BulletPointsummary per chapter with the 1st edition of The Individual by McLeod (Custom UT Twente) - Chapter


What different delivery formats can we use to enhance access and effectiveness? - BulletPoints 1

  • The length of time that is spent in therapy, and the way in which that time is divided up, have a bearing on all aspects of the process and the outcome of the therapy. The frequency of meetings with a therapist can also vary. There is a risk to time-limited therapy.
  • A controversial aspect of non-professional counselling is that research evidence suggests that non-professionals tend to achieve the same client outcomes as highly trained professional therapists.
  • Although counselling and psychotherapy are widely considered to focus on the needs and problems of individual persons, there are many effective therapy formats that involve working with couples, families, groups, and communities. 
  • Caplan and Grunebaum (1967) identified three levels of prevention that can be applied in therapy on the community level: primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention.
  • Different types of technology have been integrated into the process of therapy; such as the telephone, various internet applications, audio-or video-recording of sessions for supervision and training, brief client self-report measures to track progress in therapy, and medication.
  • Self-help reading, also referred to as bibliotherapy, can be undertaken in the absence of any kind of relationship with a professional therapist, or can be used to supplement the work that happens in therapy sessions. 
  • We can identify three strategies that can be applied when combining different formats in therapy: adjunctive interventions, programmes and communities and stepped care.

How can we use research to inform practice? - BulletPoints 2

  • The field of therapy research comprises a wide range of topics and questions, which can be divided into four broad areas: outcome research, process research, therapist effect and professional knowledge. Research into the field of therapy can have many different goals.
  • Researchers can apply a variety of different research methods to measure the effectiveness of a therapy method.
  • Autoethnographic inquiry consists of a set of techniques for systematically writing about and analysing personal experience.
  • Professional knowledge research consists of studies that seek to document and analyse experience and insights arising from practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist. 
  • In a process study, the researcher observes, measures and analyses the therapeutic elements that are associated with change.
  • The key ethical issues arising from therapy research are avoidance of harm, adequacy of informed consent, and confidentiality.

What is the psychodynamic tradition? - BulletPoints 3

  • Psychodynamic therapy places great emphasis on the therapist’s ability to use what happens in the immediate, unfolding relationship between client and therapist to explore the types of feelings and relationship dilemmas that have caused difficulties for the client in their everyday life. The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to help clients to achieve insight and under-standing around how their problems have developed and how they are maintained, and then trans-late this insight into a mature capacity to cope with current and future difficulties.
  • Freud surmised, from listening to his patients talk about their lives, that the sexual energy, or libido, of the child develops or matures through a number of distinct phases: the oral stage, the anal stage and the phallic stage. Freud saw the human mind as divided into three regions: the id, the ego and the superego
  • The object relations approach to psychoanalysis and psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy is a relationship-oriented approach to therapy that has been influenced by studies based on direct observation of the behaviour of babies and infants, and mother–infant interaction.
  • The main focus of Bowlby's work was around the process of attachment in human relations.
  • In brief therapy, the here-and-now feeling response of the client towards the therapist, the transference, is used instead as the basis for making links between present behaviour with the therapist and past behaviour with parents. Dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT) is a form of brief psychodynamic therapy that has been developed for the treatment of depression.

What does the cognitive behavioural perspective entail? - BulletPoints 4

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy has three key features: It is a problem-solving, change-focused approach to working with client, it has respect for scientific values and it pays close attention to the cognitive processes through which people monitor and control their behaviour. 
  • Beck (1976) discovered that the emotional and behavioural difficulties that people experience in their lives are not caused directly by events but by the way they interpret and make sense of these events.
  • The underlying idea in rational emotive behaviour therapy is that the more rational belief statements allow the person to cope with relationship difficulties in a more constructive and balanced fashion. 
  • The phenomenon of metacognition refers to the ability of people to reflect on their own cognitive processes, to be aware of how they are going about thinking about something, or trying to solve a problem
  • The main areas of focus within cognitive–behavioural work are the therapeutic relationship, assessment, case formulation, intervention, monitoring and relapse prevention.
  • The third-wave CBT consists of new configurations of CBT principles and techniques in the form of a growing range of CBT-based therapy approaches.

What is the content of interpersonal therapies? - BulletPoints 5

  • There exists a distinct tradition of interpersonal therapy which takes as its starting point the ways in which the client interacts with other people, makes sense of problems in interpersonal terms and seeks to help the client to develop more satisfying, supportive, and constructive relation-ships with others. 
  • Historically, counselling and psychotherapy have been informed by ideas from psychology and have adopted a largely individual-focused way of helping people to deal with problems in living.
  • The focus of interpersonal psychotherapy lies very much on identifying and coming to terms with life events that have had a negative effect on interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal psychotherapy is generally delivered in a 16-session package comprising three distinct phases: the initial phase, the middle phase the and end phase.
  • The aim of functional analytic psychotherapy is to use awareness of what is happening interpersonally between client and therapist, as a step in the direction of more constructive client–therapist relating that can be generalised to real-life relationships. In FAP, significant in-session client interpersonal responses are called clinically relevant behaviours (CRBs). An important aspect of the theory that underpins functional analytic psychotherapy practice is the ACL model of behaviour that contributes to interpersonal connection.

What different person-centred, humanistic and experimental approaches do we distinguish? - BulletPoints 6

  • The concept of experiencing is absolutely central to the person-centred approach. One of the aims of person-centred therapy is to enable the person to move in the direction of their self-defined ideals.
  • Within the empathy cycle model, empathy is viewed as a process that involves intentional, purposeful activity on the part of the therapist.
  • The key concepts that have been brought forward the further development of the person-centred approach are agency, self-multiplicity, relational depth, mutuality, strategies of disconnection, difficult process, and post-traumatic growth.
  • Different humanistic therapies, such as expressive therapy, pre-therapy and contact work, emotion-focused therapy and humanistic counselling build upon the person-centred approach.
  • Therapists from all approaches make use of person-centred skills and principles on a routine basis.

What narrative approaches to therapy do we distinguish? - BulletPoints 7

  • The narrative perspective has found expression within the counselling and psychotherapy field in the idea that individuals and groups create their personal and social realities through the use of language.
  • There are four philosophical perspectives that have been particularly relevant in the development of the narrative therapy approach: constructivism, social constructionism, post-structuralism, and postmodernism.
  • Instead of focusing on ‘the self’, narrative therapists look at what is happening within a culture or community, and the relationship between a troubled person and their community. In narrative therapy, the therapist and client engage in a process called externalising the problem.
  • We distinguish a few other narrative-informed approaches to therapy, namely constructivist therapy, solution-focused therapy, dialogical therapy and the radical theatre tradition.

How do we create a therapeutic relationship of working together? - BulletPoints 8

  • Research studies have consistently found that the quality of the  therapeutic relationship in the way that it is perceived by the client, is the single most significant factor contributing to the effectiveness of therapy. 
  • We can try to make sense of the therapeutic relationship between a client and his or her therapist from a variety of different perspectives.
  • Relational depth can be defined as a state of profound contact and engagement between two people, in which each person is fully real with the other person.
  • Clients are able to identify many small things that make a difference, including behaviours and attitudes that therapists themselves may not regard as being particularly noteworthy. Therapist can build a therapeutic relationship by adopting a variety of strategies.
  • One useful way to begin to make sense of the relationship between a therapist and client is to consider the way in which the boundary between the two participants is created and maintained.
  • Several questionnaires have been devised to measure dimensions of the therapeutic relationship.
  • The issue of payment can have a significant impact on the relationship between a therapist and a client.

How should therapists apply an ethical and moral framework when working in practice? - BulletPoints 9

  • The dilemma for the therapist is to allow themselves to be influential without imposing their moral values and choices.
  • Some of the key dimensions of ethical knowing that are relevant for therapists that we distinguish are personal intuition, values, ethical principles, general moral theories, ethical guidelines developed by professional organisations, human rights, relational and process ethics and the law.
  • The confidentiality of information disclosed by a client to a therapist represents a fundamental cornerstone of therapeutic practice. In the issue of accountability, there is the added pressure that the involvement of external organisations might lead to consequences.There are many boundaries that exist within the therapy relationship.
  • Increasing attention has been devoted by professional organisations in recent years to the question of how to maintain and enforce ethical standards.
  • There are significant cultural differences in relation to ethical values and decision-making.

What does the field of personality psychology study? - BulletPoints 10

  • According to the model by Klockhon and Murray, every personality has a human nature level, the level of individual and group differences and the individual uniqueness level.
  • The field of personality can be neatly cleaved into six distinct domains of knowledge about human nature: the dispositional domain, the biological domain, the intra-psychic domain, the cognitive-experiential domain, the social and cultural domain and the adjustment domain.
  • A good theory is one that provides a guide for researchers, that organises known findings, and makes predictions. Theories are different from beliefs.
  • We distinguish five scientific standards for evaluating personality theories: comprehensiveness, heuristic value, testability, parsimony, compatibility and integration across domains and levels.
  • Although the field of personality psychology currently lacks a grand theory, work in these six domains will ultimately provide the foundations on which such a unified personality theory will be built.

How can we categorise traits into taxonomies? - BulletPoints 11

  • Traits refer to attributes of a person that are reasonably characteristic of the person and perhaps even enduring over time. Traits represent the typical behaviour of a person over prolonged periods of time.
  • The act frequency approach to traits involves three key elements: act nomination, prototypicality judgement and the recording of act performance.
  • Three fundamental approaches have been used to identify important traits: the lexical approach, the statistical approach and the theoretical approach.
  • We can make various different taxonomies of the human personality, such as Eysenck's Hierarchical Model of Personality, Cattell's Taxonomy, Wiggin's Circumplex Taxonomomy of Personality, the Five-factor Model, the HEXACO Model and the theory of Two Big Metatraits.

How do personality dispositions change over time? - BulletPoints 12

  • Personality development can be defined as the continuities, consistencies and stabilities in people over time and the ways in which people change over time. We distinguish rank order stability and mean level stability.
  • The Big Five personality traits all display moderate to high levels of stability.
  • The social-investment theory proposes that entering new phases in your life come with adopting a new social role. Cohort effects refer to personality changes that occur as a result of the social times in which people live.
  • It is important to conceptualise personality traits as having both moment-to-moment behavioural variability and behavioural stability.

What different approaches to the 'self' do we distinguish? - BulletPoints 13

  • The three components of the self; self-concept, self-esteem and social identity, are all vitally important in our day-to-day lives.
  • The self-concept is often defined as the whole of cognitive schemas or knowledge structures about the self, including elements such as our values and memories, that we use as personal resource. Self-concept develops over years, starting in infancy, accelerating in adolescence and reaching completion in old age.
  • Self-esteem is a general evaluation of self-concept along a good–bad or like–dislike dimension. Self-esteem variability is an individual difference characteristic, and refers to the magnitude of short-term fluctuations in ongoing self-esteem.
  • We use our social identity to create an impression and to let other people know who we are and what they can expect from us.
  • Identity has three important features: continuity, contrast, and coherence. We distinguish identity crises, identity deficits and identity conflicts.

How do motives and personality relate to one another? - BulletPoints 14

  • Motives can be described as internal states that arouse and direct behaviour toward specific objects or goals. 
  • Needs can be divided in state levels and trait levels of needs. 
  • The self-determination theory considers humans as organisms with a natural tendency towards growth and development and making sense of the world and oneself. This tendency is fuelled, or drained in the absence, by social interaction and support. The three needs that are distinguished in the self-determination theory (SDT) are autonomy, competence and relatedness.
  • Although Murray proposed several dozen motives, researchers have focused most of their attention on a relatively small set. These motives are based on the needs for achievement, power and intimacy.
  • Maslow believed that needs are hierarchically organised, with more basic needs found toward the bottom of the hierarchy and the self-actualisation need at the top.
  • Rogers focused on the ways to foster and attain self-actualisation. He distinguishes conditional positive regard and unconditional positive regard. There are three core conditions within the client-centred therapy that is designed by Rogers.

What different physiological approaches to personality do we distinguish? - BulletPoints 15

  • From the perspective of personality psychology, physiology is important to the extent that differences in physiology create, contribute to or indicate differences in psychological functioning. 
  • Different physiological measures, such as electrodermal activity, blood pressure, other forms of cardiac activity and brain activity can be used in personality research.
  • Extraversion, sensitivity to cues of reward and punishment, sensation seeking, the tridimensional personality theory, morningness–eveningness and affective style are all examples of physiological variables that are assumed to be substrates of the biological underpinnings for the behaviour pattern that defines personality traits.

In what way does culture influence personality? - BulletPoints 16

  • Some aspects of personality, including attitudes, values and self-concepts, are highly variable across cultures. But other aspects of personality are universal.
  • Cultural variations refer to within-group similarities and between-group differences that can be of any sort – physical, psychological, behavioural or attitudinal.
  • Psychologists have developed three major approaches to explaining and exploring personality across cultures: evoked culture, transmitted culture and cultural universals.

How does the process of psychological testing and assessment take place? - BulletPoints 17

  • We define psychological assessment as the gathering and integration of psychology-related data for the purpose of making a psychological evaluation that is accomplished through the use of tools such as tests, interviews, case studies, behavioral observation, and specially designed apparatuses and measurement procedures.
  • We distinguish a variety of different assessment types, such as educational assessments, retrospective assessment, remote assessment, ecological momentary assessment, collaborative psychological assessment and dynamic assessment.
  • In the process of conducting a psychological assessment, psychologists can use tests, interviews, portfolios, case studies, behavioural observations, role-play tests and computers. Psychological tests and other tools of assessment may differ with respect to a number of variables, such as content, format, administration procedures, scoring and interpretation procedures, and technical quality. 
  • Psychological assessment can take place in a variety of different settings.

What are important historical, cultural, legal and ethical considerations when conducting psychological testing and assessment? - BulletPoints 18

  • The development of psychological measurement can be traced along two distinct threads: the academic and the applied traditions.
  • The influence of culture on an individual’s thoughts and behaviour may be a great deal stronger than most of us would acknowledge at first blush. Professionals involved in the assessment enterprise have shown increasing sensitivity to the role of culture in many different aspects of measurement. 
  • We define standard of care as the level at which the average, reasonable, and prudent professional would provide diagnostic or therapeutic services under the same or similar conditions. 
  • The Ethical Standards for the Distribution of Psychological Tests and Diagnostic Aids report defined three levels of tests in terms of the degree to which the test’s use required knowledge of testing and psychology.
  • Some of the rights that test users accord to testtakers are the right of informed consent, the right to be informed of test findings, the right to privacy and confidentiality, and the right to the least stigmatizing label.

How do we conduct tests? - BulletPoints 19

  • We distinguish seven assumptions about psychological testing and assessment: namely that psychological traits and states exist, that they can be quantified and measured, that test-related behaviour can predict non-test-related behaviour, and that all tests have limits and imperfections. Furthermore, various sources of error are part of the assessment process, biased assessment procedures can be identified and reformed, and assessment offers powerful benefits to our society.
  • Test users often speak of the psychometric soundness of tests, two key aspects of which are reliability and validity.
  • A common goal of norm-referenced tests is to yield information on a test taker’s standing or ranking relative to some comparison group of test takers. 
  • We can distinguish different methods of sampling, such as stratified sampling, purposive sampling and convenience sampling.
  • Some of the many different ways we can classify norms are age norms, grade norms, national norms, national anchor norms, local norms, norms from a fixed reference group, subgroup norms, and percentile norms.
  • Norm-referenced and criterion-referenced are two of many ways that test data may be viewed and interpreted.
  • Researchers and psychologists should not lose sight of culture as a factor in test administration, scoring, and interpretation.

Why and how do we assess reliability? - BulletPoints 20

  • Reliable tests give scores that closely approximate true scores. On the other hand, valid tests give scores that closely approximate construct scores. 
  • The observed score X is related to the true score T and the measurement error score E with this famous equation: X = T + E. 
  • The term reliability refers to the proportion of the total variance attributed to true variance. The greater the proportion of the total variance attributed to true variance, the more reliable the test. Measurement error can be systematic or random. 
  • Sources of error variance include test construction, administration, scoring, and/or interpretation.
  • The test-retest measure is appropriate when evaluating the reliability of a test that purports to measure something that is relatively stable over time.
  • With respect to the test itself, there are basically three approaches to the estimation of reliability: test-retest, alternate or parallel forms, and internal or inter-item consistency. The method or methods employed will depend on a number of factors, such as the purpose of obtaining a measure of reliability. 

How can we measure intelligence? - BulletPoints 21

  • Intelligence consists of the ability to understand complex ideas, adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, and overcome obstacles by taking thought.
  • Cattell and Horn made a distinction between fluid intelligence and crystallised intelligence. Carroll's came up with the three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities. Because the Horn-Cattell Gf-Gc model and Carroll’s three-stratum model are so similar, Kevin McGrew and colleagues (2005) began to refer to them as belonging to the same superordinate category under the name Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of cognitive abilities. 
  • We consider the Stanford-Binet test, the SB5 and the Wechsler tests as the three most important tests of intelligence.
  • The influence of culture and the Flynn effect are two examples of factors that are important to consider during the assessment of intelligence.

How do clinical and counselling assessment take place? - BulletPoints 22

  • Clinical psychology is the branch of psychology that has as its primary focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal behavior. Counseling psychology is a branch of psychology that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal behaviour.
  • We distinguish stress interviews, hypnotic interviews, cognitive interviews, collaborative interviews and mental status examinations.
  • In addition to tests that are used for general diagnostic purposes, thousands of tests focus on specific traits, states, interests, attitudes, and related variables. 
  • ADRESSING refers to an easy-to-remember acronym that may help the assessor recall various sources of cultural influence when assessing clients.
  • A report of psychological assessment consists of demographic data, the reason for referral, the test that were administered and the findings, recommendations and a brief summary. 

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