Getting Help – Psychotherapy: Crash Course Psychology #35

Getting Help – Psychotherapy: Crash Course Psychology #35

Bernice has issues, and sure we all do, but
hers are getting out of hand. At times she goes through bouts of depression that make
it hard for her to even get out of bed. Sometimes she suffers from serious anxiety around things
like test taking, flying, lots of things. All of which are brutalizing her self-worth and
affecting her performance in work and life. She’s ready to get professional help and,
lucky for Bernice, she has a lot of options. Psychotherapy, perhaps the predominant type
of psychological treatment, involves a therapist using a range of techniques to help a patient overcome
troubles, gain insight, and achieve personal growth. Now you know by now that there are kinds of
perspectives on the human mind and lots of different philosophies on how to approach
it. So it may not come as a surprise that there’s also a variety of ways that experts
analyze and treat ailments of the mind. They each create their own kind of experience
for a person seeking help and to be honest some approaches are better suited for treating
certain psychological conditions than others. But with Bernice as our guide we can see how
each of these techniques works and maybe in the end we can get her out of bed, feeling more calm
and confident, and back in the swing of things. He’s back! If we’re going to talk about psychotherapy,
we’ve got to start with Freud, right? Psychotherapy, you will recall, is commonly grouped into
four major schools or orientations. The psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, behavioral, and cognitive
therapies. Freud’s famous lay on the couch and talk psychoanalysis is just one of several
related therapies in the psychodynamic family and it was basically the first. In essence, Freud assumed that we didn’t really
know or at least fully understand ourselves or our motivations. So psychoanalysis served
as a kind of historical reconstruction that helped patients access repressed feelings
and memories and unconscious thoughts, by using free association and dream analysis
with helpful interpretations from the therapist until they gained some self-insight. As you free associate, talk about your past
and answer questions, your psychoanalyst picks up on sensitive subjects around which you
appear to show resistance. Mental blocks that keep you from your consciousness because they
cause you anxiety. The psychoanalyst notes these resistances and offers interpretations of what
might be going on to help promote insight. So if Bernice was visiting a psychoanalyst,
talking about her day, the therapist might say “Tell me more about that dream with the
birds with the broken wings.” Or he might point out resistance, like, “I noticed that
when you mentioned your fear of flying, you tend to bring up your childhood, but you never
talk about your mother. Why might that be?” The therapist points out what may be unconscious
themes to coax them into the light. Maybe Bernice needs to deal with a traumatic childhood
memory or the fact that her mom ran away with a pilot or something to understand the roots
of her fear. Today, traditional psychoanalysis is less
common. Critics have pointed out that psychoanalytic interpretations aren’t easy to prove or disprove,
which is a problem when you’re trying to take the scientific approach. Plus, psychoanalysis
tends to involve many sessions, sometimes 4 or 5 a week over a long period of time, and health
insurance just won’t cover that anymore. Therapists who have branched off from the
psychoanalytic school fall into the psychodynamic family, which includes not just Freudian,
theory, but also ideas from Karl Jung, Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and others. The terms psychoanalytic and psychodynamic
are often confused, but you can think of psychoanalysis as Freud’s particular baby, while psychodynamic
theory is really the family descended from that baby. Similar to psychoanalysis, psychodynamic
therapy focuses on helping people gain insight on the impact of unconscious internal forces,
early relationships, and critical childhood experiences. But these therapies don’t dwell
on the id and the ego and superego or all the sex stuff, at least not like traditional
psychoanalysis does. And not all psychologists are interested in
rooting through your deep unconscious recesses like it was your underwear drawer. Some therapies
focus more on conscious material and believe the present and future are worth more attention
than the past. These include the existential-humanistic therapies, championed by Carl Rogers, Viktor
Frankl, Fritz Perls, and others, who emphasized people’s inherent capacity for making rational
choices, achieving self-acceptance, and attaining their maximum potential. Like the psychodynamic school, existential-humanistic
therapy is still insight oriented, but it’s much more about promoting growth rather than
curing illness. Instead of calling folks patients, humanistic therapies refer to those they help
as clients or just, ya know, people. In the mid 1900s, Rogers developed a humanistic
technique called client-centered therapy. He encouraged therapists to help their client
by providing an empathetic, genuine, and accepting environment and using active listening where
the therapist echoes and clarifies what their clients are saying and feeling. Rogers believed
these techniques helped to provide a safe, non-judgmental place where clients could accept
themselves, feel valued, and work towards self-actualization. But other therapists in
this school brought in more somber topics. Perls, Frankl, and others incorporated the
existentialist perspective, understanding anxiety and limits to personal growth is driven
by the human impulse to deny the fact that, let’s face it, we’re all going to die. Sounds
a little grim, but much like the existentialist philosophers, these theorists thought to maximize
human potential and meaning in life in the face of those existential fears, helping people
access their genuine selves. So let’s say Bernice sees an existentialist-humanistic
therapist and talks about her depression and how it’s keeping her from living a full life.
By focusing on the present, this therapist might suggest that Bernice is afraid and avoidant
of her true emotions, the bad and scary ones as well as the good ones, which is why she
feels emotionally lifeless and drained. So her therapist might say, “Say more about the
feelings that you’re having right now, in this moment, as you talk about your depression.”
The therapist would listen without interpreting, at least at first, and help Bernice understand
that she was being heard and accepted, which hopefully would give her comfort and
strength to begin dealing with the tough emotions that she’s been avoiding. Now if Bernice were to make her appointments
with a behavior therapist, she’d experience quite a different session. Behavior therapists
argue that simply knowing that you’re afraid of flying, for example, won’t help you from
freaking out at the thought of getting on a plane. Instead these therapists suggest
that the problem behavior is the actual issue and the best way to get rid of unwanted automatic
behavior is to replace it with more functional behavior through new learning and conditioning.
In other words, behavior therapy aims to change behavior in order to change emotions and moods.
Behavior therapy is rooted in the experiments of Ivan Pavlov and his classically conditioned
dogs that drooled at the sound of a bell and work by E L Thorndike and B F Skinner on operant
conditioning or changing behavior by using positive or negative reinforcement. So say Bernice is seeing a behavior therapist
because of an intense fear of flying. We know her fear is keeping her from personal and
career goals like going to conferences and vacationing to Baja. But sometimes it even
effects her ability to look up at a blue sky or flip through a travel magazine. Her therapist
might use counter-conditioning to evoke new responses to the stimuli that trigger this
unwanted behavior or she may use other behavior therapy methods like exposure, systematic
desensitization, and aversive conditioning to help Bernice modify her reactions and behavior.
So she doesn’t dwell on having Bernice relive old memories or helping her self-actualize,
she just wants to fix the problem behavior. Aversive conditioning is less common and usually
involves pairing an unpleasant stimulus with the targeted behavior. A classic example is
giving someone with an alcohol problem a pill that makes them puke when they drink. Far more common and better studied, the exposure
therapies treat an anxiety by having a person face their fears by exposing them to real
or imagined situations that they typically avoid. Systematic desensitization is a type
of exposure therapy that associates a relaxed state of mind with gradually increasing anxiety-inducing
stimuli. Taking Bernice from, say, just thinking about flying, to looking at photos of planes
in the air to sitting on a grounded plane, to eventually soaring in the skies for reals. Behavior therapy works pretty well in treating
specific fears and problems like phobias and it can also work for people with generalized
anxiety disorder or major depression, but it often needs a boost. And we can get that
boost from the cognitive therapies, the kind that teach people new, more adaptive ways
of thinking. Cognitive therapy focuses more on what people think rather than what they
do, assuming that if you can change a self-defeating thought, you can change the related behavior. This is the approach used by founding American
cognitive therapist Aaron Beck. He and his colleagues pioneered the Socratic questioning
method to help clients reverse destructive and catastrophic beliefs about themselves,
the world, or the future at large, such as everything that could possibly go wrong will
go wrong. Say Bernice has a big test coming up, like
a really big, all or nothing, end of the year exam. She’s freaking out and her anxiety around
the test already has her depressed, imagining that she’ll fail. If she bombs the test, she
fears that her dreams of getting into the graduate programs she wants will be dashed
and her life will be over. Classic catastrophic thinking. A cognitive therapist would actively
discuss all of this with her, challenging her thinking along the way and, in the end,
help Bernice reexamine her assumptions about what’s going to happen if she does fail like
the world will not end and she will not utterly fail at life. Helping her work toward thinking more
positive thoughts about herself and her future. The cognitive therapist helps patients understand
that changing what we say to ourselves is a very effective way to cope with our anxieties
and modify our behavior. In other words, it really is the thought that counts. Not surprisingly,
the cognitive and behavioral schools have joined forces frequently enough that cognitive-behavior
therapies are typically considered a single school, and a lot of therapists use integrative
approaches that try to use the best elements of all of these schools of thought. But all of these different psychotherapies
don’t always mean being alone with your therapist and your thoughts. Most of them can be done
in groups, too. Group therapy fosters the therapeutic benefits you get from interacting
with other people. Not only does it help with the social aspects of mental health, but it
also may remind clients that they’re not alone. In a similar way, family therapy treats a
family as a system, and views an individual’s problem behaviors as being influenced by,
or directed at, other family members. Family therapists work with multiple family members
to heal relationships, improve insight and communication, and mobilize communal resources. So, the big question remains. Does psychotherapy
work? You’re going to have to wait until next time to find out because that is what we will
be taking about, along with a look at the biomedical approach to therapy. For now, you’ve learned about the major types
of psychotherapy. These include psychodynamic therapy and Freud’s famous psychoanalysis,
existential-humanist therapy and Roger’s client-centered focus, and behavior and cognitive therapies. We also took a quick look at group and family therapy. Thanks for watching, especially to all of
our Subbable subscribers who make Crash Course free for everyone who can’t pay for it. To
find out how you can become a supporter, just go to This episode was written by Kathleen Yale,
edited by Blake de Pastino and our consultant is Dr. Ranjit Bhagwat. Our director and editor
is Nicholas Jenkins. The script supervisor is Michael Aranda who is also our sound designer,
and the graphics team is Thought Cafe.

100 Replies to “Getting Help – Psychotherapy: Crash Course Psychology #35”

  1. My dad says your voice is annoying. I say your voice is educational. We fight for hours for my right to watch your vids xD

  2. I love how Bernice’s cat is sitting with her in the bed and batting her face. When my depression gets really bad, my cat does that too…comes and tries to get me to get out of bed, and then sitting with me if she sees it’s no use that day.

  3. I just finished this part of the psychology series and as someone who has recently been diagnosed with bpd with underlying depression after years of it being brushed as teenage behaviour, this was so helpful

  4. I swear if one day I become rich I'll fund a full season of episodes.
    He's the reason why I passing Uni so far

  5. There wasn't too much psychoanalysis for me in all my years which I have been called crazy or maybe DID. I was just supposed to get the drugs to make me well and the way everyone wanted me to be. I think my case involved some personnel relatioships which were not doing me any good. Lying, cheating, stealing even my clothes and more. The worst thing about these two relationships I had for about 9 years was being fed drugs I didn't have a clue about. I went on withdrawal without knowing what was happening to me. I thought, because I left my ex, I was having problems with my nerves. So much misrepresentation in my life with opposite sex makes it so nobody can talk around me. It is so to this day, dumb people just stare and block. These two guys caried off such a hoax on everybody, there is no truth in much of anything they ever said or say about me. I am just suppsed to forget everything them. I guess we're hiding but I have always been rather jealous about my freedom. There is no marriage anyway because they will interfere in my life. They would be jealous if I had any happiness with another man. They seem to go together as well. Ones a drunk and the other is a regular psycho. Jesus Christ is freedom and I have my past to shed even after 40 years, I thought I was free. I sit with the Juncos and Crows, seems.

  6. Bruce Lee was HEAVILY influenced by Fritz Perls.

    Bruce writes a lot about him in his book "Bruce Lee – Artist of Life"

  7. I went to therapy for years in my teens because of child abuse, anxiety and depression. I seen various therapists with various techniques and none of them worked. In my early thirties I finally was able to overcome all my conditions just listening to people like Bob proctor and repetitively telling myself affirmations. We're all different and overcome our issues in different ways. The important thing is we go to work on ourself on top of the outside help we get. Therapy can provide the pathway but ultimately it's on us to travel the path.

  8. understanding that I'm 4 years late to this video…may you please make another one on the systems of psychotherapy(not only focusing on western values)

  9. Great videos, however, the blue t-shirt underneath the dress shirt is HIGHLY distracting. Please remove and reshoot.

  10. Group therapy is the only one that works. The other ones will not work for major depression. MDD is biological not just psychological. OCD, angst ,phobias, are symptoms of mDD. Consult a pchiatrist

  11. You were adding Turkish subtitles in old videos. I think you should also Turkish subtitles to new videos for Turkish followers.

  12. 2:11 Reminds me of how in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Professor Slughorn blocks the memory of Tom Riddle mentioning a horcrux. Very interesting.

  13. its hard to get help when you suffer from loneliness

    people tell the lonely to join a club or a hobby to not be lonely, but when you’re so lonely you lose almost all of your hope and will, making it practically impossible to even start looking for a group, let alone attending one. this is my problem with people saying that, all while i sit here and suffer and lose all my hope and willpower while suffering in pain

  14. When I first felt depressed I went and saw a therapist who was absolutely no help. She asked me to do this quiz where you rate your symptoms, but the quiz lumped depression and anxiety symptoms into the same thing so I scored less than half the maximum as I do not have anxiety. She then proceeded to tell me that I wasn't 'too distressed' and that my problem was with frustration at my situation… even though I already had suicidal thoughts at this point. Since then I have been unable to convince myself to see another therapist. I already had a hard time talking about my emotions (I was bullied badly as a kid so learned to hide emotions), and it has gotten harder since practically being called a liar by the only person I had ever confided in!

  15. DBT ≈ Marsha Linehan, a CBT therapy worth checking out. Sure, it was originally for people with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it's been so effective with other disorders & maladies, it's almost hard to avoid it these days.

  16. Great information. It was difficult for me to comprehend the meaning while listening to fast rated speech. Thank you

  17. He told me I was abusing him, WTF? Parental abuse. Guilt tripped me into believing it. Funny, I never smashed his skull into unconsciousness.
    Thanks Dad. RIP.

  18. I watched this before I started reading my Psychology chapter on types of psychotherapy. As I started reading it, i started to wonder if Hank just went over the entire chapter word for word from my textbook. lol.

  19. It’s hard to get help when your parents don’t believe you and think you are just being overdramatic and tell you that ur complaining to much. Cause yea mom. My finals are gonna give me panic attacks every single night and constant tension headaches and trust issues. That makes a lot of sense

  20. 99.9% of therapy is trash and doesn't work. 99.9% of therapists don't know what they're doing. in my personal experience it has done more harm than good.

  21. You should talk more about self help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and more. For my psychology class, I focused on Spenders Anonymous because nowadays, we live in a consumerist culture. Ads are everywhere and we are often bombarded with ads telling us to buy things we don't need. Also, people tend to do most of their shopping online so it's better to look further into that.

  22. It's usually in quite a lot of cases, always related to childhood experiences. The reason is faulty parenting. Permissive, Authoritarian or Neglectful. Not properly, the authoritative (different from authoritarian) style.

  23. It stinks when there are limited therapist in the area where you live. Seeking help, I looked on line . A couple of the therapy/counseling groups had beautiful and inspiring websites, but when you call them and get a recorded menu , they say ( all high and mighty) we're not accepting new patients . WTF! Why don't " they" update their stupid websites

  24. The Stigma of seeking help on mental illness is about as idiotic as the male stigma of going to the doctor. You have kids, man! And a wife! And if not, the doc can help with performance!

  25. Going to see a psychologist for the first time for my anxiety…super anxious about it haha. But I’m less nervous about talking to her than about what happens if I don’t get better. But I hear a lot of people saying cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful.

  26. 7:18 have Bernice go to a military style jump school, where you jump out of a perfectly good plane multiple times in a day, back to back.

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