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Psychotherapy is a young, barely 100-year old psychological endeavor which attempts to promote change and healing through social interaction. How can it be that talking with a psychotherapist can help people change — emotionally, cognitively, and/or behaviorally — and how exactly does it help people achieve relief from psychological disorders and problems? In this course, we will study some of the key approaches to psychotherapy by examining the theories and scientific research that surround them, and considering theory and research in juxtaposition. This will be accomplished by a close reading and critical analysis of primary source theoretical papers, the “raw data” (videotapes and transcripts) of therapy sessions, case studies, and contemporary empirical research on the outcomes and change processes of psychotherapy. Students will learn how to evaluate the efficacy claims of both standard and new therapies and how to evaluate claims about the mechanisms by which those therapies work. Current controversies in psychotherapy and psychotherapy research will be addressed and debated as well. All students will design and conduct an empirical research project based on the course material.
Format: seminar/laboratory; empirical lab course
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
attendance and active class participation, weekly 2-3 page reading response papers, APA style research report and poster/oral presentation of the research project
PSYC 201 and PSYC 252
PSYC Area 5 - Clinical Psychology
PSYC Empirical Lab Course