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PSYC 3083 Study Guide - Schizophrenia, Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Person-Centered Therapy

Course Code
PSYC 3083

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Psychology 3083
Chapter 5 Research in Psychotherapy
- Psychotherapy
has been a formal practice for a little over 100 years
for nearly 50 of those, was not empirically studied
1st studies conducted by Carl Rogers
Rogers began by recording/studying therapy sessions
psychotherapy research remains controversial
argument over how research needs to be conducted & then
used to guide practice
some say therapy not suited to systematic research
is very difficult to do
HOWEVER - era of “accountability”
(service providers asked 2 show evidence justifying
what they do)
those who pay the bill (health care agencies, government agencies) demand
Why Study Psychoth Empirically
- many practitioners say therapy is 2 hard 2 study
- say are plenty of case histories & testimonials that demonstrate effectiveness of
are testimonials of therapists & clients who say they’ve observed that a given
form of psychotherapy works
- HOWEVER, case history/testimonials r unreliable & can’t serve as basis for systematic

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Can testimonials alone be trusted?
Why are these not reliable?
1 reason - people tend 2 “see” what they expect 2 see.
Therapist Perspective -
Psychoanalysts encourage clients 2 talk about early childhood
when change occurs, attribute change 2 reviewing
early childhood.
Cognitive therapists have clients talk about dysfunctional cognitions & then
attribute change 2 that
Client Perspective -
Change experiences – if client gains insight, they feel
- are powerful/emotional experiences
- as reference, think of religious conversion experiences
- powerful experiences/people report feeling
changed/healed of problems
- text says power of suggestion @ play
people report change/being healed BUT problems often remain
- - - ex of schizophrenic, prayed over, stop taking meds, etc.
- same thing could happen w/therapy
- Insights/explanations N2 problems help
especially , if they make ct’s experience seem sensible
--- even if not true/accurate, as long as gives person hope

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suppose John gains “insight” N therapy
he believes his lo self-esteem caused by
FA’s put-downs (doesn’t even matter if true)
Then he decides FA was screwed-up & decides
what FA said doesn’t really matter much OR
that he doesn’t have 2 put himself down b/c FA did
--- thus, therapeutic insight (though may be not even
accurate or true) was helpful
- THUS, regarding
whether therapy works
what in therapy works or
what r the cause of psycho problems r
IS DIFFICULT 2 draw reliable conclusions from th/ct’s
reported experiences
- Therapy sessions r important sources of ideas/hypothesis, BUT
alone they don’t provide reliable evidence as 2 what
works & why
- 2 disc what really works & why
we need more systematic, observational processes - - -
scientific method
- Currrently, majority opinion is psychoth can B studied
using experimental/scientific method
Methods in Psychoth Research
- # of diff research strategies R used N psychoth research
- Traditionally, research has been quantitative
Quantitative research
devising way 2 measure variables researcher, quantifying in order to measure and
analyzing it statistically and making since of it.
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