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Personal Theory Paper

Many mental health experts say that five to ten times women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence (de Benedictis et al. , 2004. accessed in www. helpguide. org). Although cases of violence inflicted upon men have risen to media attention these days, this paper will serve to illumine on the prevalence, causes and factors, studies made, prevention and treatment on the incidence of domestic violence in the country as experienced by women intimate partners.

The issue of domestic violence is as early as the story of “Abel and Cain. ” Unfortunately, although it is an ancient problem, until now (at present), there is no uniformity reached as to the right statistics regarding the issue. This is due to two factors which, the second is the by-product of the first. 1. ) Intimate Partner Violence is not clearly defined. “What it is” and “how can it be said that it is committed. ” The information available is not compatible (www. cdc. gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipv.

htm). One information states that “stalking” and “psychological abuse” are defined as IPV, while other data believe that “physical violence” and “sexual abuse” only are the cases to be classified as domestic violence or IPV (www. cdc. gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipv. htm). 2. ) As a result of these varying data, available statistics do not reflect a coherent whole which, when achieved, will then merit the attention that the problem of domestic violence (Intimate Partner Violence, IPV) long needs.

Because of these discrepancies in all of the accessible data, the consensus is reached that the magnitude of the problem is not realized and is underestimated. Mainly, all reports on domestic violence and IPV come from police records, hospitals/clinics, and organizations that are nongovernmental. In the practice of counseling and psychotherapy, one of the crucial roles any practitioner must be able competent of is the diagnosis of women who are at risk in domestic arrangements.

Experts rely on some distinguishing signs or marks that pinpoint to a cycle of abuse. However, more often problems lie on this fact; those who were properly diagnosed and recognized are in actual grave difficulty and danger because there are psychological dimensions and considerations that come into play in this dilemma of domestic violence. That is, the typical abused spouse rarely gets out of the relationship inspite of threats to her physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

In fact in a related study on mental health, more than sixty percent of the women confined and admitted in mental health hospitals are assumed to have been victims of domestic violence (Rangavajhula, 2004 in Carmen et al lit. 1984). The rise of domestic violence make up many of the cases that therapists today meet in their practice. The facts mentioned here are specifically drawn to point out the need for the role of therapists in interventions and overall pursuit of community mental health.

Psychology has made great strides in the development of principles and methods and the discovery of facts which find useful application in various aspects of everyday life. The objectives of psychology are : (1) to understand human behavior; (2) to predict human behavior by means of observation and experiment; (3) to influence or alter the behavior of he individual or group in desirable ways so that he can achieve the goal he desires (Adelman, 1995). Behavior is described and analyzed.

On this basis, an attempt to predict behavior is possible, and although this may not thoroughly and completely be accomplished in some endeavors, the basic understanding then is that there are certain expectations concerning how any person would act or decide upon things that are within his conscious awareness. Psychology is of great importance to man since psychological problems are common to group relations, in whatever framework a person or group of individuals come from (Adelman, 1995).

The position taken on with this paper is to establish my own theory of the nature of behavior and putting these in the milieu of the helping relationship. It starts with a basic understanding of human behavior coming from various viewpoints or perspectives. Then it discusses the reasons why an individual becomes mentally sick or develops unhealthy patterns of behaving towards anything that affect him. This includes the maladjustments that are usually prevalent in a person’s day-to-day functioning especially if and when he has not learned or developed the skills of rightly apprehending the tests of life, so to speak.

The work of a counselor is a privilege since the counselee or client will be unfolding his life and makes himself vulnerable to a stranger. It is not an easy choice to make hence, all the training and knowledge would be indispensable to help the client reveal and trust himself to another. Counseling is not a very easy job. But it can be facilitated well when there is a clear vision of what and how it unfolds in the relationship that is established with the client (Anderson et al. , 2000). II. Discussion The paper is divided into different parts and meant to answer to the requirements stated as follows.

A. Summary of my overall approach Significant to point out that practitioners play a vital role in the recognition of the problem. Presenting a working solution like interventions, which are usually expected from governmental and non-governmental units, will only have its efficacy when those who work with these victims at the frontlines will be able to recognize or identify at-risk families. Research done by Rangavajhula et al. , suggests that professionals should ask the intimate partners whenever they are confronted with various symptoms (Rangavajhula, 2004 in Carmen et al lit.

1984). Accordingly, this means a “mandatory screening as a part of history taking” which all physicians typically do in consultations. Furthermore, said study emphasized the need for improvement of current training programs to strengthen doctors’ competency in this vulnerable aspect. Concerned people not only includes the victims or spouses (and oftentimes, the children who are involved or caught “in the crossfire” between dissenting parents), but the perpetrators themselves, who may still be able to get counseling and/or therapeutic treatment or interventions.

The overall goal is not to separate families whenever possible (Anderson et al. , 2000). Psychology is the scientific of human behavior and mental processes; a study which is of considerable interest to almost all people. In the pursuit of this study is the important feature of understanding the goals or objectives. To describe, explain and predict behavior and if possible control or modify it, are the main objectives of this scientific discipline.

These objectives confine as well as broaden student’s approach towards a deeper perspective of the field in the sense that he/she will have a grasp on the variety of subject matters that psychology provides, the advances or breakthroughs it has attained, its inadequacies and shortcomings, as well as forthcoming challenges the discipline faces. Since human individuals are complex and changing, the study is fascinating yet possesses a certain degree of difficulty. Fascinating because it explores all the facets of being human and possessing a certain degree of difficulty because of its multifarious sub-disciplines (Adelman, 1995).

Sigmund Freud offered a psychoanalytic viewpoint on the diagnosis and understanding of a person’s mental health. Other perspectives, the behavioristic paradigm offers to see this in a different light. The psychoanalytic perspective emphasizes childhood experiences and the role of the unconscious mind in determining future behavior and in explaining and understanding current based on past behavior. Basing on his personality constructs of the Id, Ego and the Superego, Freud sees a mentally healthy person as possessing what he calls Ego strength.

On the other hand, the behavior therapist sees a person as a “learner” in his environment, with the brain as his primary organ of survival and vehicle for acquiring his social functioning. With this paradigm, mental health is a result of the environment’s impact on the person; he learns to fear or to be happy and therein lies the important key in understanding a person’s mental state (Corey, 2004). Considering that the achievement and maintenance of mental health is one of the pursuits of psychology, the following is a brief outline of what psychologists would endorse a healthy lifestyle.

The individual must consider each of the following and incorporate these in his/her day to day affairs: 1. The Biological perspective – well-being emphasis than the illness model 2. The Christian or Biblical Perspective – a vital spiritual growth must be on check. 3. The Health Psychologist’s viewpoint- emotional and relationship factors in balance. 4. The Nutritionist’s viewpoint – putting nutrition and health as top priority. 5. The Physical Health Expert’s Perspective- Nutrition and Exercise as part of a daily rigid routine.

The theory I have in mind then is a combination of several approaches, primarily the integration of the Christian worldview and the theories set forth by Cognitive-behaviorists and psychoanalytic models, and biological/physical continuum. There are other good models but a lot of reasons exist why they cannot be “good enough;” a lot depends on my own personality. Being authentic to who you are, your passion, is effectively communicated across an audience whether it is a negative or positive one (Anderson et al. , 2000). B. Philosophy and Basic Assumptions

~What does a mentally healthy person look like and how are his traits different from those who are mentally ill or are developing a certain form of illness. Health psychologists emphasize the cooperation of the mind and the body and this vital relatiionship may mean a lot in terms of psychosomatic illnesses and mental illnesses. It is fundamental lesson then that a person or any person for that matter has both the common characteristics and individual traits unique to him/herself alone. This also entail that the combination of these traits make his or her distinctiveness.

With the different behavioral styles, an overall pattern of various characteristics is seen. Like a “psychograph,” a person’s profile is pulled together and at a glance, the individual can be compared with other people in terms of relative strengths and weaknesses. The term mentally ill is still scary to a lot of people. The mass media alone is enough to build this picture which often depict mental illness in unsettling manners. The prevalence of criminal investigation programs on television has become proof to this fact. In some cases, adolescents suffering from a mental illness do act unpredictably or even dangerously.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, most of the symptoms of mental illnesses can be controlled (Lewinsohn, 1999). Many of the disorders or mental illnesses recognized today without a doubt have their psychodynamic explanation aside from other viewpoints like that of the behaviourist, or the cognitivists. From simple childhood developmental diseases to Schizophrenia, there is a rationale that from Freud’s camp is able to explain (Lewinsohn, 1999). ~ What constitutes a mentally/emotionally healthy person and what causes a person to become dysfunctional?

The Christian point of view argues that man is not necessarily or inherently good and that starts him off to a bad start. The environment further either encourages that innate evil or tones it down. However, the basic idea is that there is a spiritual aspect and this is addressed in what the Christian Scriptures declare as the “renewing of the mind. ” Because this is an integrated approach, it recognizes the work of science with the concept or understanding that all valid and empirical data are proofs of the Judeo-Christian truths (Broger, 1991). Psychology reminds us of the differing opinions of experts in this field.

It talks about personality which represents all that the mind, or the mental and affective aspects of a person. People talk a lot about personality or behavior as if it’s such an uncomplicated and unfussy concept, but they end up having difficulty defining it when asked. They are apt to say that it (behavior or personality in general) is something a person “has. ” They describe the behavioral components of particular people in words like “friendly,” “nice,” “forceful,” or “aggressive,” to paint a picture of what they mean by the term and as a result end, instead, in vague descriptions of how a person usually behaves with other people.

On the other hand, when we base our descriptions on concrete and observable actions that people commonly do or adapt, we come up with what experts call as “behavioral profile. ” There are different styles of behavior as well as there are no right and wrong profile. When we come up with correct profiling, the expected result is that we develop ways of getting to know a more concise and accurate picture of ourselves, or people in general (Corey, 2004; Adelman, 1995). A healthy personality does not mean it does not have any difficulties at all. It means that a person has the capabilities to withstand any turmoil or stress that come his way.

He has learned the skills to make him adjust to the internal and external stresses; minimizing conflicts from within and without but in a healthy and normal functioning way (Corey, 2004; Adelman, 1995). ~ How does personal growth occur in the context of your therapy? Personal growth occurs in the context of self-insights; insights concerning the workings of one’s mind in relation to the structures and stimuli around the person. He self-insight is very significant and crucial to the client for him to be able to work well with those who are there to assist in his recovery and eventual personal growth (Corey, 2004; Lewinsohn, 1999).

~ What makes your theory work? Christian counselors are prepared to help their clients sort the distinctions and similarities between psychology and the Christian faith. This is important because basic to therapy success is that when therapist and client share similar worldviews, the therapy may then advance. Moreover, Christian counselors and those in this kind of profession should really pursue real interest and deep thirst for a systematic and regular study of the Bible. If they do not do so, they will be deficient of the overall grasp of the Bible’s structure and content and lack a working knowledge of basic biblical doctrines.

A deep and thriving relationship and commitment to an equally gifted Bible – believing church will also benefit the counselor in his/her personal life and practice, thus a necessary requirement (Anderson et al. , 2000). C. Key Concepts ~ Explain the primary points of your theory as if you were to summarize it quickly for someone The Psychodynamic perspective is based on the work of Sigmund Freud. He created both a theory to explain personality and mental disorders, and the form of therapy known as psychoanalysis.

The psychodynamic approach assumes that all behavior and mental processes reflect constant and often unconscious struggles within the person. These usually involved conflicts between our need to satisfy basic biological instincts, for example, for food, sex or aggression, and the restrictions imposed by society. Not all of those who take a psychodynamic approach accept all of Freud’s original ideas, but most would view abnormal or problematic behavior as the result of a failure to resolve conflicts adequately.

Many of the disorders or mental illnesses recognized today without a doubt have their psychodynamic explanation aside from other viewpoints like that of the behaviourist, or the cognitivists. From simple childhood developmental diseases to Schizophrenia, there is a rationale that from Freud’s camp is able to explain (Corey, 2004). In the psychodynamic theory, the following three assumptions help guide a student of human behavior or an expert in this field determine the underlying factors that explain the overt manifestations of specific behaviors.

These assumptions therefore, help guide the diagnosis of the presence or absence of mental illness. They are the same assumptions that guide the therapist in choosing what treatment that will better help heal, cure or alleviate the symptoms (Corey, 2004). The goals of treatment here include alleviating patient of the symptoms which specifically works to uncover and work through unconscious conflict. Employing the psychodynamic viewpoint, the therapist or social scientist believes that emotional conflicts, or neurosis, and/or disturbances in the mind are caused by unresolved conflicts which originated during childhood years.

In the psychodynamic approach the treatment modality frequently used includes dreams and free association, at times hypnosis (as preferred by either the therapist or by the client). The therapist actively communicates with the client in the on-going sessions. The scenario appears that a given patient may have up to five times a week session and runs up to five years in length (Corey, 2004). The value of the psychoanalytic point of view has something to do with its deterministic stance that in a sense is I believed borrowed from the Jewish doctrine in the Bible and the Christian re-emphasis of it.

The contribution of the understanding of the biological basis of motivation and workings in one’s body or functioning is equally important. Hence, the works of health psychologists and biologists and medicine should go hand in hand (Adelman, 1995; Otten et al. , 2009). D. Therapeutic Goals ~ What are your general goals in therapy? Christian counseling admittedly embraces in reality, a basic integration of the biblical precepts on the view of man and psychology’s scientific breakthroughs in addressing the dilemmas that beset human individuals.

Depending on the persuasion of the practitioner, especially whether he or she comes from either the purely theological or “secular” preparation, Christian counseling can either lean to certain degrees of theology or psychology. Different modalities offered in the text are all noteworthy including, the cognitive-behavioral and the person centered approaches. However, as I weighed all these things together, I see the practicality and the fundamental truths all wrapped together in what I have combined here.

The goal then is to help my client see his/her problems in the light of the tension between Christian doctrine and Science (Anderson et al. , 2000). E. Therapeutic Relationship The therapeutic process is initiated by the therapist primarily as soon as the client or others who refer or brought the patient in for the assumed long haul of the healing relationship. It would be impossible to do all approaches at one time. By eclectic and as frequently emphasized, the usage of any of the methods will be dependent on the need of the patient, and other pertinent information that help guide which of these the therapist will be using.

The therapist then is enjoined to be able to diagnose well; it is at this stage that any practitioner is well aware of the risks should he/she fail to diagnose properly the needs and or issues /problems of the client. However, as he/she matures and advances in the profession, many instances occur that the mistakes made in diagnosis are oftentimes corrected while at the treatment stage, hence the traits of flexibility and humility (admitting mistakes for instance) are valued highly in this profession (Corey, 2004). ~Identifying clients in dire need of intervention

Despite breakthroughs in scientific researches and the success of many crisis interventions by established churches, there are “fly by night” operations which prey on funding of private and government groups on such types of operations. There are those who minister lacking the necessary spiritual maturity and corresponding abilities in this kind of endeavor, hence the necessity of proper credentials to minimize abuses in the profession. Crucial to the treatment or interventions of people in crisis is the identification of clients experiencing crisis in life (Corey, 2004).

F. Techniques and Procedures ~ What techniques do you plan to use with your clients? Indispensable to a therapist are tools that help him or her assess the current functioning of the client. Techniques or the utilization of various modalities come in a variety of forms and each when employed has the potential to meet the individual’s needs. The modality of choice at particular client/patient depends on such considerations as family support, financial constraints or financial capability, the patient’s preference, diagnosis, and age of patient (Corey, 2004).

Employing the cathartic method, teaching the client to examine his/her thought patterns, to discern the errors of judgment and gain insight into him/herself, and to handle with patience the whole process are fundamentals in the process. When the therapist is able to shift effectively in various standpoints and enables the client to gain a better, realistic and eradicate unrealistic expectations of the self and others, they are both on the way to achieving wholeness and healing that which the client so need and aspire.

This requires practice, or constant training and endurance on the part of the therapist (Rubinstein et al. , 2007; Corey, 2004). ~ Do you have a process or steps you will follow when counseling a client? (In other words, how will your sessions flow? ) ~ If I were watching through a one-way mirror, what would I see happening in your sessions? It starts with establishing rapport at the initial sessions as I am convinced that not all the time that a person gets to trust another one who is a stranger. The assessment tools are important in the process of establishing rapport not only in the diagnostics aspect.

Thereafter, the client is led through a process of discovering strengths and weaknesses, and sorting through many issues. The picture of a friendship is still the best one to illustrate the process that is to be established. It is a picture of mutual respect, trust and discovery. G. Compare and Contrast ~ compare your approach with the other 11 theories we discussed in class (in general) and point out what is comparable and what is different from the other theories. Definitely, there are similarities in the theories and the approach I have developed, although the main distinctions lie in their emphasis and elaboration.

However, the approach I integrated starts and ends with the premise of the Scriptural basis of the study and treatment of illness and well-being of a person. Each has its own contribution to the overall success of the therapeutic relationship and consideration of the client still with a holistic view of understanding of the whole scheme. Reference: Adelman HS. (1995). Clinical psychology: Beyond psychopathology and clinical interventions. Clin Psychol: Sci and Practice; 2(1):28-44. Anderson, Neil. , Terry Zuehlke, & Julianne Zuehlke (2000). Christ Centered therapy: The

practical integration of Theology and Psychology. Zondervan Publishing House: Grand rapids, Michigan. Broger, John C. (1991). Self-Confrontation Manual Palm Desert, CA: Biblical Counseling Foundation. Corey, Gerald (2004). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Thomson Learning, USA. De Benedictis, Tina. J. Jaffe, J. Segal (2004). Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects. www. helpguide. org. Lewinsohn PM, Clarke GN (1999). Psychosocial treatments for adolescent depression. Clin Psychol Rev. ; 19(3):329-342. Otten, R.

M. O. M. Van de Ven; R. C. M. E. Engels, R. J. J. M. Van den Eijnden (2009). Depressive mood and smoking onset: A comparison of adolescents with and without asthma DOI: 10. 1080/08870440701710038 Psychology & Health, Volume 24, Issue 3 March 2009 , pages 287 – 300 Rangavajhula, Ramani et al. (2004). Identification of Victims of Spouse Abuse by Family Practitioners. Priory Lodge Education Ltd. http://www. priory. com/fam/spouse. htm. Internet sources: www. helpguide. org www. cdc. gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipv. htm www. cdc. gov/ncipc/pub-res/ipv_cost/ipv. htm

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