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Chapter 14 Notes.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
G Cupchik

Chapter 14 – Psychotherapy, Consciousness and Well-being Psychological therapies and the emotions - Emotions can take over our lives, make us do things are at the center of many religious practices, etc. - Human consciousness has struggled to find a right relation with emotions - In the East: tenor of emotional life is thought to be best modulated by practices such as meditation and non-attachment to worldly things, mindfulness being developed into psychological therapy in the West - In the West: transformation of self was of interest to Greeks and to Hebrews, derived from Egyptian sources. Incorporated into Christianity. Emotions are part of the obscuring veil to the soul, first to be recognized and owned, then transcended o Considering Roman Catholic practice of concession: 1. confession, 2. emotion of shame, 3. Restitution of wrong, 4. Amendment of life. Never done alone because church fathers understood the eyes of at least one other person to be essential part of inducing shame o In many societies, comparable practices can be classed broadly as psychotherapeutic  Any one of us can fall out of the right relation with ourselves, with our families and communities. Signs of wrong relations can include strong and disturbed emotions. Societal practices may involve manipulating and interpreting particular states of consciousness. May involve going to sequestered place, meditation, drugs, etc. Typically meetings with others such as mentors, gurus, shamans, etc. The aim is healing (Greek term meaning: therapy) - Basic idea of psychoanalytic therapy o Therapist tries to work with client to make sense of emotion-based symptoms, in contrast to medical approach of trying directly to relieve the suffering and anguish of such symptoms o Sigmund Freud’s first form of psychotherapy focused on emotionally traumatic events in a patient’s earlier life (Katharina case: recalling trauma, enabling it to be conscious, allowing emotions associated to be expressed, thus freeing patient from trauma’s continuing harmful effects) o Freud first thought that hysteria was caused by childhood sexual abuse but later thought that it was due to inner conflict (both feeling sexually attracted but inhibited by society) o Historical Figures (Sigmund Freud) o From beginning, psychoanalysis attracted both adherents and detractors  Detractors argued that psychoanalysis was less a therapeutic procedure and more a matter for police Chapter 14 – Psychotherapy, Consciousness and Well-being  Freud’s reputation is being questioned in controversies surrounding cases in which people report having recovered memories of childhood sexual-emotional traumas and abuse that perhaps have been repressed or perhaps have been suggested by therapists.  Freud proposed therapy of listening carefully: with “evenly hovering attention” Therapy’s focus on the emotions - Many different kinds of psychological therapy (over 400 kinds), many clinical psychologists and psychiatrists describe themselves as eclectic meaning they incorporate selected aspects from different variants in practice - Most therapies involve close relationship with therapist and involve explicit emotions - Therapy is an interaction with another person in which, as patient or client, one can discover some properties of one’s emotion schemas most typically anxiety, anger and despair and can change how these schemas operate - Psychoanalysis: unconscious schemas of relating o Distinctive feature of psychoanalytic therapy is the recognition of transference of client to the therapist o Idea of transference discussed by Freud about Ida Bauer (Dora)’s case where he filled in gaps in her story o Transference is the manifestation of emotion schemas, mental models that embody ways of relating to others that have become habitual. Best thought of as emotional attitudes toward significant others, from the past, such as parents. In Dora’s case, she did not trust her father and then did not trust Freud. o Susan Anderson and Serena Chen (2002): use the term relational self for the beliefs and emotions of selfhood that derive from earlier relationships. Asked participants to write 14 sentences of description of self in relation with two significant others (one for whom they had positive feelings and one for whom they had negative feelings). Experimenters looked to see how far these relational traits from the past might affect a relationship with a person the participant met for the first time. When showed description of a person similar to those they didn’t like, they made a facial expression of negativity and vice versa with those that they liked. o Psychoanalytic therapy is designed to recognize tranferences and to bring them to consciousness. Transference occurs in almost every consultation with a physician as we find ourselves hoping they will look after us. Occurs everywhere, teachers- students, romantic relationships, parent-child, etc. o Idea of psychoanalytic therapy is that our relationships are so fundamental to every aspect of life Chapter 14 – Psychotherapy, Consciousness and Well-being o Emotional schemas that are problematic are based on beliefs that people hold about what is wrong with them or how they can never be satisfied. E.g. woman might have an emotion schema derived from childhood in which she knows only bad things happen when she is angry. Tries to suppress her anger, but then finds her life narrow and unsatisfying.) o Luborsky and Crits-Christoph (1990), studies to empirically study transference in therapy. Devised a method to recognize what they call Core Conflictual Relationship Themes in transference. When therapists recognize and interpret occurrences of these themes, patient makes better progress - Cognitive-behavioural therapy: changing emotions by thought o Idea that we can change our emotions by thinking about them in the right way (Epicureans and Stoics, two schools of ethical philosophy where emotions were understood as evaluations of events in relation to desires or goals) One would say Epicureans and Stoics are the first researchers of emotion in the West o Epicurean: having the right to the pursuit of happiness, living naturally and in harmony with the environment. First to discover the unconscious, pointing out that people fear death. One should live simply and not chase after luxuries. o Stoics: thought that because emotions derive from desires, to free oneself of destructive emotions, one should rid themselves of desires. In Roman World, took over heritage of Stoics and bad desires and bad thoughts became the seven deadly sins o Cognitive-behavioural therapy developed by Beck (1976) based on teaching people how to recognize and avoid errors of evaluation about the incidents that lead to emotions  Could be based on formulations (patient asked to write a diary about negative emotions and find out what incident preceded it)  Beck has argue that patterns of appraisal that cause anxiety and depression tend to involve contextual evaluations that are arbitrary, absolute and personalizing. If clients can make evaluations of other kinds: external rather than internal, local than global, impermanent than stably permanent, then it can break vicious cycle o Keith Stanovich (2004) argues that much of what we do is driven by our genes, which set references for benefits of their replication, not necessarily purposes of ours (liking sweet foods but contributes to obesity) What we are searching for is rationality and meaning, rather than allowing ourselv
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