Psychotherapy (Taiga)

  1. At the turn of the 20th Century, there was a divergence in the interests of European and American approaches to psychology. What were those differences and what accounted for them?
  2. Who was Jean-Martin Charcot and how did he influence Sigmund Freud? [See video of a dramatization of a meetings between Jean-Martin Charcot and Freud.]
  3. How did Joseph Breuer influence Freud’s thinking and approach?
  4. Describe Freud’s techniques for his method of psychotherapy, which he called “psychoanalysis”? If you or a family member suffered from mental distress, would you consider going through psychoanalysis…or why not?
  5. Who did Freud work with, what were some of his theories for why people became mentally unbalanced, and how did some of his followers come to disagree with him and establish  theories of their own—which were based on his. [Refer to the videos on Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Melanie Klein, and Anna Freud.]
  6. How do you think Melanie Klein’s own life story influenced her views on the nature of human beings and their potential (p. 109)? Choose one other famous psychotherapist and try to find connections between their personal life and the theories they came up with.
  7. Freud wrote an entire book about dreams and how to interpret them (top of page 98). He claimed that the unconscious mind sends “messages to our conscious mind in code.” Looking through your dream journal, can you find any evidence of this? Explain with examples. Do you think any of your dreams expressed “wish fulfillments”? Give examples.
  8. Carl Jung, had an alternate way of interpreting dreams? What did he think were the most significant features of dreams (p. 106). Looking again at your dream journal, what can you identify as possible archetypes and what might they be telling you?
  9. Why do you think the Nazis publicly burned the books of Sigmund Freud when they came to power?
  10. What was the association known as “the third force,” dedicated to exploring? Who were its main members and what were the key ways they viewed human beings, psychological well-being, and how mental disorders could best be treated?
  11. What were the main criticisms of psychoanalysis which were made by proponents of cognitive psychology? What experimental evidence contradicted some aspects of psychoanalytic thinking?
  12. Describe some of the evidence-based therapies that sprung up in response to the criticisms of psychoanalysis?
  13. What was the approach of Gestalt therapy? Why did it have resonance with the 1960’s “hippie culture”? What do you think about it?

It’s not necessary to watch these videos in their entirety, but I think you’ll find them highly interesting and some of them will help you answer the questions more fully.

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