PSYC496AV Lecture Notes - Existential Therapy, Existentialism, Paralanguage

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12 Feb 2013
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EXISTENTIAL THERAPY:
Humanism stresses the goodness of human nature. It holds that if unfettered by groundless fears and societal
restrictions, human beings will develop normally, even exceptionally.
Existentialism is gloomier. Although it embraces free will and responsibility, it stresses the anxiety that is
inevitable in making important choices.
Avoiding choices may protect people from anxiety, but it also deprives them of living a life with meaning.
The Goals Of Existential Therapy:
encourage clients to confront their anxiety concerning choices about how they will live, what they will value,
and how they will relate to others.
Sometimes a choice will occasion extreme discomfort. Life is not easy for those who would be true to
themselves.
people create their existence anew at each moment. The potential for disorder as well as for growth is ever
present.
best understood as a general attitude taken by certain therapists toward human nature rather than as a set of
therapeutic techniques.
GESTALT THERAPY:
has both humanistic and existential elements.
Both emphasize the creative and expressive aspects of people rather than the problematic features on which
psychoanalysts seem to concentrate.
A central goal is to help patients understand and accept their needs, desires, and gears and to enhance their
awareness of how they block themselves from reaching their goals, and satisfying their needs.
A basic assumption is that all of us bring our needs and wants to any situation.
Gestalt Therapy Techniques:
focus on what a client is doing in the consulting room here and now, without delving into the past.
Searching after causes in the past is considered an attempt to escape responsibility for making choices in the
present.
I-techniques: to help patients bear responsibility for their present and future lives, the
therapist instructs them to change “it” language into “I” language.
Empty-chair technique: a client projects and then talks to the projection (the projection
could represent a feeling, person, object, or situation) by visualizing a significant other
and reacting as if they are in the chair.
Projection of feelings: people pair off, close their eyes, and imagine the face of an
individual to whom they gave a strong emotional attachment, They are encouraged t
concentrate on the feelings they have about that person. Then, all open their eyes and
look at their partner. After a few moments, they are instructed to close their eyes again
and think of something neutral, such as an arithmetic problem. They then open their eyes
again and look a second time at their partner.
oDesigned to exaggerate what is assumed to be inevitable in all our social
interactions- the intrusion of our feelings into whatever is happening at any
particular moment.
Attending to non-verbal cues: Nonverbal and paralinguistic cues.
oNonverbal cues are body movements, facial expressions, gestures...
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