Friday, November 30, 2012

Operant Conditioning

B. F. Skinner developed a learning model which behavior is maintained depending on it's consequences (Murdock, 2013). Reinforcers increase the behaviors. In the video below there is an example of positive reinforcers where chocolate is used every time a good behavior is displayed.
I thought this was a funny clip, and wanted to share. Skip to the 2:12 mark.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feminist Therapy

Feminist Therapy was not developed by any one individual, it stemmed from the feminist movement and philosophy.  The women of the feminist movement were not satisfied with the traditional therapies, so they felt that they should create their own. Feminist Therapy pays particular attention to women oppression, violence against women and misogyny.

Feminist Therapy is committed to help women understand their values by advocating for equality on their behalf. It is a collaborative process in which the therapist and client establish the goals, direction and pace of therapy (Murdock, 2013). Their main goal is to create feminist ideals, and also to teach that women do have power within themselves.

There are criticism toward this therapy for the obvious reasons, it is only geared towards women. Though feminists would argue and say it can be used on all clients, it is not really appropriate to use on males. I am not a radical feminist, but I do believe in female empowerment and the elimination of oppression on women of all races, but I do not believe that this therapy solely can help every woman with their particular situation because it might not relate to any of the therapist ideals.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is developed by Albert Ellis in the 1950’s. REBT is based on the form of psychotherapy that is based on our lives and beliefs. The goal for REBT is happiness that the majority of our expecting of happiness. The website is describing the goal of happiness that we want to be happy whether we are alone or with others; we want to get along with others; we want to be well informed; and we want to live life well.  However, when the goals are blocked, the reaction will be different according to people.  Another goal of REBT is to help people change the irrational beliefs to rational belief with changing irrational beliefs with working of therapy.

The ABC model is major interventionof the REBT with reactions when the goals are blocked.  The A is stands for activating events, the B is stands for the beliefs, and C is stands for the consequences in the model. Ellis developed the ABC model to teach people the beliefs with emotional and behavioral responses from what is happen, what you belief about the situation and what your emotional reaction to the belief is. In the ABC model, the activating event does not cause consequences, but the belief causes consequences.

REBT is effective therapy that is reducing emotional pain, and it is most practical therapy today. It is clear therapy that brings effect on the psychotherapy.

Family Systen Therapy

Family Therapy was developed by Virginia Satir. She believed that an open and reciprocal sharing of emotions such as affection, feelings, and love bring the healthy family life.

Caring and acceptance by others are key elements in the relationship with people when they face to the fears and open their hearts. Love and nurturance are the most important healing aspects of therapy.

The goal is to deal with family pain from the dysfunctional relationship such as disappointment and distrust. It can affect the pained marital relationship and dysfunctional parenting. The uses of repetitious, circular and predictable communication patterns influence the way of interacting to achieve balance in relationship.
Satir’s model of family therapy is part of general system theory that describes actions, reactions, and interactions among set of essential variables to accomplish the desired outcome. The desired outcome includes increase self-esteem, provides self-accountability, and moves a person toward congruence between the self and others.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy is developed by an Australian family therapist Michael White and a New Zealand family therapist David Epston in late 1980’s. Our stories of life talk about who we are, why we are here, and what we can do from our lives. When we see ourselves who are in healthy stories, we can change our lives and develop ourselves as healthy life stories.

            Narrative Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is using narratives, and it is based on therapy and storytelling of one’s experiences, and also has specific meaning with using stories. Narrative Therapy holds identities that are shaped by the accounts of our lives that are found in the stories. Narrative therapy reflects multistories of our identities and related meanings.

            A meaning of Narrative Therapy relates to relatively recent way of thinking about the nature of human life and knowledge, and it believes there is no one objective ‘truth’ and there are multiple interpretations. Therefore, therapy has limitations of knowing something, and it is only interpretation of one’s perspective of other person’s experience. In other words, we are focusing on the process of interpretation from related meaning of experience.

            Narrative context are made up of event occurring overtime. Important aspects of Narrative Therapy philosophy is analysis of social power. According to the Murdock (2013), it states that the power and knowledge are inseparable because of the phrase “a domain of knowledge is a domain of power and domain of power is a domain of knowledge.” (p.495).

            For the key constructs, a series of stories are created over time through attempts to connect event in our experiences and those events become privileged and dominant story which is problem saturated story. Adjectives of thinness that contains few events and alternative stories and thickness that contains very elaborate and rich in nature refer to the qualities of the stories that people tell about. In the conversation, people talk about some event and experience. The event has them and construction through the time processing. Through the externalizing conversation, people can name the problem to assess effects of life. They can know how it works in the life relates to earliest history. The unique outcome refers that the event is not a part of story, but it become part of preferred story as a therapy goal. This construct use many detailed questions to have description of outcomes as an action, reflection, and new experience. Re-authoring is affected identities and the meanings that were connected each other. However, Narrative therapy focuses on the identities than related meaning. The experience and ability can use as making new story, and it assist to resolve problems.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Person-Centered Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy was developed by Carl Rogers. He was one of the first theorists to name the individuals who sought out for therapy as the client. The basic philosophy of PC theory is that humans are inherently good and have an innate need to grow. PC theorists believe that the only motivation of human behavior is the tendency to grow to full potential in constructive, positive ways (Murdock, 2013). According to Rogers, a healthy person is one who is open to experiences, are creative and are risk takers.

Therapists are usually known to be authoritative, PC therapists on the other hand are more equal with their clients serving more as a companion. The therapist's goal is to get the client to achieve his or her full potential or as Murdock (2013) states move from incongruent to congruent. PC therapists like to feel empathetic to the client's situation, they believe that if they feel what the client feel no judgments will be made.

What I find interesting about this theory is how individualistic it can be. It hardly dives into the person's surroundings, family or friends. How the environment plays a role in a client's behavior is key, but not so much in this theory. I do appreciate how the PC theory emphasizes on the development of the self, after all that is an essential purpose for counseling in general.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative Therapy was originally founded by Michael White and David Epston. These two individuals developed this theory because they believed that all individuals told life stories that dominated their lives. "Life is a process of storytelling" (Murdock, 2013). This theory is considered playful and takes on an optimistic approach. Narrative therapists believe that clients come into the counseling session with a problem-saturated story that dominates their lives. With the story the client tells, there is a problem that emerges. The therapist will work with the client in a co-operative relationship to re-author, or re-focus, the client's attention to a preferred narrative. Getting the client to re-author their dominant story to a preferred narrative is the ultimate goal of this theory. "By forgetting our failures, by looking toward the future with blithe optimism, by ignoring history to an extent, we have the luxury of the permanent fresh start and the opportunity to reinvent ourselves each day (Casnocha, 2006).

There are many advantages to using this type of therapy. The first, most beneficial reason to using this type of therapy is that it allows the client to search his or her past and find a hidden problem that the client finds is dominating their lives. The past can be painful for the client, and the client may find relief when they are able to edit and rewrite their story. Another advantage to using this theory is that it looks at the client's strengths and opportunities for growth rather than weaknesses and failures. This may incline the client to begin the process of change and re-authoring. While there are various other advantages to this therapy, there are also some disadvantages. One of them being that it is a relatively new theory. This means that there is not many research articles that support using this therapy as a stand-alone theory. There also might be some discrepancy when it comes to using this theory with families. Since family therapy might want to work on the family as a unit, it might be hard to use narrative therapy when dealing with the relationships aspects of the family.

More information on this theory can be found at this website:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Person-Centered Theory

Person-Centered Theory is founded by Carl Rogers. The basic premise for this theory is that human beings are inherently good (Murdock, 2013). Person-Centered Theory discusses how human beings enter wholeness when they are truly free to become what he most deeply is. The evil that is brought upon the client is not from the client himself, but from the experiences in the environment that surrounds the client. "The clients are self-directing and able to accept full responsibility for their actions" (2013). Clients have to be in a state of incongruence in order to receive this type of counseling.

I believe that person-centered therapy has many advantages and disadvantages to it. It can be beneficial because it puts the client at the center of the change needed in his or her life. They are not considered "victims" of circumstances, and can bring on the change in their own lives. I like that this theory identifies a healthy person as a congruent person, which means the client's perception of self is consistent with what they experience. Person-centered therapy states that the "good life isa process not a destination" (Murdock,2013). This will give the client a mindset that will allow them to make the change they need in their life.

 The arguments against using this theory is that it is highly optimistic. Jeremiah 17:9 states, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand that?" As a Christian counselor, we have to look at how we were born into sin. With this mentality, we will be able to use biblical counseling in order for it to be Christ-centered. This can be a big disadvantage as a Christ follower. 

Carl Rogers on Person-Centered Therapy