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Essay/Term paper: Carl rogers

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Psychology

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Eventually I am going to briefly explain the important parts of these chapters because I need to take up some room and I am not quite sure about what to write. So here is a little description of what, like it or not, this paper is going to contain. I"ll start of with my thoughts and feelings about the structure and uniqueness of The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child, then get into the actual body of the book and talk about what I thought was interesting and what I think is still used today. Of course using my petite knowledge about the psychology of today and modern-day institutions and therapy. After that I am going to delve into Way of Life and do the same thing. The Way of Life section will probably be considerably shorter because of my limited interested in the book and my blatant laziness. Plus we had to have two sources and I decided to pick the two books that he wrote near the beginning of his career and near the end.
There were a few stylistic things about the book that impressed me enough to include them into this paper. First off, it was written in 1939 when the study of psychology was in its infancy. At the end of every chapter or section throughout the book there is a bibliography showing every source that was cited. I think this is a very clever way to let people know that there is a science behind psychology and it is not all blind conjecture. I think that was very insightful and very much a slap in the face to everyone that didn"t believe in psychology (of course if they put no stock in psychology they would not have read the book, but hey he tried).
Preface
"The primary purpose of this volume is to describe and discuss the variety of treatment skills actually used in clinical work. These "ways of practice," which have been evolving over a score of years, are set forth in organized fashion, in hope that their presentation will lead to a better understanding of treatment techniques and a more critical consideration of their use." This guy seems to genuinely want to establish psychology as a science and I think it is neat how easily he can simultaneously write to an audience of professionals in their field to someone like me with absolutely no background in psychology.
Factors that Influence Behavior
He mentions the Hereditary Factor, the Organic Influences, the Family, the Cultural and Social Influences, the Needs of the Organism, and the Interaction of Factors. May of the above mentioned Factors we have already discussed in class, which leads to to believe that Carl Rogers was either extremely ahead of his time, or that psychology has not advanced a great deal over the last fifty years. Probably a little bit of both, because Mr. Rogers states several times that he in no way claims to have all of the answers. "This is not to say, of course, that such qualities for any individual can be predicted by measurements of the parents, since the complex process of genes contributed by the parents insures variability as well as similarity" (pg.5). Being humble is always a bonus, especially if you went to college for ten years and know everything.
The Foster Home as a Means of Treatment
I can"t tell if the author is criticizing the use of Foster Homes or if he is criticizing the reasons children are placed into these dwellings but there is definitely some sarcasm in the way he speaks of the Foster Home. He says "Even the psychiatrist, who more than most is apt to depend on processes that are internal rather than external, falls back with surprising frequency on gross changes of environment to accomplish his purpose" (pg. 63). I personally think that the only reason a child should be put in a foster home is if the parents are deemed unable or unworthy to raise the child. There are much better places for juvenile delinquents than a foster home, like a boot camp or jail.
Types of Institutional Treatment
This is one area that I think has changed greatly in the past fifty years and yet stayed the same . The goal of the institution is a "confused one". "Punishment is looked upon as almost inevitably a part of the goal, treatment of the child"s behavior being in many cases a secondary aim" (pg. 109). Treatment in an Institution is a joke; there is no such thing. The only reason that patients seem to improve, or tell the doctor that they have been rehabilitated is so they can get out of the institution. That is my opinion of 1999 and good old Carl said, "All to often the two aims (punishment, treatment) are mingled so that the moralistic punishments are meted out with the thought that they will in some miraculous fashion improve the behavior of the child, in utter disregard if everything that we have come to know regarding the causation and treatment of behavior" (pg 109). That stuff is all the same, but today the use of Institutions and what is required to be admitted to them is radically different, possibly due to modifications of the penal system or wider range of illegal activities. Most Institutions now deal almost exclusively with drugs and alcohol. But there are other problems dealt with as well such as homicidal threats, aggression problems, run-a-ways, and suicide. The book doesn"t really say why they institutionalized people in that period of time, but I took the Institutions of this time period to be like jails for children. I wrote way too much on this one. I do think that Institutions have changed very radically but are probably no better off.
Means of Changing Parental Attitudes
There are some interesting situations outlined in this chapter but instead of copying them verbatim I a simply going to summarize the cool ones and tell how they are a means to change parental attitudes. Direct Education was the one that struck me as the most simple and most logical is the one with "extreme limitations". The situation is as follows, a mother requests the help of a psychologist for her unmanageable child who has never been to school (she is 11). The physician realizes at little more than a glance that the child is a "Mongolian" and her mental development is that of a three year-old. Even after the mother was told that there was no cure and the child would never develop past this point the mother insisted that the child could read and write. While the mother was saying this, her child was making unintelligible noises, drooling, and other things that three year olds do. She blames the child"s state on the fact that she has never been allowed to attend school, but reluctantly admits that four other psychologists have diagnosed her daughter with the same condition. That is more or less the situation and later Rogers says, "The fact that parents may be able easily to absorb training for a job, or to educate themselves in regard to current events, or to learn a new system of contract bridge, does not mean that they can learn even simply factual data when this goes contrary to their emotional needs"(pg. 186)." This man is a genius, he just summed my parents up in one sentence. They will not accept the fact that I don"t wear diapers anymore and constantly talk about the good old days when I was normal, I am getting older and I think this is "contrary to their emotional needs" so they don"t accept it.
The next ones are Interpretive and Relationship therapy but how can those top the beautifully written section on Direct Education. I skimmed over them and I"m sure you know what they are anyways.
On to the next "source", the Way of Being by Carl Rogers. This book has an interesting introduction where the author makes himself look good by talking about all of the things that have happened in his lifetime and about how he was an instrumental part of it all thorough his books on counseling and psychotherapy. I think he was just getting old and needed something to keep him from getting senile and to leave a farewell book that summed up his entire life"s work. He says, "This book encompasses the changes that have taken place during the past decade – roughly, the seventies. It brings together diverse material which I have written in recent years (pg. Vii)." Blah, Blah, Blah…
There are four main parts to this book and if I had the time or the energy I would not mind reading it all. Part One deals with Personal Experiences and Perspectives of the author, his "Experiences in Communication" and his "Philosophy of Interpersonal Relationships and How they Grow" garbage like that. The next section, "Aspects of a Person-Centered Approach" I thought was neat and described a technique that I had never heard of and never seem used. "The first element could be called genuineness, realness, or congruence. The more the therapist is himself or herself in the relationship, putting up no professional front or personal façade, the greater is the likelihood that the client will change and grow in a constructive manner" (pg. 114). This sounds cool, but in reality if therapists did this the career of a therapist would be drastically shortened, because I don"t think there is any way a therapist without defenses could handle everyone else"s problems all day every day. So they would have to make a trade-off between being a career mediocre therapist or a really good therapist for about five years before they become postal workers.
Sections three and four were stupid so I"ll just leave it at that.
In conclusion, Mr. Rogers did really fit the mold of the hug-me psychiatrist that I thought he would. I don"t really see why he is a humanist or maybe it"s the fact that I still really don"t know what a humanist is. Either way, I think he is a pretty sensible person who does not make up facts and figures and who has apparently been in the game for a long time. You have to respect that, but I bet he never had kids of his own.
 

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