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
www.notesolution.com • This could lead to problems
• Reflection & Unconditioned Positive Regard
• Through the process of reflection, communicate to the patient that his/her
thoughts can be communicated to the world without being hidden
• Patient will be accepted and valued by at least the therapist unconditionally
Technical diversity of all three schools. They're all technically different from each other and
produce change through very different processes and mechanisms.
Which is the better form of psychotherapy?
According to Literature
• One is not superior to the other.
• The therapies are technically different but they are not different in their efficacy
• Dodo Bird Effect: all therapies win and all deserve the prize in being the best; they
are all equally the best.
How can they all produce the same results though? Potential Explanations
• Literature is wrong, there are differences, they just haven't been detected
• Could be due to flawed measurement but they do seem quite reliable.
• There are different ways of arriving at the same conclusion. They are all equally
valid roots to a common end-point.
• Final Possibility: In spite of the differences, there are common factors to all
psychotherapies. Although they each claim to be doing completely different things,
there are underlying procedures that are common across all therapies.
• What might be the common factors?
• William Stiles: looked at the speech that patients and therapists use in
• He developed a classification scheme to organize the speech acts that are