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Modern Psychodynamic
Therapy
Different techniques
Different theoretical perspectives
Different time-frame

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Behaviorism
Definition: the theory that human and

animal behavior can be explained in terms


of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts
or feelings, and that psychological disorders
are best treated by altering behavior
patterns.
The study of observable behavior.
Nothing UCS
Learning is everything

History of
Behaviorism
J.B. Watson (1878 1958): Took a very extreme Nurture

position. Redefined Psychology as the study of observable


behavior. No Hidden mental processes.
Classical Conditioning: Associations
Ivan Pavlov (1849 1936)
Operant Conditioning: Rewards and punishments
B.F. Skinner (1904 1990): The Skinner Box, mental
events such as thinking have no place in psychology. A
theory of behavior was not necessary (why is not
important).
Implications: positive and negative
Legacy: methodological rigor and observables, but
antimentalistic.
Treatment: Altering behaviors, but ignores underlying roots

Behavior Therapy
I. JB Watson (1878 - 1958)- Founder
Psychological school of Behaviorism
II. B.F. Skinner (1904 -1990)- Discover Operant
Conditioning
Behavior therapy is the use of learning principles
to make constructive changes in behavior
Actively change behavior
Directive therapy
Behavioral approaches include:
behavior modification,
aversion therapy,
desensitization,.

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Cognitive Psychology
Main Principles
Mental processes exist
They can be studied scientifically
Humans are active information processors

History: an outgrowth of linguistics (Noam

Chomsky -- 1959) and his rejection to behaviorism


as an explanation for language acquisition
(Skinner Verbal Behaviorism).
Mental processes and cognitive structures are
the important material of psychology
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Modern Cognitive Psychology an


information processing approach
Experimental work: Attention, memory,

perception, language & thinking


Modern digital computers and the relevance to
psychology
Similarities to human mental operations
Operations (internal, unobservable) could be
studied and understood
Led to the conclusion that mental processes exist
(anti-behaviorism), they can be
studies/understood (different than
psychodynamics) and that we active information
processors (behaviorists saw us as passive).

Cognitive Therapy
Founder: Aaron Beck (1921 - ): Based tx on the

premise that thoughts, feelings and behavior


are all connected, and that individuals can
overcoming difficulties and meet their goals
by identifying and changing unhelpful or
inaccurate thinking and distressing emotional
responses.
Beck Depression Inventory
Major distortions in thinking: Selective perception &
Overgeneralization, all or nothing thinking
Interventions such as The Thought Record, socratic
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questioning, activity monitoring, & self-talk

Humanistic Therapies
Client-Centered Therapy:
Non-directive therapy
Client initiate each session
Core belief: people tend to move toward

Carl Rogers

growth and healing; self-actualization


To create a safe atmosphere of growth, the client must seek to
solve his or her problems; facilitate self discovery
Explore conscious thoughts and feelings
Individualization
Emerged between the 1950s and 1960s, as a way of helping
people understand themselves, their options and how to design
new lives aligned with their values and aims
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Existential Therapy
Rollo May (1909- 1994)

- He played an important role, although


he was in between the Humanistic an existential
- In 1969. Love and Will
- Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Viktor Frankl
Emphasizes in Free will
Try to give clients the opportunity to have the courage to
make rewarding and socially constructive choices
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Existential Therapy
MAIN TOPICS:

Death- a terrible truth


Freedom- responsible for our own choices
Isolation- being alone in your own world
Meaning- create a meaning in your life
* Confrontation: Clients are challenged to examine their
values
* Encounter: here-and-now
I.
II.
III.
IV.

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Gestalt
Founded in 1940s by two German

psychotherapists: Frederick Salomon Perls


and Laura Perls

Gestalt Therapy
Focuses on the whole rather than individual pieces-

how everything works together in one whole present


moment
Two major concepts:
1. Concern with the present moment, right here right
now
2. Idea that we are all in a web of relationships and
we know ourselves as we exist in relationship to
everything else
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Therapy

Insight or
action?

Directive or
nondirective

Individual or
group?

Therapy Strength

Psychoanalysis

Insight

Directive

individual

Searching honesty
Reduce internal conflicts

Client-Centered
Therapy
(Humanistic)

Insight

Nondirective

both

Acceptance, empathy

Existential Therapy

Insight

Both

Individual

Personal empowerment

Gestalt Therapy

Insight

Directive

Both

Focus on immediate
awareness

Behavior therapy

Action

Directive

Both

Observable changes in
behavior

Cognitive Therapy

Action

Directive

Individual

Recognize their
particular way of thinking

Cognitive- Behavior
Therapy
(REBT)

Action

Directive

individual

Combination of
techniques of Behavior
and Cognitive therapy

Comparison of Psychotherapies

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