Chapter 9 Psychoanalytic and humanistic


These two approaches in psychology are the ones which have most made their mark on popular culture, but be aware (be very aware) that intuitive appeal does not equal veracity.

They are very conflicting (so how can they both be so popular? It just shows how illogical the general public is). One says the unconscious is of the utmost importance, while the other says the conscious is. One says our behaviour is determined by forces outside our control, the other says we have total free will to do what we want.

They both arose in conjunction with their application to curing (or at least claiming to cure) psychological problems.

They both give rise to the two best jokes in psychology:

How many psychoanalysts does it take to change a light bulb? Two — one to change the bulb, and the other to hold the, I mean ladder.

New therapist finishes training with the great Carl Rogers himself. Sets up clinic. First client comes in. Says: Oh, God...I'm really screwed up. Rogerian therapist replies: So, what you're saying is, you're really screwed up. Client: Wow, yes, you've really got it...and, like, I feel my life is really pointless. Therapist: So, what you're saying is, you feel your life is pointless. Client: Wow, you're so insightful...but my life is so pointless, I'm going to kill myself. Therapist: So, what you're saying is, you're going to kill yourself. Client gets up from seat, jumps out of window, falls 13 stories to his death. Therapist: Oh, dear. Gets on phone to Rogers. Therapist: Hi, first client has just jumped out of the window and fallen 13 stories to his death. Rogers: So, what you're saying is, your first client...


Subjectivity, reflexivity, symbolic data.

Although analysts after getting the symbolic data step outside to analyse, while humanistic therapists stay inside and empathise.


Very individualistic (although psychoanalysts also generalise...indeed they are criticised for overgeneralising every problem to everyone).

We can change, but it may take a long time and a lot of money.

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