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Psychotherapy as a Science - Research Paper Example

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PSYCHOTHERAPY AS A SCIENCE Psychotherapy refers to the therapeutic treatment of patients, using different techniques. This treatment mostly refers to psychological problems involving mental health of the patients, using verbal or non-verbal means of communication…
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Psychotherapy as a Science
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Download file to see previous pages According to Albert Ellis, strong emotions result from the relationship between the events and the expectations of individuals. Cognitive therapy tends to loosen this relationship, and makes the emotional beliefs less extreme. Sigmund Freud wanted psychoanalysis to become a science and many people who enter this field strive for it. But has psychotherapy become a science, is it in a process of becoming, or is it something else entirely? These are some of the questions that philosophers and psychologists are asking continuously. Traditionally it was viewed that science progresses by falsification i.e. it does not add new truths but disregards old conceptions as being false. “The criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” (Popper, Critical Rationalism, 36). The scientifity of science depends on the degree of falsification. Kuhn rejects this traditional and Popperian view. In his view, science develops due to increased commitment of the scientific community towards their held-beliefs and values, and even metaphysics. This commitment, Kuhn has called as ‘disciplinary matrix’ (1970a, 182). ‘Normal science’ according to Kuhn, is when research is done on the basis of the past experiences, or achievements and when the past research provides the foundation for further research. (1970, p.10) "The successive transition from one paradigm to another via revolution is the usual developmental pattern of mature science." (Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolution, p.12). Kuhn has given some examples of paradigm. He wrote Aristotle's analysis of motion, and Ptolemy's computations of plantery positions as paradigms. Kuhn has also described great texts as paradigm, mainly because they not only contain key theories and laws, but also their applications in solving various problems. ((Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolution) Kuhn’s 1970 model provides for the individual’s own identity development and the changes involved in psychotherapy. According to Kuhn, during scientific developments, the accumulation of the new data arises some abnormalities in the subject. To solve these, either the new facts need to be brought under the existing paradigm, or a new paradigm must be developed to accumulate them. Kuhn rejects the idea that science moves nearer to the truth through the achievements of new facts. In fact, Kuhn describes three stages of science: (1) Prenormal science, (2) Normal Science, (3) Extraordinary Science. In the prenormal stage of science, no specific pattern exists. There are no pre-supposed views or research regarding any development or achievement. In other words, there is no paradigm, which would serve as a basis. Then as research proceeds, science develops some facts and views, which succeed in gaining consensus among the scientific community, thus a paradigm is formed. A general perception of what something is and everything related to it. This stage is known as the normal science. Once a paradigm is formed, it provides the basis for further research and development continues and results could be predicted. The scientific community works with consensus to answer the questions that arise during the research, and also regarding the research methodologies that are being used. During this stage, new facts keep on adding to the old ones and knowledge swells. In the stage of extraordinary science, “however, science exists in a state of crisis.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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