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Chapter 16 - Therapy

  • Psychotherapy- an emotionally charges, confiding interaction between a trained therapist and someone who suffers from psychological difficulties
  • Eclectic Approach- an approach to psychotherapy that, depending on the client’s problems, uses or integrates techniques from various forms of therapy (also know as psychotherapy integration


  • Psychoanalysis- Freud believed the patient’s free associations, resistances, dreams, and transferences- and the therapist’s interpretations of them- released previously repressed feelings, allowing the patient to gain self-insight
  • Resistance- blocking from consciousness of anxiety-laden material
  • Interpretation- that analyst’s noting supposed dream meanings, resistances, and other significant behaviors in order to promote insight
  • Transference- the patient’s transfer to the analyst of emotions linked with other relationships

Humanist Therapy

  • Person-Centered Therapy- humanistic therapy developed by Carl Rogers; therapist uses techniques such as active listening within a genuine, accepting. Empathic environment to facilitate clients’ growth
  • Active Listening- empathic listening in which the listener echoes, restates, and clarifies

Gestalt Therapy

  • Developed by Fritz Perls
  • Combines the psychoanalytic emphasis on bringing unconscious feelings to awareness and the humanistic emphasis on getting “in touch with oneself”
  • Aims to help people become more aware and able to express their feeling, and to take responsibility for their feelings and actions

Behavior Therapy

  • Behavior Therapy- therapy that applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviors
  • Counterconditioning
  • Procedure that conditions new responses to stimuli that trigger unwanted behaviors
  • Based on classical conditioning
  • Includes systematic desensitization and aversive conditioning
  • Sytematic Desensitization
  • Type of counterconditioning
  • Associates a pleasant, relaxed state with gradually increasing anxiety-triggering stimuli
  • Commonly used to treat phobias
  • Aversive Conditioning
  • Type of counterconditioning that associates an unpleasant state with an unwanted behavior
  • Nausea!Alcohol
  • Token Economy
  • An operant conditioning procedure that rewards desired behavior
  • Patient exchanges a token of some sort, earned for exhibiting the desired behavior, for various privileges or treats

Cognitive Therapy

  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Teaches people new, more adaptive ways of thinking and acting
  • Based on the assumption that thoughts intervene between events and our emotional reactions
  • Rational-Emotive Therapy
  • Confrontational cognitive therapy developed by Albert Ellis
  • Vigorously challenges people’s illogical, self-defeating attitudes and assumptions
  • Also called rational-emotive behavior therapy by Ellis, emphasizing a behavioral “homework” component

Group Therapies

  • Family Therapy
  • Treats the family as a system
  • Views an individual’s unwanted behaviors as influenced by or directed at other family members
  • Encourages family members toward positive relationships and improved communication

Types of Therapists

TYPE                                                             DESCRIPTION

Psychiatrist                                                    Physicians who specialize in the treatment of psychological disorders.  Not all psychiatrists have had extensive training in psychotherapy, but as M.D.’s they can prescribe medications.  Thus, they tend to see those with the most serious problems.  Many have private practices

Clinical Psychologists                                   Most are psychologists with a Ph.D. and expertise in research, assessment, and therapy, supplemented by a supervised internship.  About half work in agencies and institutions, half in private practices.

Clinical or psychiatric Social workers        A two-year Master of Social Work graduate program plus postgraduate supervision prepares some social workers to offer psychotherapy, mostly to people with everyday personal and family problems.  About half have earned the National Association of Social Workers’ designation of clinical social work.

Counselors                                                     Marriage and family counselors specialize in problems arising from family relations.  Pastoral counselors provide counseling to countless people. Abuse counselors work with substance abusers and with spouse and child abusers and their victims.

Biomedical Therapies

  • Psychopharmacology- study of the effects of drugs on mind and behavior
  • Lithium- chemical that provides an effective drug therapy for the mood swings of bipolar disorders
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)- therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthetized patient
  • Psychosurgery- surgery that removes of destroys brain tissue in an effort to change behavior
  • Lobotomy- now-rare psychosurgical procedure once used to calm uncontrollably emotional or violent patients

Critical Thinking ] Neuroscience ] Developing Child ] Adolescence ] Sensation ] Perseption ] Consciousness ] Learning ] Memory ] Thinking ] Inteligence ] Motivation ] Emotion ] Personality ] Psych Disorders ] [ Therapy ] Stress ] Social Psych ] Statistics ] Critical Thinking ]


Myers, David G., Psychology Fifth Edition. Worth Publishers, Inc. New York, NY ©1998


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