PSYC 420, Week 1 Lecture Notes
PSYC 420, Week 1 Lecture Notes PSYC 420
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kyle Seuring on Wednesday July 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 420 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.
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Date Created: 07/27/16
Kyle Seuring Instructor Yates PSYC 420 10 July 2016 Gestalt Therapy For my case analysis of Jorge, I am choosing to treat him with Gestalt therapy. This seems to be an appropriate method of helping Jorge because Gestalt therapy emphasizes responsibility, growth, and the here and now. Additionally, Jorge seems to really struggle with the boundaries between himself and others. These boundary disturbances are causing Jorge to have a very distorted sense of self, which has been hard for him to manage with the various stressful roles he is required to take on. Jorge states that he talks to his mother every day and that she is either very loving or very hateful. Many days he wishes to just turn his phone off so her emotions are not contagious to himself. Being an only child, he has always been very close with his mother, although not his father since his father has never taken the time to spend with him or his mother. In the last several years, Jorge has spent a lot of time with his mother since she has been unemployed and struggling with depression. He has always wanted to do as much for his mother as possible, both through support and making her proud by going to graduate school. However, Jorge has always focused on what he is doing for her and never on what he is doing for himself. Essentially, Jorge never had the opportunity to develop an individual sense of self and is instead living as the character his mother has created for him. This confluence, when the boundary with someone is too permeable, is the source of Jorge’s feeling lost deep within. The second boundary disturbance Jorge experiences is isolation, when the boundaries with someone is too firm, with his few friends at school. He says that they are usually busy studying, but when they are not, he is not much interested in the things they want to go do. His hesitation when telling me this leads me to believe that he is only fabricating these excuses because he truly does want to spend time with his friends, no matter the activity. I believe that the absence of Jorge’s father from his life has cultivated a fear of rejection within Jorge, and this fear of rejection is keeping him from getting too close with his friends at school. After listening to Jorge tell me about the various troubles he is experiencing, I would diagnose him with major depressive disorder. He stated that he often has trouble sleeping with a diminished ability to concentrate on his school work. He says that he would like to work out and write as he did back home, but he doesn’t have enough time. Despite that, after hearing him describe a loss of energy and a desire to lay in bed all day and merely look at the wall, I don’t think he holds as much interest in his hobbies as he used to. Additionally, he questions whether or not he will be able to finish school there and holds an excessive fear of moving back home because to him, that signals failure. Though maybe insignificant on their own, each of these is a sign of major depressive disorder. As his therapist, it is imperative that I foster a therapeutic atmosphere with authentic dialogue, gentleness, sensitivity, and trust. These are all necessary for Jorge to feel comfortable enough with me to open up and want to explore himself and his past to help gain insight into his current difficulties. Moreover, it is this customizability of the therapy session that I am able to tailor to fit Jorge and his Latino background, including his values and beliefs. Any violation of cultural respect would be a detrimental approach to Gestalt therapy in the first place. It is my job to create an intimate relationship where Jorge looks at me as a friend more than a thought technician. My overall aims are to help him create a better sense of awareness of the present moment and encourage new ways of being and behaving that will allow him to take ownership of his experience and learn to fulfill his own needs and ask for help when he needs it. Therapy will begin with a simple dialogue where I will analyze both what he says verbally and nonverbally. This dialogue will focus on the present to help Jorge focus on his current sensory input only. I will inquire of his awareness at the moment, how he is feeling now, how he is attempting to withdraw from our conversation, and what he is experiencing as he speaks of his current state. I will call attention to any incongruences as well as body language in general by asking him, for example, what his hands are saying if he continues to play with his hands as he speaks. These subtleties will help give me an idea of some of the unconscious thoughts and feelings that are influencing Jorge’s current situation. Then, we will move on to an experiment where I have Jorge act out a situation that has made him uncomfortable before. For instance, I would have him pretend that one of his friends from school was calling to ask if he wanted to go out with them this weekend. The weather is supposed to be nice and they want to go to Jorge’s favorite pub downtown. Then Jorge should tell his friends that he would be delighted to go with them since he hasn’t been able to go to his favorite pub in quite some time. Afterward, I would have Jorge explain to me what exactly was difficult in accepting the invitation to hang out with his friends and go into detail as to the uneasiness of the situation for him. During these various experiments and conversations, I would aim to help Jorge make new discoveries about himself and the way he looks at different situations and his subjective view of them. Through discovery, he is able to develop new perspectives by looking at situations from alternate vantage points. From the collection of these new perspectives, Jorge can begin to apply these perspectives to different parts of his life to begin developing more insight, which is critical in knowing that one always has a choice. Upon learning about the choices he has to make, Jorge can begin experimenting with his environment, where at this point, he is able to develop confidence in his ability to change his reality so that his current issues no longer exist. He can become his own person who decides that chemistry is what he really wants to do. He only wanted to pursue biology because his mother wanted him to. Now he doesn’t have troubles studying because he is more interested in the material, and subsequently feels a huge increase in selfesteem. With an increase in available time, Jorge certainly has time to begin working out again and even hang out with his friends because he sees that it is silly to believe that his friends will reject him just because his dad did. From these new positive changes, Jorge is equipped to take on even larger stressors than the smaller ones he suffered from before. Existential Therapy For my case analysis of Jorge, I am choosing to treat him with existential therapy. This seems to be an appropriate method of helping Jorge because he seems to be struggling with his own identity and overwhelmed by excessive existential stress. Existential stress is caused by looking at more than one can take on at a time such as issues with death or the overall course of one’s life. From this stress, Jorge is denying himself the power to change and is living fallaciously as a result. Attempting to simultaneously deal with other conflicts of life such as isolation versus love or success versus failure only adds to the debilitating effects in form of various anxieties. As traditional with existential therapy, psychopathology is disregarded because we all face existential distress in our lives to varying degrees. This stress is due to the universality of us searching for the meaning of life and its accompanying anxiety of existential awareness and other life conflicts. Jorge’s identity has been so strongly influenced by his mother due to him being her only child as well as his father’s long term absence from their life overall. His mother has always been the one to help him and push him forward as he grew up, so he has always felt the need to fulfill her perception of him, even to the current day. Jorge has always assumed that she has known best and accepted the challenges she has laid out for him without giving them a second thought. Despite being frustrated by her unrelenting standards, he feels that he owes it to her to make her proud. After all, she singlehandedly provided for him throughout his childhood. After seeing Jorge’s subjective view of the situation, I will ask him to intensify the feeling that he is merely the summation of his mother’s expectations of him. Subsequently, I will ask how that makes him feel and if he was destined to feel that way forever. Moving forward, I will ask him if he believes if he can ever escape the trap of living for his mother and ask if he can create his own being rather than sustain the one his mom has crafted. Jorge would likely experience some sort of guilt at this point for surrendering his freedom to his mother, though I will reassure him that we must look to ourselves and sense separation from all other things in order to find strength. There is strength in owning yourself because that provides choices, choices that are to be made by you. I will explain to him that there is comfort in being your only source of confirmation because you are not merely living as others ask you to. More importantly, I will express the importance of being able to stand alone before we can stand with someone else. Consequently, helping Jorge to distinguish a unique sense of self will also help him with the relationship issues he had been experiencing. Before he had said things were okay for the most part but he fought with his girlfriend more often than he wanted to. It seemed as though he was looking to his girlfriend to fulfill needs that his mother was failing to adequately provide, such as love, reassurance, and acceptance. Though his mother calls every day, Jorge stated that some days she was loving, while other days she was just hateful toward him. This was making him start to push away from her, since he said he just wanted to leave his phone off some days. So overall, his girlfriend was getting tired of always having to put in so much effort to fulfill Jorge’s needs without him reciprocating a similar amount of effort. I explained to Jorge that developing his own sense of self would help with these issues because he could then base his relationship on fulfillment rather than deprivation. As for his anxiety with his unknown future, I will explain to him that while neurotic anxiety is detrimental, normal anxiety is good because it keeps us moving in a future oriented state and helps us to prepare for the obstacles we are likely to face. Helping him to be comfortable with the unknown will ultimately allow him to let go all of all the unnecessary stress he puts on himself for trying to have an answer to all of life’s questions. It is unrealistic to have any of these answers so we must welcome uncertainly. Moreover, uncertainly allows for change, and so long as Jorge has the power to make those changes, uncertainly is actually a good thing. After his confidence starts to build, he will be able to start living autonomously rather than living in the shadows of dependence. As a therapist, I will absolutely have to demonstrate honesty, integrity and courage through a very direct and present relationship in order to stimulate positive change. Exploring these unchartered waters could potentially be very emotional for Jorge and he needs a welcoming companion more than a cold, analytical doctor. From a multicultural perspective, this very broad approach to therapy deals with universally prominent issues like love, anxiety, and suffering that exist within all cultures. Additionally, it allows clients to see exactly how much their culture affects their behavior and allows them to recognize other social limits to gain further freedom. With a philosophical approach, I would begin by clarifying the assumptions he holds of his values, beliefs, and how others make him feel. From there, I would guide him through a thorough investigation of the source of his value system and authenticate its authority. The analyzation of the authority of his value system will only help Jorge to see the pitfalls of his own reasoning so he can then develop new insights. Without a deterministic view of the world, he is able to determine what it is in life he wants through gained clarity. Once he knows what he is after and how to get there, the only thing left for him to do is take action. In a sense, the therapy sessions will almost be like a practice session for acting in real life. The core of the ideas I convey should be respect because respect will ultimately show Jorge that I have faith in him to change things for himself. I won’t give him the answers, but with my assurance, he has all the necessary tools to find his own way.
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