Minor Assignment (600 words for HPS308 and for HPS788, 10%)
Due Date: See Unit Guide.
“Love’s Executioner” Reflection Paper:
Irvin Yalom is a celebrated therapist and author, who utilises existential therapy as the basis for his counselling interventions. In his most well-known book, he presents ten cases (one to a chapter), often with startling insight into both his clients, and himself.
In this assignment, you will be reading and discussing the case entitled “Two Smiles”. You should also read the prologue of the book.
For the case in Yalom’s book, write 600 words covering two tasks described below. While these two aspects can be addressed separately or in an integrated fashion, both must be discussed with relation to the case (see rubric).
The first intent of this assignment is to give you an excuse to do some reflection on the material, particularly in terms of how it contrasts with your view of therapy and how it changes (or doesn’t change) your understanding of the therapeutic process (e.g., why and how is it surprising, how does it contrast with views of therapy you have from your psychology study to date including this unit, and from other sources of knowledge that you have regarding therapy). As such, you should also take care to relate the material back to your more general knowledge and understanding regarding psychotherapy. Note that this is about your reflections – don’t spend too long just describing what happens in the case except to illustrate this.
The second goal is that, when reflecting on the piece, you should also consider how the theory underlying the approach relates to what happens in the case. As such, relate how the material relates to one or more of the four existential givens that Yalom discusses in the intro, and how he demonstrates that “it is possible to confront the truths of existence and harness their power in the service of personal growth” (p. xiii, Prologue). Briefly consider how the basis for this therapy contrasts with your understanding of at least one other approach you have heard about – if it does (e.g., CBT; psychodynamic).
Generally, please also consider the tone of the piece. While reflection may involve relating this material to your own experience, this should be in order to make a point or reflect on a transformation of your understanding of therapy (i.e., this is not a diary of your reactions; and please avoid any revelation of negative incidents or situations in your own present or past, or the use of this piece as an exercise in therapeutic writing!). Keep in mind that this assignment will not necessarily be marked by your tutor, so you should be comfortable with your level of disclosure.
Finally, you should consider consulting online resources if you are new to the process of reflective writing. For example, http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au/onlib/pdf/reflective.pdf is a good introduction.
A few fine details (no marks, but please keep to them!)
As a short piece, you do not need to use a formal essay structure (intro, body, conclusion), but the reaction should be written in full paragraph format (i.e., no dot points), in APA style (12-point font, double spaced). You do not need to reference papers outside of the given chapter; however, if you do, you will need to include a formal reference list (reference list is not in the word count, but in-text citations are included in the word-count as usual).
To save words, you do not need to formally reference the given chapter. However, if you directly quote the chapter (quotes are included in the word count), please also give the relevant page number of the quote.
Below you will also find a “Marking Rubric”. This document is what the markers will be using to assess your assignment so it is marked in a consistent manner, and so that you can be as clear as possible about the requirements of the assignment.
Access to book
The book is available in hardcopy and as an e-book via the Deakin University Library (although it’s a worthwhile purchase if you are interested in being a therapist!). If you have the printing allowance available, we recommend you print the chapter/prologue to PDF or to hardcopy to save having to repeatedly go through the library system to access it.
HPS308/HPS788 Rubric for Assignment 1
Criteria Inadequate (0-49) Pass (50-59) Credit (60-69) Distinction (70-79) High Distinction (80-100)
ULO3: Explain the way the theoretical perspective adopted by a clinician can influence the manner of explaining how a psychological disorder develops and how it is treated, and how personal insight is necessary in therapy to be an effective clinician…
Write a reaction piece demonstrating the following levels of reflection: • Level 1 (Reporting)
• The student describes, reports or re-tells what happened in the case with minimal transformation, few added observations or insights regarding therapeutic processes.
• The student describes prior knowledge, feelings, attitudes and new feelings and attitudes with little/no reference to the case or regarding therapeutic processes. • Level 2 (Responding)
‘How did I respond’
• The student references the case in some way, e.g., discusses their responses, but with little evidence of transformation or
conceptualisation of knowledge or insight regarding therapeutic processes.
• The student makes observations or
judgements regarding therapeutic processes, but little further inference or detail as to the reasons for their judgement are given Level 3 (Relating)
• The student identifies aspects of the case and connects them to prior/ current knowledge or experience of therapy.
• The student notes the value of the new information – knowledge/learning significance regarding therapeutic processes Level 4 (Reasoning)
• The student integrates the data into an appropriate relationship, e.g., with theoretical concepts, personal experience, involving a high level of transformation and conceptualisation regarding therapeutic processes.
• The student demonstrates a broadening of their own perception and understanding regarding therapeutic processes. • Level 5 (Reconstructing)
‘Application and awareness of higher level thinking’
• The student displays a high level of abstract thinking to generalise and/or apply learning from the case in a way related to therapeutic processes.
• The student draws an original conclusion from their reflections, extracts general principles, formulates a personal theory or takes a position on an issue related to therapeutic processes.
In considering the theoretical underpinnings and relationship to other approaches: • The student does not consider the theoretical underpinnings of the therapy and/or does not sufficiently contrast it with other approaches.
• Inadequate/ incomplete / incorrect discussion. • The student notes either how the case considers the theoretical underpinnings of the therapy and/or how it contrasts with other approaches in a limited manner.
• Partially inadequate/ incomplete or incorrect discussion. • The student considers both how the case considers the theoretical underpinnings of the therapy and how it contrasts with at least one other approach.
• Discussion is adequate but lacking in depth • The student discusses both how the theoretical underpinning of this approach to therapy is illuminated by the case, and contrasts with at least one other approach.
• Justification is comprehensive, well-integrated and articulated • The student thoroughly examines both how the theoretical underpinning of this approach to therapy is illuminated by the case, and contrasts this with at least one other approach.
• Comprehensive & excellently articulated coverage demonstrating insight into nuances.
Minor Assignment (600 words for HPS308 and for HPS788, 10%)