2 psychotherapy paper

2 psychotherapy paper - In their explanation of why some...

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In their explanation of why some alcohol rehab treatment programs work while others fail, Chris and Pax Prentiss, the directors of the Passages Alcohol Treatment Program (PATP), make two naturalistic assumptions: determinism and hedonism. The first assumption Chris and Pax make is determinism , which is the theory that all behaviors are governed by the natural law of cause and effect. They suggest that through their approach to therapy, “you should be able to finally come to grips with the deep-seated problems in your life that are causing you to act out by drinking.” Note their use of the word causing , which implies that the deep-seated problems are the stimuli that necessarily lead to the conditioned response of “acting out by drinking”. From this perspective, it is the problem, not the individual, which is responsible for the undesirable behavior. When they compare their rehab program to other program designs, they are quick to point out that unlike other approaches, they do not “expect you to cure yourself”, again shifting the responsibility away from the individual. In the first paragraph of their article, Chris and Pax even go as far as saying that alternative treatment plans that place too strong an emphasis on “focus, willpower, or commitment” are a type of “browbeating [that] can be misleading and even dangerous” because they may give the addict the false notion that he or she should be able to learn to control their addiction. If Chris and Pax had implied that the cause of the unwanted behaviors was due to more than just the problems that led them to “act out”, they would have allowed room for agency . This alternative to determinism recognizes the ability to make choices regardless of past factors and to also be responsible for those choices. From an agentic standpoint, Chris and Pax would have assumed that no matter what the “deep-seated problems” were, the addicts still had a choice
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of whether or not to continue to drink and were therefore accountable for their behaviors. They would have devised a therapeutic approach that focused on helping addicts to become more aware of their own ability to choose and change their own habits. They might point out to their clients that just as they chose not to drink before coming to their appointment that day, they
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This document was uploaded on 10/28/2011 for the course PSYCH 341 at BYU.

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2 psychotherapy paper - In their explanation of why some...

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