Psychology in Action

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Instruct students to form small groups. Inform them that you will offer some reward (extra credit points, active learning points, quiz points, etc.) for the one group with the largest number of words or phrases for "therapist" (in Activity 14.2 the class came up with words for "abnormal behavior"). Mention that you are interested in discussing the problems of prejudice and stereotypes regarding therapy, and reassure them that they can include slang terms such as "shrink" or "head doctor." Give them approximately 5 minutes for their brainstorming session. Ask for the total number of words from each group and award your points. Ask a volunteer from several groups with a high number of words to come to the front of the room and write their words on the board. This takes approximately 10 additional minutes, but it is definitely worth the class time. You will be amazed at the enormous variety and number of terms. In our classes we have had up to 20 or 30 different terms (about half the number of terms typically generated for "abnormal behavior"). There will be some official terms like psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, but there will be a dominance of derogatory terms. This provides a wonderful demonstration of prejudice and helps explain historical and modern day problems with treating abnormal behavior. This activity could also be used as a tie-in with the chapter on abnormal behavior (Chapter 14) since it provides a dramatic demonstration of why people are so often reluctant to be labeled "abnormal." Active Learning Activity 15.2 - Class Project: Examples of Therapy Presented in the Media The purpose of this exercise is to show students how textbook descriptions of therapy relate to the real world. Have students collect examples from newspapers, magazines, books, television and radio reports of therapy sessions. For each example, have students: 1. Note the type of therapy being conducted (psychoanalysis, behavior, biomedical, etc.). 2. Discuss what impression of therapy is created by the report. As a way of summarizing the various types of therapy or during coverage of each therapy, have students present these popularized examples and discuss the points listed above. Active Learning Activity 15.3 As a follow-up to Activity 15.2, or as a separate activity, ask students to rent videos of favorite movies related to therapy (Ordinary People, Prince of Tides, Sybil, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Sea of Love, Vertigo, Primal Fear, etc.), and then cue up a favorite scene that lasts approximately 1-2 minutes. Have them play the video segment for the class and lead a discussion regarding possible diagnoses, symptoms displayed, form of therapy, and so on. You might ask a group to make a "collage" of all these video segments for your future classes. Active Learning Activity 15.4 - Role Playing Instructor's Resource Guide                               Chapter 15                                         Page  217
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Have students act out the roles of people with various types of psychological disorders, while another student role plays various types of therapists. These can be students who have been carefully screened
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