Psychotherapy (saylor.org)

Psychotherapy (saylor.org)
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Have completed all courses listed in the Psychology Discipline.This requirement only applies to those students who are seeking the equivalency of a Full Psychology Degree. If taking this course as an elective, you must only have completed PSYCH101.
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Psychotherapy (saylor.org)
Psychotherapy refers to the practices clinical psychologists use to treat mental disorders. While “therapy” can denote any intervention undertaken with the goal of healing someone (including medicinal treatments for physical problems), psychotherapy is specific in that it uses certain cognitive, behavioral, and emotional regulation techniques. Based on pop culture portrayals of psychotherapy, you may be imagining a patient lying on a couch, talking freely about whatever is on his or her mind, while a doctor scribbles notes.

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Psychotherapy refers to the practices clinical psychologists use to treat mental disorders. While “therapy” can denote any intervention undertaken with the goal of healing someone (including medicinal treatments for physical problems), psychotherapy is specific in that it uses certain cognitive, behavioral, and emotional regulation techniques. Based on pop culture portrayals of psychotherapy, you may be imagining a patient lying on a couch, talking freely about whatever is on his or her mind, while a doctor scribbles notes. While there is some truth to this portrait, it is an obvious oversimplification. Psychotherapy often involves a pre-defined set of techniques that a counselor will use in order to solve the problems that his patient is encountering. These techniques often vary from therapist to therapist and depend on which school of thought the therapist subscribes to, that is, which perspectives he or she has adopted in order to explain the causes of and appropriate treatments for various disorders. For example, therapists from the schools of Psychoanalysis and Behaviorism will differ greatly in terms of how they approach and treat an individual suffering from anxiety. We will spend a substantial amount of time addressing each of these schools of thought, acknowledging that each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Psychotherapeutic treatments will also vary based on the nature of the patient’s disorder. While it may seem obvious that a therapist will treat Schizophrenia differently than he would Depression, it should be noted that different mood disorders are treated differently. We will discuss various approaches to these disorders, familiarizing ourselves with the theories that support their practice. You should also be aware that while a therapist may recommend a particular treatment, it is often the patient that has the final say in how he will be treated. Therapy is, after all, a personal process for both the patient and clinician. This course will provide you with an introduction to the theories, styles, and methods of psychotherapy that you would need to know in a clinical situation. Feel free to look back on Clinical Psychology as it will help remind you of the mental disorders referenced in this course.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:


define psychotherapy and describe the historical development of its practice;

identify the qualities most useful in a psychotherapist;

discuss the different ways in which psychotherapy affects both patient/client and counselor/therapist;

describe how each theory/therapy conceptualizes a) human nature, b) psychopathology, and c) the therapeutic change process;

identify the major therapeutic techniques used to promote change in each type of therapy;

compare and contrast individual theories/therapies with family theories/therapies; and

describe a) the important historical figures associated with each theory and b) the historical context in which the theory emerged.



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MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Free Course
Have completed all courses listed in the Psychology Discipline.This requirement only applies to those students who are seeking the equivalency of a Full Psychology Degree. If taking this course as an elective, you must only have completed PSYCH101.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.