Ranking and Evaluating Different Forms of Therapy

--Original published at Sherika's Psych Blog

Therapy is different for everyone. Typically speaking therapy is tailored for each and every individual person’s need. A psychologist, especially if they’re specialized in a specific field of interest, needs to be able to approach their client in a beneficial manner. So, loosely speaking, a psychologist will have different ways to approach a vet seeking out therapy to cope with their PTSD, help abuse victims, people with phobias, etc. psychiatrists have a plethora of approaches that are tailored for their clients.

But first, I’ll be examine 4 different approaches, defining them, and covering which and why these different forms of therapy deserve the rank that they receive.

1)Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is a relatively short form version of therapy that tackles a wide range of psychological problems (alcohol abuse, eating disorders, anger problems, etc.). This form of therapy requires and helps a person learn efficient self-help skills that help change how a person thinks, feels and behaves in relation to the problem they’re having. More often than not, cognitive therapy comes with requirements (self prescribed homework) for the patient to do outside of their therapy hours. Placed at number one, I felt that cognitive therapy out of the other three therapies that will be covered was round about. Not only does it tackle a wide rang of issues, but it allows and forces the patient in this case to form healthy self-help skills to adapt and overcome their issues. Whether that’s learning to control ones anger, retrain their way of thinking about their relationship with food or alcohol or any number of things.

2)Humanistic Therapy

Humanistic therapy is defined by it’s positive approach. A form of therapy in which there’s a focus on a person’s individual nature rather than categorizing groups of people by a commonality. This form of therapy looks at a person not from only the therapist’s point of view, but from the view point of individuals who are observing their own behavior. An emphasis is placed on a person’s positive traits and behavior and their ability to grow and find fulfillment. This form of therapy can be used to treat depression, panic attacks, or social disorders. An approach that uses a person’s feelings in the here and now in order to try and identify past events that caused the event to trigger the patient.

This humanistic form of therapy allows a therapist to sit down and gently approach what events or triggers could have led up to someone feeling the way they do. This form of therapy deserves to be second on the list because it takes a different approach compared to traditional methods, most of the emphasis is taken off of the therapist. Instead, it forces the patient to reexamine the event and process their own complex feelings all while coming to an understanding about why and how they feel.

3)Psychodynamic Therapy

In third place, psychodynamic therapy is an in-depth form of talk-therapy; less focused on the relationship between therapist and and the patient due to the focus on the patient’s relationship with the external world.

Psychodynamic therapy is the form of therapy that’s most commonly seen in the media and the one that people frequently think of. Due to the nature of the therapy in which the patient is encouraged to freely speak about whatever is on their mind, I believe that this tried and true method deserves the third spot on their list. While this form of therapy mostly relies on the patient talking about their experiences with little feedback or input from the therapist until when it is needed. This form of therapy requires multiple and consistent sessions that sort of prolongs the healing process for the patient in my opinion. While it isn’t perfect, it’s the most tried form of therapy on this list.

4)Behavioral Therapy

Coming in last, behavioral therapy reinforces desirable behaviors in the patient while eliminating maladaptive ones. Using classical conditioning and operant conditioning in order to reinforce positive behaviors while eliminating bad ones, I felt that this form of behavioral therapy seems to be least effective compared to the counterparts mentioned above. Behavioral therapy seems most appropriate and effective with children, not to mention that this form of therapy can operate well only when it’s treating specific issues that a patient has and doesn’t tackle multiple like the other variations of therapy listed above.

While each individual form of therapy can be effective in its own way. The list given above ranks different variations of therapy based upon my own criteria and evaluation.

First Impression Post; Mental Health Treatment

--Original published at olivyahvanek

I think that the first most helpful type of psychotherapy would be cognitive psychotherapy because this type of therapy starts by teaching the brain how to forget past problems and begin to focus on more important and recent issues. This type of therapy can help people with many different types of problems and helps them with a more easy type of therapy.

The next most helpful type of psychotherapy would be humanistic psychotherapy because this type of therapy strengthens the relationship between the person that is getting the mental health treatment and the psychologist. This type of therapy is important, so that the client feels safe and comfortable with the person that they are talking to.

Next I think the most helpful type of psychotherapy would be behavioral psychotherapy because this type of psychotherapy helps the person to fix their unhealthy habits, such as unhealthy relationships or anything in their lives that is having bad affects on their mental health. This is helpful because this would reduce the amount of things that are worsening their mental health.

I think the last most helpful type of psychotherapy would be psychodynamic psychotherapy because this type of therapy allows a person to release the tension that they have, so that their healing process will not come off as more aggressive, rather it would be helpful for the person. This would allow the person that is getting the mental health treatment to be helped with less stress and anger than they would without this kind of therapy.

Chapter 15 First Impression

--Original published at Noah'sPSY105blog

There are a vast amount of different therapies that have been developed to help individuals overcome different mental illnesses. Many of these therapies can be broken down into four different categories, these categories being psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic. If I were to rank these types of therapies for myself, they would go as follows: Humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, and psychodynamic. I think that humanistic would be the best choice for me because this is a therapy that is developed around the patient and is designed to help better the patient. The only downside of this method is that it is more focused in the patent becoming more accepting of themselves rather than them trying to change their actions if they are capable of doing so.

Cognitive therapy is designed to help the recipient to develop better ways of thinking about negative situations so they are less likely to be as severely affected. A drawback that I could foresee arising from this particular therapy is that it focuses more on how other people interact with you and how you interpret what they are saying, but does not take into account you being critical and criticizing yourself. There is not enough focus on helping alleviate self critcal thinking.

Behavioral therapy is focused on stopping negative behaviors. Although this can be helpful for individuals who tend to perform acts that may harm themselves or others, it does not discuss or put focus on why these acts are performed, but is more focused on stopping the behavior altogether.

Psychodynamic therapies help rid the patients of repressed memories and stress that may have caused them to develop a mental illness. The downside to this approach is that it does not focus on the conscious mind.

Ch. 15 1st Impression Post: Mental Health Treatment

--Original published at Rickster's Psychology Blog

The textbook lists 4 techniques for mental health treatments. The techniques are psychodynamic, behavioral, humanistic, and Cognitive. I think psychodynamic therapy would be the most helpful for me. I believe its the therapy I had while I was seeing therapist monthly while at school. It helps people with their current symptoms by focusing on themes across important relationships, including childhood experiences, and the therapist relationship.

I think its the most helpful type of therapy for me because I tend to forget or suppress the past which my therapist helped me realize. I don’t think about my childhood because it wasn’t too great. I had/have authoritarian parents so there wasn’t much I cared to remember.

Its astonishing for me to look back at my childhood after taking this class. Especially after learning about the parenting styles and the effects they have on children. I turned out almost exactly how the textbook said I would from being raised by Tiger Parents.

This type of therapy helped me realize why I was shy, had low self esteem, had a lack of social competence, have anxiety, and occasionally struggle with self control. This type of therapy helped me figure out why I am the way I am by digging into my past. All it took was a therapist to give me slight hints and let me put the pieces together to get a mental breakthrough.

I feel being able to have a “eureka” moment when you discover a self-truth is one of the greatest feelings you can have. What I don’t like about psychodynamic therapy is the possibility of taking a long time to reach a mental breakthrough. I feel like many people don’t realize how much their upbringing affects who they are. This is why I believe psychodynamic therapy is the best mental health treatment.

I believe the second best type of therapy is humanistic because it tackles many basic psychological problems. I picture this therapy where the therapist has to work with a delicate patient. The patient lacks self-awareness and empathy. The patient can’t understand the effects their decisions cause and they use heuristics to make their decisions. I feel like patients requiring this therapy use the the phrase “what if” a lot of the time. I don’t like this therapy because it seems like it could a very long time for the patient to experience a breakthrough if the patient doesn’t put full effort into the treatment.

I think the third most effective therapy is cognitive therapy. I ranked it third because if someone talked to me like the therapist did in the textbook, I might lose full composure. Its hard for me to imagine someone who can’t narrow down the significant aspects of their life. I find it hard to picture someone who can’t articulate on their feelings about an event or occurrence.

I find it hard to emphasize with these people because I choose to interact with optimistic people. My friends and I might’ve had a bad day but we could all get together to play some online video games and feed off each other’s positive vibes. I feel like if I hung around Negative Nancy’s all day, I might become one. These people just might need a new friend group.

What I don’t like about this therapy is if the patient can’t learn to elaborate on their feelings with particular events, they will have to go to therapy for a long time.

The least effective therapy I feel is behavior therapy. I think this because its based on classical conditioning. I feel like I have a bias towards it because I think of Pavlov’s dog. Then I think of the Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon uses chocolates to condition Penny to do what Sheldon sees as correct behavior. I see this type of therapy as artificial with no higher level thought processes involved so I couldn’t see this treatment having a lasting effect on a patient.

Ch.14 1st Impression Post: Mental Illness

--Original published at Rickster's Psychology Blog

This video really opened my eyes to Schizophrenia. I was never very sure what exactly what Schizophrenia was. I always pictured the voices in the victim’s heads be more like whispers and sound like the victim’s actual voice. I never really thought of the voices being loud, emotional tones, or convincing enough to the point where the victim let the voices control their behavior. I thought the voices for the victims were more annoying than convincing and the victim would surrender to the voices’ demands so they would stop speaking.

I didn’t think the hallucinations were so subtle to the point where they were realistic like when the pizza box said “poizon” instead of pizza. I thought video portrayed the voices of the victim to be parents or significant role models of the victim.

I always thought of traditional superhero villains when I thought of Schizophrenia. The Joker from Batman movies and cartoons comes to mind first. Then a video game character from Call of Duty, Alex Mason, also strikes my memory.

I always thought the Joker had schizophrenia because of his complex and dark personality. He always had schemes where’d he plan them to where they were organized, dark, and dramatic. I think one of the main pieces of the Joker’s persona which made me think he was Schizophrenic was his scary clown theme. Another reason why I thought he was Schizophrenic was because when he had the opportunity to kill Batman, he wouldn’t do it. The movies made this very apparent to the point where there wasn’t a doubt Batman survived just so they could keep making movies. I think the Joker like committing crimes and causing tyranny but he wouldn’t enjoy it as much if Batman was dead. It looked like the Joker enjoyed causing chaos like a sport and he enjoyed the challenging competition which Batman provided. The Joker’s thinking process was so unnatural which is why I believe he is a pop culture symbol for Schizophrenia.

The video wouldn’t any help to categorizing the Joker as a Schizophrenic. However, the list of symptoms defines the Joker as a victim of Schizophrenia. We know from the The Dark Knight, the Joker’s father suffered from it because his solution to making a sad young son happy was to carve the his face so the marks resembled a permanent smile. This means Schizophrenia was in the Joker’s genes. Then the dark thoughts and agitated body movement the Joker had in the movies confirmed he was a Schizophrenic.

The second portrayal of Schizophrenia I know comes from a video game character. Alex Mason from the Call of Duty had a different way the Schizophrenia manifested itself. He was on a mission to kill Castro but only ended assassinating Castro’s body double. He was captured by the Russians. One of the Russian generals brainwashed him. The general implanted numbers into Mason’s head. The Russians planned to Mason release back to the United States. When Mason got back to the US, he would use the numbers he was brainwashed with to activate Russian sleeper agents. The sleeper agents would then release a toxic and deadly gas called Nova 6. Even after the Russians’ plans were stopped, Mason continued to see and hear the numbers. They would still instruct him to do certain things.

Due to the voices in Mason’s head instructing to conduct certain actions and the hallucinations of numbers is why Alex Mason another pop culture symbol of Schizophrenia. Mason fits the video’s description of Schizophrenia very well because both characters had voices in their heads and hallucinations.

This assignment was definitely an eye opener to what Schizophrenia really is. I had no idea hallucinations could be so subtle before watching the video. I feel like I’ll have an easier time putting myself in Schizophrenic’s shoes if a situation occurs where I have to interact with a victim after completing this assignment.

Ch. 12 1st Impression Post: Social

--Original published at Rickster's Psychology Blog

I can remember a couple times where cognitive dissonance may have changed my beliefs. I believe it happens more than people think. I experienced cognitive dissonance when I first started weed whacking my home when I was a freshman in high school.

I refused to use safety glasses or goggles when I first weed whacked. I didn’t enjoy wearing any protection because I wasn’t used to wearing glasses. They always felt weird on my face. They always fogged up or impaired my vision from sweating on hot summer days. I didn’t wear ear protection either because earbuds become uncomfortable after sweating and I’d rather be able to hear when my weed whacker when the gas tank was approaching empty. I knew it was a safety hazard but I believed if I always whacked the weeds at a certain angle, projectiles would never hit me in the face s0 I would never need to use safety glasses. I continued this behavior for a few years.

My beliefs completely changed I got my first job as a groundskeeper at a local country club. My first day, I walked into the groundskeepers’ quarters. I noticed a man wearing an eye patch. Instead of being awkward and staring at it for the whole summer, I asked my older coworker what happened to his eye.

He said he was weed whacking around the boundaries of the country club. He wasn’t wearing any eye or ear protection. He ended hit a piece of rusted metal from a barb wire fence which removed years beforehand. This piece of metal went straight through his cornea and blinded him in his left eye for life.

He was unable to make to any sort of lawsuit or receive any compensation for the accident. This was because he removed his eye protection. He also seemed part deaf. It was probably from working around loud equipment for so long.

After talking to him, I always wear eye, and ear protection when weed whacking and working with loud equipment at all times. I even wear jeans and sometimes sleeves when weed whacking now.

Another instance which reinforced my neediness for eye protection is from a story my dad told me. He nearly blew my mind when he said he was welding an exhaust pipe without eye protection. I could see people not use eye protection while weed whacking but I could never fathom someone welding without a welders mask. My dad ended up having a liquid hot piece of metal fall off the exhaust pipe and hit him in the eye. He went to the emergency room even though he thought the debris was out of his eye.

The doctors told him the aluminum was so hot it was in liquid form. The reason why he thought it was gone because the metal melted into his eye. He vision in that eye was bad at first and he recovered. However, he will never be able to see out as well out his right eye again because the metal is still there. He can’t go through an MRI machine because the magnetism involved with the machine would cause the metal to erupt out of his eye.

After hearing those 2 stories from 2 different people and from hearing absolute horror stories from safety meetings, I will never hesitate to use eye protection for any semi-hazardous job I’ll have.

These 2 instances were very rare and serious but I would never want something similar to those 2 occurrences to happen to me. I rely heavily on my eyesight and hearing to play Call of Duty at a professional level so I would never jeopardize my hobby and possibly a career because I didn’t use proper safety precautions to do landscaping work.

Chapter 15 First Impression Post

--Original published at Courtney's College Blog

For this assignment, I decided to analyze the four major types of psychotherapy. From reading the textbook, I believe behavioral therapy to be the most effective. This type of therapy focuses on learning tools for eliminating certain behaviors. This goes further than just understanding the emotions. It gives patients an array of resources to use when feeling anxious, during an episode, or however their symptoms present themselves.

Cognitive therapy is the second best way of psychotherapy. This type of therapy changes the way the patient thinks, because thinking determines feelings. It is useful to understand the reason why patients acts a certain way, in attempt to change their thinking. When their thinking changes, they can more easily handle the symptoms. In some cases, the shift in outlook may be sufficient in reducing symptoms. In other cases, patients may not be able to eliminate their thoughts, so behavioral psychology would be more useful.

Humanistic psychology is the third best form of psychotherapy. It revolves around understanding oneself. It helps to settle inner conflicts and focuses on self-fulfillment. This type of psychotherapy makes the patients responsible for their emotions, which motivates them to be aware of and accept their symptoms. It has an emphasis on growth. This is useful because it provides an individualistic approach to each patient, however it does not give tools that can be implemented into daily life in order to reduce symptoms.

I have deemed psychodynamic therapy to be the least effective. This type of therapy recognizes common themes among situations. For example, it can determine what makes a patient anxious. This form presents itself in a casual, face-to-face conversation. It works on reclaiming unconscious feelings in hopes to eliminate symptoms. This is not as effective as other types of therapy because it only understands emotions. It does not give much attention to ways the symptoms can be reduced. I have experienced this type of therapy. Although it was beneficial to be aware of common emotions in different situations, I did not have many tools to use when presented with anxious situations.

Researches Determine That Hormonal Changes in the Brain Can Impact Memory Loss

--Original published at Sherika's Psych Blog

Dr. Sarah Conner along with several other researchers affiliated with The Framingham Heart Study sought to answer the age-long question that their study proposed: can memory loss be impacted by a change in the brain’s chemistry?

In order to answer this question, researchers singled out a single hormone in the brain that they wanted to focus on for the duration of the study. Cortisol, or a hormone that regulates the bodies metabolism as well as immune system. Taking a large group of participants who were related to the original participants of the Framingham Heart Study, the researchers subjected the participants to a series of mentally stimulating tests and activities that were meant to stimulate the participants minds. Afterwards, researchers subjected the participants to CAT scans in order to see if there were any noticeable changes in the structure of their brains after the experiment.

It was found that long term, high exposure of cortisol in the brain can in fact weaken memory and contributes to memory loss. Researchers further found that this condition affected women more than it did men.

Reflection:

After taking several English courses at college, it’s been hammered and honed into me that people never read the entirety of an article, or better yet that the majority of people never read the entirety of it. Along with the fact that a huge portion of Americans (often times the readership base) tend to read at a High School level. In our current climate, it’s better to take the key core components of a piece that is being summarized and keep it short as possible. So that readers can simply skim through understand why something happened and how it was resolved or concluded. It’s important to keep the language simple as well, as pointed out earlier due to the fact that a large portion of American’s read at a High School level, complex language and words are simply going to go over peoples heads.

While it’s important in psychology to answer all five critical questions for reading research to some effect not all of those questions can be answered when it comes to summarizing and keeping an article based on a lengthy psychology research brief without losing the attention span and marketable traffic revenue that readers can bring to a site. If an article is too long or uses what is considered too much fluff language or even fails to summarize the main points of the research in a short and concise manner that aids the reader’s skimming, then the site will see a decline in traffic and in turn revenue.

So when it came to this article, I decided that it’s best to keep at least one researcher’s name from the study in this article with a following description that there were other researchers. Since a reader doesn’t want to feel inclined to read through several names of varying complexity. It was also important to include the fact that this study is connected to another and using participants who are connected to the Framingham study. Other information that I deemed important to include where the research methods and conclusion. I didn’t want to keep the research methods long or go into a heavy detail about them, because again, readers have a short attention span in a world where everything is at the tips of our fingers. While there are some similarities between the summarization found here and the study it’s summarizing itself, I feel that the study goes in depth on the topic.

But, for the sake of the readership as well as keeping the article itself short enough for people to be engaged in to read, there are some sacrifices that were made. Especially when it comes to trimming information and omitting some things altogether.

In all when it came to the three parts of this assignment and writing as a journalist who’s main emphasis is in writing about psychology, I felt that there was a duality needed in order to understand how readers of this current time period read in an increasingly advancing period and the ability to understand the psychological focused pieces that are being consumed for research.

Citation:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30355700

Media Production Project; Psychology in the Media

--Original published at olivyahvanek

The article, “Holocaust Exposure Induced Intergenerational Effects on FKBP5 Methylation” researched and written by various authors researched the idea that the offspring of Holocaust survivors had inherited a type of “disability” from their parents’ trauma. This idea that children are inheriting a gene from their parents because of their trauma from the Holocaust was proved to be false, rather they are getting these mental illnesses as they get older from the way that they were raised by their parents. These children were raised differently than other children in their generation because of the trauma that their parents had experienced in their lives.

This research article focused on how the Holocaust had an effect on FKBP5 methylation in the survivors, which is a protein found in the human body that regulates the GR sensitivity. In Holocaust survivors methylation at site FKBP5 was higher than it was in people that were not impacted by the Holocaust. Although, in Holocaust offspring, methylation was lower than it was in people in the same generation that were not impacted by the Holocaust. These levels for parents and their offspring of the Holocaust were correlated, as when they were in the Holocaust the levels are higher than if they were not.

In conclusion, these researchers had found that it was not simply a gene being passed down from Holocaust survivors to their offspring, rather it was the way that the children were raised by the Holocaust survivors. If these children had suffered any physical, mental, or sexual abuse as a child, then their methylation at site FKBP5 was lower than children who had not experienced these things. This was more common in children of Holocaust survivors because of the way that they had been raised by their parents, not any type of gene that was being passed down.

Reflection:

As I was writing the summary for this research article, I had used the main ideas that were taken from the article to help and summarize it in the most simple way because their experiment had a very complicated procedure. Although from the summary, their idea seemed to be simple, it was very difficult to decide what aspects should be added into the summary, because the whole experiment was very complicated and full of the research that all of these authors had done. As I was writing the summary, I had left out more of the procedure and how this actual experiment was done because it was a more unimportant aspect to the whole research, and instead I added more about the results of their experiment because the whole procedure had many confusing parts to it and if you did not read the whole article, readers would have a hard time understanding exactly how the whole experiment was done. This article did answer the five critical questions to reading research.

The news article that lead to the research article was written in a much more simple way than the research article itself because it never went into specifics as to how their experiment was done to get to their results. The news article did provide some critical information needed for the research article, although it never went into specifics as to how their results were found. The research article then proved that the news article was false because genes cannot be passed down from trauma, like in the case of Holocaust survivors passing down their trauma genes to their offspring.

From these three assignments I have learned a lot about journalists’ writing. From the pop culture assignment, I learned that research can be done and supported, but then found to be false even though the researchers that did the experiment think that it was correct. This taught me that no matter how well researchers prevent their data, it is not always correct. From the research article critique I learned that it takes way more than a couple researchers to create a study and prove it to be correct, and although it seems easy to create a study, it takes a lot of time and research to make it become real and reliable. From this assignment, the media production project, I learned that being a journalist can be hard, as writing from the top of your head and creating and coming up with information from other people’s work can take a lot of effort, to find the correct information to share with your readers.

These three assignments made me have a new appreciation for journalists, because their job is not as easy as it seems to be. It takes a lot of hard work and time to get to the point of creating a piece of work that is able to be published, without getting any criticism. I enjoyed doing all of these assignments and learning more about how trauma can affect people and also more about the writing of a journalist.

Citations

Thomson, Helen. Study of Holocaust Survivors Finds Trauma Passed on to Children’s Genes. 2015, www.mail-archive.com/unponkiidoep@googlegroups.com/msg01256/gene_epigenetic_inheritance-_Holocaust_Survivor_Trauma,_GuardUK_20150821.pdf.

Yehuda, R., Daskalakis, N., Bierer, L., Bader, H., Klengel, T., Holsboer, F., & Binder, E. (2017). Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Holocaust exposure induced intergenerational effects on FKBP5 methylation. F1000 – Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomedical Literature, 372-380. doi:10.3410/f.725812844.793527864

Media Production

--Original published at Noah'sPSY105blog

For a significant amount of time, individuals of all ages have stated that the mobile phone has had more of a negative impact on our society than it has a positive one. But, are there any signs that this is actually the case? Many scientists with numerous and diversity backgrounds in different fields of study set out to see if there was any truth behind these beliefs or if they were just people not adapting to the shift in technology.

The particular study that I have investigated, was a study conducted to see whether or not phone usage could cause a decline in the user’s mental capacity. Although experimenting with such a touchy and quite frankly an unethical subject, so the researchers decided to see if they could find any correlation between the way an individual uses a cell phone and a decline in memory by splitting individuals into groups by the way they use their cell phones, and see if there was any variance between these groups. The criteria they used to organize these groups were as follows: which side they hold their phone up to when they are making a call, if they used hands-free devices, and how long they tend to use their devices at a given time.

The results from the experiments that they had conducted, showed that there was a correlation between individuals who made calls on the right sides of their heads and a decline in mental capacity. The study also found that individuals who just used their phones to send texts, play games, or browsing the internet did not show any adverse effects to their memory.

Reflection: Throughout the time that I took writing this post on the particular article that I had read, I made sure that I kept the five critical questions in the back of my mind to help pull the article apart. This article tried to convey the information that was outlined within the study without going into too much detail. It may be understandable to quickly summarize the main points within a research report but I think that the journalist may have been able to strengthen this piece by providing a bit more information from the research report. However, they did make sure to provide a link to the original publication, which I found extremely helpful to understand the nature of the research that was completed.

https://www.euronews.com/2018/07/23/new-study-reveals-smartphone-use-may-affect-teenagers-memory