Psych 311 Clinical Psych Essay

Psych 311 Clinical Psych Essay - Caitlin Dekker Psych 311-...

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Caitlin Dekker Psych 311- Clinical Psych Essay A common assumption in clinical psychology is individualism. This is the idea that the most important thing in the world is the individual and whether the individual is getting what it wants or needs. Every individual has a need to express his/her needs and authenticity. In this article, the authors study participants experiencing depression and test whether increasing physical activity would reduce their depressive symptoms by increasing self-esteem and self- efficacy. The authors suggest that their participants have a "need" for self-esteem that is not being met, hence they are depressed. They conclude that “an increase in self-efficacy in terms of perceived physical abilities may be associated with the depression response in the early stages of a physical activity intervention” (p. 50). Through physical activity, each individual’s self-esteem will increase in the sense of "mastery" and the individual is benefited. The focus is on the individual and reducing their individual depressive symptoms. There is no mention of the influence of others or community. The physical exercise is an instrument to help the individual develop self-esteem. Self-esteem was measured using Rosenberg's Global Self-Esteem Scale, a self- report questionnaire on personal feelings of self-worth. This method of determining self- esteem itself shows the assumption of individualism because everything comes back to the individual. No one else matters as long as the individual is happy. An alternative to individualism is the assumption of relationality. Rather than focusing on the individual, relationships are most important and rejection from one’s community is one’s greatest fear. If the authors were to conduct their study in a relational manner, they would first define the participants’ depression in terms of making them feel apart from the community. They would suggest that through physical activity, they will better be able to fit in with their community and develop the social relationships they so crave. To treat the depression, the researchers would focus on self-esteem in a relational manner and determine how the individual
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is comparing himself to others, likely in a downward inconsistent manner. Also, instead of relying on self-report to determine self-esteem, they would evaluate their social relationships. Another conventional assumption found in this article is instrumentalism. In this view, everything is a means to one’s ends (usually happiness) and gaining control over the means to accomplish these ends is of utmost importance. The authors propose that through physical activity, participants “may experience mastery from learning a new skill, from engaging in a physical activity task or from successfully self-regulating physical activity behaviours” (p. 46). Through employing certain behaviors (or means), the participants will reach their end goal of
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Psych 311 Clinical Psych Essay - Caitlin Dekker Psych 311-...

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