Personality Lecture 18
Life Story Revision
The time between infancy and adolescence supplies us with the emotional tone, imagery,.
Setting, theme and characters to develop a life story
It formally begins in adolexcence but viewed by Mcadams as a life-long process
We revise the story as we encounter new turning points
To a certain extent, the characteristics of a life story can be predicted depending on the traits
that one has and motivations. Openness = complex & imaginative narrative.
But life story can't be fully predicted or reduced to traits and motivations
McAdams says that a life story supplies new information about the person that cannot be
retrieved from other levels of analysis, such as traits and motivations
Life Story & Psychotherapy
3 Schools of Psychotherapy
•Talk about conflicts inherent in the patient
•Conflicts btwn id/ego, ego/superego = symptoms in the patient
•Patient has a whole series of underlying unconscious conflicts and shows up in the
patient as anxiety
•The symptom is an expression of the underlying conflict
•The therapist's role as a blank slate onto which patient can project all of his/her
underlying issues = transference
•The therapist provides an interpretation of that projection = produces insight into
the conflict and the patient becomes aware of this conflict and insightful
•This leads to resistance in patient – yells at therapist, etc now that conscious is aware
of the conflict
•Repeated exposure to insight into conflict, patient eventually resolves the conflict
•Transference – Interpretation – Insight - Resistance
•antecedent events produce behaviour (overt/covert)
•Behaviours have consequences (rewarding/punishment)
•Techniques: Cognitive restructing & behvioural experiments
•Socially anxious people usually avoid situations that make them anxious = which
•Engage in experiments where patient has to test his beliefs about what will
happen in interactions.
•Patient may think a likely outcome of interaction is usually embarassment.
•Get patient to go into a bookstore and knock books down and get embarassed.
•Point is to expose the person to embarassment – and show that the world does not
•To test these maladaptive views about how the world works
•Internalized conditions of worth