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Lecture 10

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 215
Professor
John Lydon
Semester
Winter

Description
Humanistic psychology tends to look beyond the medical model of psychology in order to open up a nonpathologizing view of the person. This usually implies that the therapist downplays the pathological aspects of a person's life in favour of the healthy aspects. A key ingredient in this approach is the meeting between therapist and client and the possibilities for dialogue. The aim of much humanistic therapy is to help the client approach a stronger and more healthy sense of self, also called self-actualization. All this is part of humanistic psychology's motivation to be a science of human experience, focusing on the actual lived experience of persons. The role of the therapist is to create an environment where the client can freely express any thoughts or feelings. In this form of psychology the therapist cannot suggest topics for conversation nor can he guide the conversation in any way. The therapist also can not analyze or interpret the client’s behavior or any information the client shares. The role of the therapist is to provide empathy and to listen attentively to the client. The therapist works to understand how the client feels. Although social transformation may not have been the primary focus in the past, a large percentage of contemporary humanistic psychologists currently investigate pressing social, cultural, and gender issues. Even the earliest writers who were associated with and inspired psychological humanism explored topics as diverse as the political nature of "normal" and everyday experience (RD Laing), the disintegration of the capacity to love in modern consumerist society (Erich Fromm), the growing technological dominance over human life (Medard Boss), and the question of evil (Rollo May-Carl Rogers debate). In addition, Maureen O’Hara, who worked with both Carl Rogers and Paolo Freire, has pointed to a convergence between the two thinkers given their distinct but mutually related focus on developing critical consciousness of situations which oppress and dehumanize. Humanistic psychology is considered also the main theoretical and methodological source of the humanistic social work. After psychotherapy, social work is the most important beneficiary of the humanistic psychology's theory and methodology. These have produced a deep reform of the modern social work theory and practice, leading, among others, to the occurrence of a particular theory and methodology: the humanistic social work. Most values and principles of the humanistic social work practice, described by Malcolm Payne in his book Humanistic Social Work: Core Principles in Practice, namely creativity in human life and practice, developing self and spirituality, developing security and resilience, accountability, flexibility and complexity in human life and practice, directly originate from the humanistic psychological theory and humanistic psychotherapy practice. Also, the representation and approach of the client (as human being) and social issue (as humanissue) in social work is made from the humanistic psychology position. According to Petru Stefaroi, the way, humanistic, of representation and approach the client and his personality represent, in fact, the theoretical-axiological and methodological foundation of humanistic social work. In setting goals and the intervention activities, in order to solve social/human problems, there prevail critical terms and categories of the humanistic psychology and psychotherapy, such as: self-actualization, human potential, holistic approach, human being, free will, subjectivity, human experience, self- determination/development, spirituality, creativity, positive thinking, client-centered and context-centered approach, empathy, personal growth, empowerment. Cognitive psychology is one of the more recent additions to psychological research, having only developed as a separate area within the discipline since the late 1950s and early 1960s following the "cognitive revolution" initiated by Noam Chomsky's 1959 critique of behaviorism and empiricism more generally. The origins of cognitive thinking such as computational theory of mind can be traced back as early as Descartes in the 17th century, and proceeding up to Alan Turing in the 1940s and '50s. The cognitive approach was brought to prominence by Donald Broadbent's book Perception and Communication in 1958. Since that time, the dominant paradigm in the area has been the information processing model of cognition that Broadbent put forward. This is a way of thinking and reasoning about mental processes, envisioning them as software running on the computer that is the brain. Theories refer to forms of input, representation, computation or processing, and outputs. Applied to language as the primary mental knowledge representation s
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