“The psyche is the object of psychology, and-fatally enough-also its subject”. (Carl G. Jung – Theory of Archetypes)
I don’t know why you are reading this page or why you have the desire to be on this website. It could be that you are just interested in psychology and would like to find out more about it. It could be, however, that you are trying to reach out; you are extending your arm with the wish that whatever is bothering you, someone, somehow, somewhere, will be able to help you.
Now that you have selected to visit my website, you have taken the first step in deciding, perhaps, that you need to talk with someone and share with them those issues and preoccupations that you might have.
Indeed, this is why this website is here. It is here to convey that I am free to listen, understand and to help you manage and control what you consider to be your personal problems, concerns, phobias, anxieties, obsessions or fears. I will be looking forward to working with you on your wellbeing if this is the case.
SCIENCE of PSYCHOLOGY
The following is a brief and interesting condensed history of psychology and an outline on the type of assistance that I can provide to my clients.
The Science of psychology is a fairly new discipline and it evolves all the time with a variety of very wide parameters. Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795 – 1878) was a German physician who is considered one of the founders of experimental psychology, although many look at Plato (387 BC) as being the original founder as he was the first to suggest that the brain is the source of the mental processes. Wilhelm Wundt (1879) founded the first formal laboratory of Psychology at the University of Leipzig, marking the formal beginning of the study of human emotions, behaviours and cognitions.
The list of famous names (Freud, Jung, Adler, Galton, Binet, Piaget, Rogers) can be very long indeed and we may or may not know or even agree with some of the works and theories of these and other great minds. Because psychology is such a diverse subject, the field of psychology concerns many different specialty areas and perspectives and to name a few we have:
- Behaviour neuroscience,
- Clinical psychology,
- Developmental psychology,
- Personality and social psychology,
- Counselling psychology,
- Consumer psychology,
- Measures and Statistics,
- Behaviour analysis
- – and – many more.
To keep up with all of these, constant study, research and work is necessary.
An influential school of psychology was developed in the 1950s and 60s by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. Their humanistic theory asserts that people make rational, conscious decisions regarding their lives, and optimistically suggests that individuals tend to reach towards their greatest potential.
In 1992, Costa & McCrae developed the Five Factor Model (FFM – also known as Big Five) of personality. The five broad domains or dimensions which are used to describe human personality, can be remembered using the acronym OCEAN : Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.
Openness (Originality) – has to do with Culture, Originality, or Intellect – appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience
Conscientiousness (Consolidation) – or Will to achieve – a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behaviour
Extroversion – or Surgency – energy, positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others
Agreeableness (Accommodation) – a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others
Neuroticism (Need for Stability) – on the negative side of the fifth factor is a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability; sometimes called Negative Emotionality, and emotional instability
In my approach to psychology in line with the modern, current approach to it, I don’t identify myself with one particular school of thought. My aim is to best serve the purpose of the client and I generally, but not exclusively, base myself on the following:
- Behavioural – Behaviourism was introduced in the twentieth century by John Broadus Watson who believed that human behaviour is learned and reinforced by external sources, and therefore can be changed by teaching and reinforcing new behaviours.
- Cognitive – Modern studies of cognition are based on the belief that discovering how a person will behave can only be found by studying the thought process they use to get to the actual behaviour or decision. The underlying mental process behind behaviour can determine future behavioural problems.
- Biological – This perspective can refer to both the way the body and brain contribute to behaviour as well as comparing the behaviour of animals and humans.
- Evolutionary – Evolutionary psychology focuses on the belief that almost all human behaviours exist for an evolutionary purpose, such as human advancement or Darwin’s survival of the fittest.
- Cross-Cultural – The cross-cultural psychological perspective compares human behaviours in different cultures. This process allows separating certain behaviours that are either inherent or genetic and those that are primarily influenced by external sources.
- Psychodynamics – This perspective was introduced by Sigmund Freud. He theorized that much of human behaviour is unconscious, and in order to alter that behaviour, psychoanalysis is needed to help a person face his or her unconscious self.
All of these perspectives come together to provide psychologists with ways to predict, understand and change human behaviours.
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