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1. Introduction To Psychology and Counseling





Introduction to Psychology

Psychology can be defined as the scientific study of behavior and thinking of organisms. Psychology might be thought of as the study of how living creatures interact with their environment and each other, and how they cope (successfully or unsuccessfully) with that environment. Psychology thus overlaps with philosophy and religion as well as with other sciences such as physiology, anthropology, and sociology. Psychologists are interested in the differences among various animal species and in the ways that human beings differ from both animals and machines.

The Growth of Psychology

Psychology has had an almost exponential growth during the last few decades. A plethora of books on psychology, both technical and popular, has poured from publishers.
The progress of scientific psychology is remarkable, considering that Wilhelm Wundt first established psychology as an independent and self-sufficient academic discipline in 1879. Around the turn of the century the effect of the science of psychology began to be felt across much of Europe and America.
Early psychologists tried to do exactly what the term "psychology" imolies-study ("logy) the mind ("psyche").
During the second decade of this century a third perspective, behaviorism, was developed by American psychologist John B. Watson.
Watson argued that human behavior was due to certain laws, all derived from the fundamental principal that stimuli (events before a behavior occurs) produce a response (the behavior itself).
While the United States become enamored of behaviorism, Freud's radically different views began to emerge in Europe. Freud saw unconsciousness as the basic cause of behavior, and held that people generally have no idea of the real causes of their actions because these causes are hidden from consciousness.


Ways of Knowing

Before psychology was recognized as a distinct discipline, it was considered over the centuries is epistemology, or the question of how people know.
A second way of knowing is by authority. This involves taking someone's (or something's) word on the matter. Christians appeal to the authority of the Bible as a way of knowing about God and humanity.
Scientists also make assumptions and build their structure of knowledge on those assumptions. Reason and logic can also be used to know things.


Christianity and the Scientific Method

Schaeffer, in The God Who Is There, maintains that people are in some ways like God and in other ways more like animals and machines (Schaeffer 1968; Koteskey 1983, 26-28).
Francis of Assisi expressed this well when he spoke of being brother to the animals and heavenly bodies.

Psychology and Christianity

The fact that both psychology and the Bible provide information for daily living as well as information about how human beings can be expected to think and behave in various environments has sometimes produced tension.


2. The Biological Basis of Behavior

The relationship between biology and human behavior has been extensively explored in recent years. One aspect of this topic, how the brain functions, has been popularized by a number of books, as well as by a spectacular PBS television series entitled "The Brain" (Restak 1984). This most complicated organ of the human body has mystified and fascinated people for thousands of years. Yet in spite of considerable advances in knowledge, certain aspects of its functioning continue to elude biologists and psychologists.
The human nervous system is highly complex, made up of billions of nerve cells containing a small sea of chemicals that relay messages throughout the body. Anatomically the nervous system has two major functional components. The peripheral nervous system consists of specific nerves from the brain stem which control primarily the head and the various senses (the cranial nerves), the nerves from the spinal cord which relay impulses to and from carious parts of the body, and the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain itself is composed of two cerebral hemispheres, the brain system, the cerebellum, and the limbic system.


3. Sensation and Perception

Sensation and perception were predominant issue in the early study of scientific psychology. English anthropologist Sir Francis Galton (1907) made some of the earlier investigations of blindness and mental imagery. He found that certain persons, including at least one famous mathematician, had very poor visual imagery.
In sensation some physical stimulus (such as touch, sight, or taste) is detected and the energy of that stimulus is transformed into neural impulses to be transmitted by the nervous system. Perception is the interpreting and organizing of those neural impulses into an internal representation of reality. We sense the world around us and the way we perceive those sensations affects the way we behave.

Sensation

Certain body organs have highly specialized receptor cells, usually sensitive to only one type of physical or chemical stimulus from the environment. The eye has receptors for pressure or touch as well as for visible light, however. Hence, although the eye is most sensitive to light waves it can also respond to the pressure of a finger.
Our bodies can sense changes in pressure, pain, and temperature. In addition to such cutaneous (skin) senses, we have kinesthetic senses (such as the sense of balance) and chemical senses (our taste buds, for example). The two senses about which most is known, however, are vision and hearing.


4. Emotions

We are all familiar with emotions, but they are difficult to define. Emotion involves the affective or feeling par of experience; we feel emotional. Yet feelings are closely related to thinking since thinking certain thoughts can produce positive or negative emotions. Biologically there is arousal when emotions are felt, so this is yet another aspect of emotion. Emotion is also closely related to motivation. Emotions make us more likely to act in certain ways. While some might feel emotions are the same thing as moods, they can be distinguished by the fact that emotions do not last as long as moods and tend to be more intense (Morris 1987).
Perhaps the best way of describing what we mean by emotions is to give examples of the most common emotions. Positive emotions include wonder, elation, tenderness, joy, and surprise, while negative emotions are fear, disgust, anger, sadness, anxiety, and depression. We applaud individuals who go against the evidence and follow their feelings to find the truth of the matter (Sovine 1988). People often get married because of feelings. When a couple no longer has those feelings, they may move on to new partners. Some rely on feelings in assessing spirituality; they are disappointed if they do not "feel God's presence" in their lives.
The results of overreliance on feelings are obvious: broken homes, serial relationships, and shallow faith. It would be easy to conclude that feelings should have little or no part in the mature Christian's life.
The Bible emphasizes knowledge over feeling (Sovine 1988). The Greek word for "feeling" occur only twice in the New Testament, while "knowledge" is found 491 times. Yet many specific emotions are emphasized throughout Scripture. Christ himself experienced the full range of emotions, as the Gospels clearly indicate. Perhaps there is a middle ground where emotions can be important yet not dominate a person's life.


5. Motivation

What makes people do the things they do? The concept of motivation has been a difficult one for psychologists to define. The meaning of the word seems to change according to the individual psychologist's orientation to the study of the human being. Those who focus on human biological functioning tend to think of perceive humans as motivated primarily by inner feelings and rational decision making. Scientists who focus on humans as social beings tend to relate motivation to interpersonal functioning.
Motivation may have a variety of sources; hunger often stems from a biological drive whereas altruism may develop from interpersonal relationships, from a moral value system, or from belief in God. According to Scripture, the Holy Spirit motivates Christians to genuine love and altruistic acts.
Motivation is difficult to discuss because psychologists tend to make inferences about underlying psychological and physiological processes. Such inferences are then formalized in the concept of motivation. Much of what has been said about motivation hence may represent only an abstraction. Yet motivation is real and has two characteristics. The first is that it influences and directs behavior. The second characteristic of motivation is that it describes purposeful behavior.
The two major theories of motivation are the drive theory and the arousal theory. Each relates to biological influences, although learned drives and cognitive arousal play a larger role in current theories of motivation.




Theories of Motivation

The Drive Theory

In its simplest form, drive theory focuses on certain biological needs that are basic to life.

The Arousal Theory

In general, arousal theory differs from drive theory by suggesting that the homeo-static level may vary throughout life. Thus, past experiences and present condition.

Biological Drives

Humans have a number of biological drives or needs similar to those of animals. Hunger; thirst, pain, and pleasure are common biological motivators. Here we will discuss hunger; stress (and anxiety), and sex.


6. Learning

Learning and thinking greatly influence human behavior, although debate continues about to what degree human behavior is instinctive. We will consider in this chapter learning to be a relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of experience.
From birth on we learn to make prescribed movement of our bodies. Literally hundreds of motor skills, from speech to athletic performance, are gained by learning. We learn to walk, run, write, read, and drive a car. We learn to cope with the complexities of language and to manipulate the abstract symbols of mathematics. If we could not learn, no changes in our behavior world occur except those brought on by normal developmental processes. Unable to profit from experience, we would be doomed to follow our previous patterns.
For Christians, learning has additional dimensions. Fellowship and sharing with other believers can provide a broad base of experience. Also, Christians have the Scriptures to guide their development and learning. Hence an understanding of learning mechanisms should be of special importance to Christian believers, helping them not only to grow personally but also to be more effective in  their ministry to others.
The three basic models of learning are classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning.

Classical Conditioning

Credit for the development of classical conditioning theory is unusually given to Russian physiologist Ivan P. Pavlov (1849-1936). In the early 1900s, however, E. B. Twitmyer at the University of Pennsylvania began to investigate the knee jerk reflex. Physicians use the reflex for diagnostic purposes. An abnormal response would suggest that the patient has suffered damage to the spinal cord.

Operant Conditioning

Learning which events in the environment are predictably related (conditional) is beneficial for adaptation and survival.

Operant versus Classical Conditioning

The distinction between operant and classical conditioning should be kept clearly in mind. Operant conditioning focuses on what occurs after the behavior (the consequences) while classical conditioning is more concerned with what occurs before the behavior (the antecedents).

Observational Learning (Modeling)

Bandura (1969) proposes that much of the behavior we display has been learned or modified by watching models engage in those actions. Such models include parents, teachers, peers, and television performers.



7. Memory, Cognition, and Self-Esteem

Memory

Memory, which plays a significant role in physical as well as intellectual activity, is a basic component of human wholeness. How memory works is still something of a mystery. Although scientists have identified several parts of the brain that seem to participate in the storage of information and have distinguished two separate storage processes: short-term and ling-term memory.
In human beings, far more that in any other species, the processing of information goes beyond simply receiving and coding imput information. Human information of input into a storage area.

Cognition

Thinking has been defined as the ability to manipulate and organize elements in the environment by means of symbols instead of physical acts. Symbols include gestures, words, pictures, diagrams, and abstract entities such as numbers.
Cognition includes images and words. Images are mental pictures of actual sensory experiences.

Developing Healthy Self-Esteem

One's self-concept begins to develop in early childhood and becomes more elaborated and stable during adolescence and adulthood. Yet the self-concept may become less than optimal as a result of feelings of inferiority or poor self-esteem.
It is easy to impress on young children that they are inferior because they are physically smaller than young adults around them, and more clumsy, ignorant, and naive. Parents and older siblings dictate their every move.

Parental Value System

A major factor in the development of self-worth is the influence of parental value systems. No matter what parents say, their actual focus may be on materialism, athletics, good looks, intelligence, or humanitarianism rather than godly character.

Athletics

Young people's self-worth is influenced considerably by how they are regarded by their peers.

Appearance

Millions of Americans experience inferiority feelings from comparing their real or imagined physical defects with the physical attributes of others.

Taking care of God's temple

Loving self in a way that will please God includes taking care of our bodies.




Spiritual aspects of self-worth

A person who becomes a Christian is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), but is still far from sinless perfection. Sanctification, the process of becoming more and more like Christ, is almost always gradual. The new Christian is like a spiritual infant. Peter admonishes new believers: "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Pet. 2:2).
Paul's assurance that God will help believers overcome temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
Self-worth comes from doing what we know is right and wrong.



8. Intelligence

Nearly everyone has heard of an IQ or "Intelligence quotient," a measure of intellect derived from score on an intelligence test. Some believe that an IQ score is a measure of innate intelligence or mental potential. Most everyone is also familiar with the term "mental retardation," which refers to a deficit in intelligence. People also talk about "senile" individuals. Sometimes those at the other end of the intelligence spectrum, the "gifted," receive special attention in advanced classes or programs. All of these categories in one wat or another relate to the general concept of intelligence.
What does intelligence mean, how do psychologists measure it, and what are people like at each end of the spectrum of intelligence? (These are the issues to be considered in this chapter).

What Is Intelligence?

Intelligence is a difficult concept for psychologists to define and describe. The ability to learn is often emphasized as part of intelligence.
Sternberg et al. (1981) asked a number of people on the street what they thought the characteristics of intelligence were.  What is intelligence? Their conclusions were surprisingly similar to those of experts in the area: intelligence includes a good vocabulary, making wise decisions, planing ahead, and displaying interest in the world at large. This would suggest that the psychological views of intelligence are not that far removed from popular views.

Theories of Intelligence

A number of theories of intelligence have been suggested. Structuralism emphasizes problem-solving abilities. Piaget, for example, believes that these abilities are wrapped up in mental structures and are wrapped up in mental structures and logic.

Intelligence: Inherited, Learned, or Unique?

Mental abilities vary widely among the adults of any particular culture. Is this primarily because of heredity or because of differences in early childhood environment to mental development is still debated (the "nature verses nurture" controversy).


9. Social Psychology

Social psychology is concerned with social influences upon the individual. Because it emphasizes the individual, it qualifies as psychology, yet because of its focus on the social situation it has much in common with sociology. Thus the general area where sociology and psychology overlap is called social psychology, although the topic involves far more than simply trying to find common ground between the two disciplines.
In his excellent introduction to social psychology, Myer (1987) has identified three areas of consideration in social psychology: the way people think about one another, how they influence one another, and how they relate to each other. These three topic comprise the content of the present chapter.

Attitudes

Social psychologists are concerned not only with the formation of attitudes but also with how attitudes can be influenced and changed. An attitude is made up of thought, feeling, and a predisposition to act upon that thought and feeling. Sheer thought is the basis of an opinion. While thought and feeling may technically make up an attitude, a third factor, behavior, is likely to result.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is an inner tension resulting from the attempt to hold t재 contrasting thoughts at the same time (Festinger 1957). One of those thoughts may result from behavior. Therefore, if an attitude contradicts action, dissonance result. When dissonance occurs, the individual tries to relieve that tension by changing opinions, changing actions, or adding new ideas to thinking.



Social Influence

Whether we like it or not, we influence others and, in turn, are influenced by them. The Bible gives social influence proper credit. Repeatedly in the Old Testament believers are told to avoid the evil influences of the world, yet inflence others to enter the kingdom of God.

Other Methods of Influence

Fear seems to be effective only if the feared consequences are perceived as realistic by the listeners.
A second method of influence is identification.
A third method, and he method that is usually the most permanent and effective is that of internalization.

Power and Obedience

In order to study the effects of power on obedience to an authority, Milgram (1974) told experimental subjects that they were participating in a study of learning using a shocking device. The supposed point of the research was to see if learning would be more likely as a result of receiving punishment.



10. Child Development

Theories of Child Development

Theories of child development help organize the pattern of development from conception to adolescence. There are five theories relates to a different aspect of the child's life. They overlap to some extent, however, thus underscoring the holistic nature of the person.
Before considering these theories, we need to discern whether patterns of child development occur in stages. Strictly speaking, stages refer to differences in children that roughly correspond with age. These stages are generally held to be discrete, sequential, cumulative, and uniform (all children go through the same stages). The underlying assumption is that certain abilities exist at the same time, and this clustering of abilities is designated as a particular stage. As we compare the behavior of the child at age five and at age ten, major changes can be observed.
Why is there a lack of uniformity among children? Moods and environmental
influences affect the performance of children, so they may seem-to be in one-stage one day, and the previous stage the next. In addition, children may seem to be in two stages at once because of faulty ways of measuring-stages. On the other hand, perhaps the theory do not adequately describe stages; they may need to be refined.
In summary, we can say that a child's development is orderly and in sequences; uneven (it occurs in spurts); unique and the result of both maturation and learning.

Freud's Psychosexual Theory

Freud (1905) developed what was once the Standard psychological approach to
understanding children. Freud did not work directly with children, but based his
theory of child development on a reconstruction of childhood experiences narrated
by the adults he treated. He concluded that children go through five major stages of "psychosexual" development.
These stages (oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital) are organized around sexual
maturation and involve the child's search for pleasure which focuses on different
parts of the body at different ages, body areas Freud termed "erogenous zones."

Erikson's Social-Emotional Theory

At each stage of Erikson's social-emotional theory of child development, the individual is confronted with two possible choices. While the positive is clearly preferable to the negative.
Erikson emphasizes that the key issue in infancy is trust versus mistrust. If children become attached to the mother and are thus assured of her presence and care, they will tend to develop a strong tie that makes them secure and out going later.
During the toddler years the development of either autonomy or shame is the focus.
Erikson sees initiative versus guilt to be the most important issue during the
preschool years.
The school-aged child is marked by the development of either industry or inferiority.

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

According to Piaget, cognitive development occurs "as children discover and learn to apply rules that govern interaction with the environment. As children perceive discrepancies between their simple concepts and environmental events, they form new concepts to-account for them.

Sensorimotor (Birth-18 months)

Most development is sensory (interpreting environmental stimuli) and motor (rapidly developing motor [movement] skills).

Preoperational (18 months-6yrs.)

Gaining vocabulary and basic facts about environment rapidly.




Concrete Operations (6-11yrs.)

Gaining rapidly in reasoning ability but reasoning is still quite black and white; learning is concrete.

Formal Operations (begins 11-12 yrs.)

Continual improvement. if educated properly, in ability to reason abstractly (understanding analogies, parables, proverbs, abstract concepts, and generally deeper thoughts).

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

Beginning with Piaget's theory, Kohlberg (1983) has developed a theory of how children develop moral reasoning abilities.
Kohlberg believes that children lack consistent moral reasoning until the preschool years, when they begin to reason from a punishment orientation. Power and the likelihood of punishment influence the child's reasons about why particular acts are good or bad. most children progress to the good girl-good boy approach to moral reasoning, where the approval of others becomes paramount. Wilcox (1979, 96) indicates that this form of reasoning can develop as early as age ten. By the teen-age years the person is capable of Kohlberg's_ fourth stage, which consists of an orientation toward law and authority. Doing one's duty and maintaining social
order are considered important.

Fowler's Stage of Faith

Fowler, building upon the work of Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg, has developed
a theory of how faith develops. It is important to note that Fowler's definition
of faith does not necessarily mean religious faith; for Fowler, faith is a process of relating to what is most important in life. For the Christian this would be God, but for other people this could be something else.
Infancy is characterized by primal faith. Trust is the precursor to faith as children begin to separate themselves from the objects in the outside world, particularly the mother. In the preschool years the first real stage develops, intuitive-projective faith, which is imaginative and not controlled by logic. The child forms images of protecting and threatening powers in life, including God and Satan.
A second stage, mythic-literal faith, begins during the school years. Here the meaning of life is primarily represented in stories, with facts clearly being separated from fantasy and speculation.

Elementary School Years:
Ages Six to Twelve

Sexual Development

It is vitally important for school-age boys to identify with males and for girls to identify with females. Without such identification, children may later suffer sexual maladjustments in marriage or be inclined toward homosexuality.






11. Adolescent and Adult Development

Adolescent Development

Lidz (1968, 299) defines adolescence as "the period between pubescence and physical maturity. . . the transition from childhood, initiated by the prepubertal spurt of growth and impelled by the hormonal changes of puberty, to the attainment of adult prerogatives, responsibilities,
and self-sufficiency." Many significant changes take place between the ages of twelve and sixteen.
At age twelve, a son or daughter is still considered a child. Four years later, that son or daughter has become a young man or young woman with an adult body, reproductive ability, and a desire for independence. These four years are probably the most difficult years of a person's life. The major adjustments that must be made in this period can be greatly facilitated by encouraging independent decision making and spiritual maturity during the first twelve years of life. Of course, parental guidance and discipline are necessary until children are on their own at age eighteen.
A major growth spurt, occurring at different ages in different individuals, initiates adolescence. That growth is accompanied by profound changes in social behavior. Consistent with Freud's theory (see chap. 10), a ten- or twelve-year-old may like other children of the same sex and hate those of the opposite sex, except, maybe, for a favorite or two. By age fourteen, most boys have decided that girls are not so bad after all. In fact, they may find it difficult to think about anything else. When boys begin spending more time with girls, old friendships may be broken up, especially with boys not yet interested in girls. Peer groups are rearranged, producing marked feelings of ambivalence toward individuals of both sexes. Children who were once friends can become competitors or even bitter enemies.

Theories of Adolescence
Piaget's formal operations

Piaget emphasizes that the early formal operations stage is characterized by an inflexible use of new mental abilities (Piaget 1967,64). Although adolescents may be able to understand possibilities in a new situation, this understanding is not realistic.
Later, as adolescents have experience thinking at a formal operational level, they become more flexible in the use of these mental abilities.

Erikson's identity stage

During the adolescent years the teen. age struggles with role confusion versus
role identity (Erikson 1963). Adolescents question who they are and where they are going. In the process they develop their own self-concept 'as opposed to the self-concept acquired from others. This often involves a questioning of the basics of society, morality, and religion.
This time of questioning and searching is difficult for teen and parent alike, but it
can be good. In the process adolescents develop their own faith rather than borrow a faith from others.





Coping with the Adolescent
Maintaining Communication

Keeping the lines of communication open is extremely important in families with teen-agers. Many families temporarily regress to earlier modes of behavior, as parents symbolically relive their own youth.

Peer pressure

Young children's allegiance is to their parents. Because they want their parents to love them, they largely stay in line with parental wishes. But especially in early adolescence, allegiance is switched from parents to peers. To some extent, most adolescents adopt the morals of their peers.

Sex

The onset of puberty brings problems of menstruation, masturbation, and wet dreams (nocturnal emissions).
The sex drive is greatest in males at about age seventeen or eighteen, when androgens reach their peak level.

Adult Development

The subject of adult development has only recently been investigated by psychologists. Thus many of the present conclusions in this area are tentative at best. The adult tears can be divided into three periods: early adulthood (age 20-30), middle adulthood (ages 40-65), ad later adulthood (postretirement years).

Early Adulthood

Erikson describes the early adult years as the time when the individual chooses either the intimacy of close relationships and/or marriage, with the requisite sacrifices, or chooses the path to isolation because of the fear. A mutual and loving heterosexual relationship is the norm for these years of life. The intimacy of marriage and sexual relationships results in the formation of a new family.

Middle Adulthood

At about age forty, a person enters midlife.
Jung suggests that during middle age there is a shift from an emphasis upon outer aspects of like to inner aspects of like. Those over age forty generally are oriented toward spiritual issues. Midlife is often portrayed as a time of intense questioning and career change or divorce.

Later Adulthood

The later years of life are marked by a gradual decline in both physical and mental abilities. Although there is a tendency to stereotype elderly people as "old and senile," many maintain their mental abilities for decades, even though they are more likely to suffer from illness and physical impairment. Many of the elderly are faced with poor housing, loneliness, and a loss of social status as well as income.
Erikson (1963) note that this time of like involves the crisis of ego integrity as opposed to despair.



12. Personality

Personality is the ingrained pattern of behavior, thoughts, and feelings
consistent across situations and time. Although we tend to act differently depending upon whom we are talking to, there are certain tendencies in behavior and thinking which persist regardless of the situation or person.

Theories of Personality


While there are a number of theories of personality, four have become dominant in this century. One of the oldest theories of personality is the trait theory. The ancient Greeks categorized people as people as phlegmatic (emotionless), choleric (active and irritable), sanguine (happy), and melancholic (depressive). LaHaye (1971) attempted to incorporate these temperaments into a Christian framework, but most psychologists would agree that these categories are hopelessly dated.

Sheldon (1942) maintains that personality is linked to body type.
Allport (1937) holds that there are three kinds of traits: cardinal traits influence personality the most; central traits are more common but not all-consuming; and secondary traits are preferences in given situations.
Freud (1900) saw personality as a matter of hidden, unconscious conflict(s between the id (innate basic drives) and the superego.



13. The Psychology of Religion

The psychology of religion attempts to find psychological factors in religious belief and practice. Thus it has historically tended to be critical of religious faith, although this has not always been the case.

Freud's View of Religion

In his Future of an Illusion (1927), Freud vents much hostility toward religion, declaring that it can be compared with neurosis (mental illness). He expresses the hope that religion will soon come to an end. Freud maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes an infantile regression.

Jung's Archetypes

While Jung (1933) initially followed Freudian thought, he later broke away from Freud partly because he saw the unconscious mind as being in two parts rather than one as Freud did. In addition to the personal unconsciousness, Jung alsoposited a collective unconsciousness, an endowment which each person receives from experiences people have had throughout human history. In this collective unconsciousness are hidden symbols which Jung termed "archetypes."
Among these archetypes are the God image and the image of evil.

Allport's Theory of Religious Prejudice

Allport suggests that religious individuals are more prejudiced than nonreligious
individuals (Allport and Kramer 1946). Religious people tend to justify their prejudice by appealing to religious sanctions, such as quoting verses of Scripture out of context.


Defining Abnormality

The emphasis on dysfunction in the above definition implies that psychological problems are the result of inadequate inner functioning.



15. Psychotherapy and Personal Counseling

Many people think that the discipline of psychology is synonymous with counseling and therapy. But psychology is much more than this. Psychology is the study of the psyche, the individual person, and encompasses all aspects of the person. Therapy
and counseling can be seen as the art of helping people overcome their problems, and, more positively, helping them grow in mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
The term "psychotherapy" is often used to describe the process of helping people who have severe problems, such as those described in the previous chapter. Psychotic disorders and other major psychological problems require intensive treatment by professionals who have spent many years learning to deal specifically with those problems. Counseling, on the other hand, is a more general term referring to the process of helping people with more common problems such as
marriage and family difficulties. Counselors may have as many years of training as therapists, but they are less likely to be oriented toward severe mental disorders. Therapy attempts to make relatively permanent changes, while counseling is oriented toward giving advice.
Yet the distinction is not that simple, as therapists and counselors
both make use of conversational techniques; they both counsel and
thus can each rightly be called counselors. In addition, counselors
often use therapeutic techniques that were developed from working
with the severely disturbed. Generally we can say that therapists are
counselors but that not all counselors are therapists.































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