Special ethical considerations when the “patient” is the relationship

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While the focus of individual therapy is solely on the individual, marriage and family therapy shifts the focus from any one individual to the unit as a whole entity. This broader perspective is based on the fundamental principles of systems theory which considers any dysfunction in an individual’s behavior to be a symptom of the larger dynamics operating within the group. As Corey, Corey and Callanan (2002) indicate, “Actions by any individual member influence all the other members, and their reactions have a reciprocal effect on the individual” (p. 396). This requires that the process of analysis and change be…


Differences in theoretical perspectives

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Theoretical orientations represent a set of foundational assumptions about the phenomena under consideration and thus influence how the phenomena is studied. In this way. the theoretical perspective adopted by a mental health diagnostician determines how a mental illness is conceptualized and thus, subsequently treated. The following descriptions outline how the Biological, Freudian, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, and Sociocultural theoretical orientations would characterize anxiety and depression.

Biological — Theorists adhering to the biological model will assess abnormality in terms of a malfunctioning of the brain and its related processes. The etiology of abnormal behavior from this perspective will be attributed to dysfunction…


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Although research does not indicate an increased incidence of depression in older adults, many of the life challenges faced at this age can contribute to or exacerbate the subjective symptoms associated with this mood disorder and/or impede attempts at therapeutic intervention (Santrock, 2002; Callahan & Wolinsky, 1995). Life experiences common to this developmental stage, including loss of friends and loved ones, failing health, lack of social support, and a decreased capacity for independent living can contribute to and magnify feelings of depression and even suicidal tendencies. …


Teaberry Gum, The Waltons & Nursery Rhymes in the Rocking Chair

The Daily Messenger, Canandaigua, NY, 1969

There’s a Facebook site dedicated to the town where I grew up. Recently someone posted this:

Does anyone else remember the husband and wife cab company that operated out of their house on West Avenue? He drove a spotless black Buick and every time he dropped off a fare he’d drive back home and pull into the driveway. Instead of investing in a radio his wife would come out on the porch and shout the next address to him. I always found that humorous and a little endearing.

A…


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In the brittle crisp of dawn

I wake

before my chronic madness

opens its eyes,

and yawns,

and stretches

poised to devour the day

And I brace my soul

for the onslaught of demons

who strike

before I can draw my shield,

before I can see the glimmer

of their shiny blades

before I can summon Ares

for service in my noble war

And I am tossed among the waves

of frenzy

licking the wounds

from swords

I cannot see.

In the white-hot light of day

I struggle

while the rabid ogres

take up arms

and dress for battle

and…


The grand experiment

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“Wouldn’t that be amazing? To get by on just 2 to 4 hours of sleep per night!” Jen exclaimed as we walked out of our Psychology classroom at university.

We had just learned about some sleep studies that argued that the conventional 8 hours of sleep was an unnecessary habit and that you could condition yourself to get by on just a fraction of that.

“I’m going to do it,” I said. “Between work and school, I need the extra time.”

“Not me,” Jen said. “I love my long slumbers. Besides, it will be so hard to…


Addiction is a serious and ever-increasing problem, with escalating costs both at the macro (society) level and the micro (personal) level. Statistics on the opioid crisis are shocking. Opioid abuse was declared a nationwide public health emergency in October 2017 after the number of deaths in the U.S. from opioid abuse rose to over 40,000 per year. But statistics only tell us the big picture — the macro view. They depict the magnitude of this drug crisis and its consequences for society.

The true agony of this crisis can only be fully understood at the human level — the micro…

Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff)

Writer and university professor researching media psych, generational studies, human and animal rights, and the intersection of art and psychology

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