Tenets of Psychology

Chapter 1, we learn about some of the major schools of thought in Psychology. For this discussion post, you will be applying some of the major tenets of one of these schools of thought to try and describe the behavior of the subject of a clinical case study. Your job is to focus on what a psychologist that follows one school of thought would be of interest. You are not trying to treat the client…just identify what might explain her behavior. Step 1: Pick one of the perspectives listed below, and summarize/describe the most important aspects of that school of psychology. You should make sure to include the key people and terminology used in that school of psychology in your description (approximately 1 paragraph). Your options are 1. Psychoanalytic Psychology              2. Behaviorist Psychology              3. Humanistic Psychology              4. Cognitive Psychology Step 2: Read the following case study. Using the school of psychology that you described in Step 1, describe how a psychologist using your perspective would explain the CAUSE of Andrea’s problem. Try not to rely on common sense and intuition in discussing this case. Instead, imagine that you are a die-hard advocate of the viewpoint that you adopted and make your argument solely from that point of view. This explanation should cite specific evidence from the case study and should be 1-2 paragraphs long.  Andrea is an 18-year old college student at a community college in the Twin Cities area. She has requested counseling from her college counseling center at the urging of her friends. Andrea’s friends believe that she may have an eating disorder. Andrea sees herself as fat, but to her friends, she is startlingly thin. In fact, she is so thin that her friends are afraid that she may become seriously ill. Andrea maintains her low weight by eating practically nothing and drinking two quarts of water a day. She says that she “thinks about food all the time” when she is restricting her food intake, but she does not want to eat because she is afraid of getting fat. At other times, however, her hunger is so intense that she feels like she has to give in to the cravings. At those times she “binges” and eats huge amounts of food. For example, she once ate a half-gallon of ice cream in a little over one hour. After she “binges,” she works to get rid of the excess calories she has consumed by vomiting. She says that she is starting to agree that she might have an eating problem. After interviewing Andrea, you are convinced that she meets the criteria for a diagnosis of both anorexia and bulimia nervosa. You are interested in obtaining some background information about Andrea, to aid in your understanding of her situation. You find out that Andrea is 18 years old, and a freshman at your college. She says she started really worrying about her weight two years ago when she was a junior in high school. At that time, her parents were arguing a lot and even talking about divorce. She says that managing her eating made her feel more in control. She also noticed that, even though she still felt fat, people seemed to pay more attention to her and to respond to her better as she got thinner. She indicates that she likes having a more “athletic” figure.

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