Chapter 17: Therapy
Chapter 17 discusses the major psychotherapies and
biomedical therapies for maladaptive behaviors. The
various psychotherapies all derive from the personality
theories discussed earlier, namely, the psychoanalytic,
humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive theories. The chapter
groups the therapies by perspective but also emphasizes
the common threads that run through them. In evaluating
the therapies, the chapter points out that, although people
who are untreated often improve, those receiving
psychotherapy tend to improve somewhat more, regardless
of the type of therapy they receive. This section includes a
discussion of several popular alternative therapies.
The biomedical therapies discussed are drug therapies;
electroconvulsive therapy; and psychosurgery, which is
seldom used. By far the most important of the biomedical
therapies, drug therapies are being used in the treatment of
psychotic, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Because the origins of problems often lie beyond the
individual, the chapter concludes with approaches that aim
at preventing psychological disorders by focusing on the
family or on the larger social environment as possible
contributors to psychological disorders.
The Psychological Therapies
David Myers at times uses idioms that are unfamiliar to
some readers. If you do not know the meaning of any of
the following words, phrases, or expressions in the context
in which they appear in the introduction and this section,
Focus on Vocabulary
for an explanation:
genetic code; gawk; common threads; fueled.
.. residue; aim to boost;
knocks the props out from under you; lore; drinks laced with a
drug; aggressive and self
abusive behaviors; colors our feelings;
First, skim the section, noting headings and boldface items.
Then read the following objectives and, as you read the
text, search for the information that will enable you to
meet each objective.
1. Briefly explain the current approach to therapy.
2. Discuss the aims and methods of psychoanalysis and
psychodynamic therapy, and explain the critics’
concerns with these forms of therapy.
3. Identify the basic themes of humanistic therapies and
describe Rogers’ client
4. Identify the basic assumptions of behavior therapy,
and discuss the classical conditioning therapies.
5. Describe the premise behind operant conditioning
techniques, and explain the critics’ concerns with these
6. Identify the basic assumptions of the cognitive
therapies, and describe group therapy.
Stepping Through the Section
After you have read the section, complete the sentences
and answer the questions. As you proceed, evaluate your
performance by consulting the answers. Do not continue
with the next section until you understand each answer. If
you need to, review or reread the section in the textbook
1. Psychological therapy is more commonly called