We Still Love John

October 13, 2009

Just a Recap :)

Filed under: meeting minutes — Elizabeth Hope @ 8:36 am

Just a recap! 🙂

1. We’ll post up all our information on the blog first — please be responsible for categorising your entries appropriately, and re-categorising your old blog entries in accordance to the format! 🙂 I’ve bulk edited some of the categories already, but I haven’t gone to look at each individual post. Note that one entry can belong into several categories 🙂

2. We’ll organise this into a Word document (which I should send out by 5pm today — now I’m trying to rephrase the instructions given in the template so we’ll be clearer about what they want us to do).

3. We’ll touch up our Presentation slides, check through tomorrow (after Math), and then burn it into a CD for submission on Thursday!

Pending

  • A possible script or acting out of the therapy for John
  • Incorporating the new table into the CT slides

The end is near! 😀 Oh and I’ve changed it back to banana smoothie for nostalgia’s sake 😉

October 15, 2009

Solution Presentation

Filed under: #4: solution presentation — welovejohn @ 1:18 am

We propose an amalgamation of cognitive therapy infused with the essences of positive psychology and resilience. Because John cannot control his external environment, i.e. his parents’ marital disputes and his teachers’ prejudices against him, it is imperative for him to effectively manage and regulate his internal landscape as this is the only way he can successfully change for the better. Positive thinking is of utmost salience to John because he is arrested in extreme negativity and learned helplessness coupled with potent dosages of cognitive distortions like catastrophization, magnification/minimization, overgeneralization and absolutist all-or-nothing thinking. Thus, John has to be taught positive psychology in combination with cognitive therapy, as cognitive therapy per se might not be value-added and positively constructive enough to equip him with a solid set of positive thinking skills that keeps him healthily self-sufficient and autonomous in the face of future problems.

This solution can be implemented with particular emphasis on teasing out John’s expectations and core beliefs in the cognitive therapy process of Socratic questioning. Knowing his expectations and beliefs enables us to identify his cognitive distortions and inculcate a more resilient disposition by inviting him to look at his own fears and question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and “How likely is it that this will pan out?” so as to allow him to gauge if his expectations are realistic. From here, a natural lead-on would be to encourage John to re-cognise his erroneous perceptions through more Socratic questioning and methods like thought diary so as to help him dispose his maladaptive thoughts that do not help him to cope. This creates space for positive, adaptive and logical thinking that taps on his strengths and virtues. Asking him to articulate his fears also helps in his metacognition that sharpens his individual control of behaviour and emotions, and, integrated with positive thinking, Seligman’s conception of positive psychology as a balanced psychology will create a healthier and happier John founded not on idealistic abstraction, but on his inalienable reality.

Nevertheless, this solution presupposes two important make-or-break factors: (1) John’s willingness to share his problems and withstand Socratic questioning; (2) Discipline to carry out metacognitive reasoning and keeping documents like a thought diary. Having already been maligned and abused in school and at home, cognitive therapy might initially turn John’s sensitive and bruised soul away because it seems like another form of mental torture that ostensibly downplays the grim realities of his situation and implies that he is ‘wrong’. Because of these reasons, any practical experiment of our solution with John-like characters must be undertaken with utmost gentleness and care, as a wrong delivery might spurn John off educational psychologists for good. Also, John does not seem to possess the discipline and rigour needed to monitor his thought and emotional processes. Instead, it might seem like judgmental homework to him, and he might be put off the healing process.

The pros of our solution have been enumerated constantly over the course of this e-portfolio, and the cons have been described in the above paragraph, so I will not elaborate. For consequences, John will never learn to be an independent regulator of his feelings if our solution excludes cognitive therapy, but if we exclude positive psychology and resilience, he will never discover his strengths and virtues and always think that he is worthless. As such, a good balance and integration of cognitive therapy with positive psychology and resilience are vital for an optimally functioning John who grows to have faith in his self-worth.

Discovery & Reporting

Filed under: #3: discovery and reporting — welovejohn @ 1:16 am

During this PBL, we have researched on how to include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in rehabilitating John and helping him to assimilate back into school and family life with a positive attitude.

There is an urgency to nip John’s antagonistic tendencies in the bud because there is a high chance that John may feel a reluctance to attend school if his anti-social behaviour perpetuates. School refusal can contribute to a greater set of problems including a child’s academic, social, and psychological problems; these in turn impact a child’s chances for future educational, financial, and personal success, and significantly affect family functioning especially when he becomes a parent himself. The possible reasons for refusal that we have found out include the avoidance of negative social or evaluative situations at school, and for John it could be to avoid his teacher who constantly picks on him, to ignore the impending exams and also avoid his friends who have been shunning him in return.

To help John to cope especially when family support is almost negligible for him, positive support at school – to provide him with at least one environment where he will feel safe. Our group has decided to address this by teaching him some coping strategies using CBT. This includes training in positive thinking and resilience. We hope that this will help him to focus on solving his problems one at a time, starting with an attitude makeover.

Resilience is an amoral quality that refers to an individual’s capacity to withstand stressors and not manifest psychology dysfunction, such as mental illness or persistent negative mood. These stressors could include traumatic experiences such as abuse, a death in the family of someone dear or in John’s case, it is instability in the home due to divorce. It is interesting to note that resilience is a dynamic quality that gets reinforced through each conscious decision to remain positive. If a person does not “practise” this quality, it can be lost and individuals find themselves increasingly being worn down from the stressors that they face. Resilient people tend to bounce back and recover faster from trials they face as compared to pessimistic people. Through CBT, we hope to help John realize that while he is going through a rough patch, having a positive attitude (or the ability to see opportunities through problems) will tide him over this difficult period in his life.

It is important to incorporate the idea of resilience especially for John since he has to be aware of the detrimental nature of his own negative thoughts (through mislabeling, overgeneralizations and jumping to conclusion) before he can attempt to change them to positive ones. Resilient children are also better able to understand their emotions and control them better than children who are not – a characteristic that John has to learn because it seems that he gets into rather destructive behaviour when he is angry.

Contrary to popular belief that resilience is a quality that is “caught and not taught”, the University of Pennsylvania conducted their pilot resiliency programme in the early ‘90s where children were taught to tell the difference between productive and self-defeating thoughts for 12 weeks. Additionally, they learnt to analyze a problem and elicit different possible solutions, in that way they learnt that what they were going through “may not be that bad after all”. Two years after the programme, the results were astonishing. The children who took part were all at risk for depression because of conflict or instability in their homes. When they were interviewed again two years later, it was found that only 22% of the children in the programme still felt depressed, compared to 44% of kids from similar backgrounds in a control group. If resiliency is a quality that can be taught to children and the benefits observed so quickly, we are indeed inspired by the convincing results to begin CBT on John in order that he may break away from his depression and return to the cheerful and high-achieving child that he was.

A salient feature of positive thinking is Seligman’s positive psychology where the merits of a more positive way of life are scientifically proven to be good for health. It is therefore not something merely idealistic because it can actually help John paint a more realistic picture of his current situation: he has many negative factors in his life that are not within his control, but he also has strengths and values that he can positively tap on to deal with his situation and change his worldview to a more balanced one. Another name for this is Seligman’s balanced psychology, where, to use an analogy, the glass is both half empty and half full. This perspective is crucial for John because he can be taught to realise that he is not entirely helpless, that he has potential and agency which he can learn how to effectively utilise for the advantage of his well-being. In other words, John’s situation will ameliorate with learned optimism. To aid him in that, CBT and its metacognitive strands of being aware of one’s own perception and situational interpretation will be employed to ensure that John will reach his optimal functioning.

We think that CBT will be useful in managing John’s behaviour because it will help him to regulate his own thoughts and process his emotions. This will break him out of his pessimistic, circular thinking that he is bad at his studies and that is the cause of his parent’s breakup. CBT sieves out the erroneous thought process and allows John to recognize his automatic response when something bad happens. The teacher/therapist can then take him through the cognitive distortion and discuss some coping strategies to dispel the negative thoughts before they even begin.

In addition, John has to be aware of what his “pressure points” are, what are the things that set him off so that he will know when and what coping strategy to apply. He should also learn to see things from other people’s perspective, this will make him more sensitive to other people’s feelings when he gets angry and lashes out at them.

Generating Ideas

Filed under: #2: problem analysis — welovejohn @ 1:13 am

KND Chart

What We Know

What We Need to Know

What We Need to Do

John displayed negative behaviour towards external events.

Why did John behave in such a negative manner?

Is John’s behaviour triggered by internal or external factors (environment)?

Why did he not do certain things?

How can we fix John’s damaging behavior towards external events?

What are the different types of psychology approaches that are available for John?

Analysis of information provided in the case study

Self-directed learning on the different types of psychology approaches available

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information researched

John has a negative thought pattern.

What are the negative thought patterns relating to John’s self-defeating thinking?

Could John be suffering from depression? What are the symptoms of depression?

Does John need to learn how to seek help? Is there a difference between how woman and man manage their emotions?

Analysis of John’s responses towards the different events happening in his life

Research on whether how man and woman manage their emotions affects their psychological state

John does not know how to cope effectively with the external events happening in his life. Could we teach John coping strategies to increase his resilience so that he can cope better towards the negative events happening in his life?

Research on the various approaches aimed at increasing resilience

Research on Richard LAZARUS

There are various

problem solving

models available.

Polya’s 4 stages of problem solving

– Understanding the problem (identify the problem)

– Planning how to solve the problem

– Carrying out the plan

– Looking back

Can we apply these four steps of problem solving that we learnt in Math in this topic?

Research on various problem solving models available.

Refer to Psychology textbook (Santrock)

Many negative events happened to John.

Do we need to solve his past problems?

Do we need to clear his emotional baggage before trying to solve the current problems?

Alternatively, should we focus on the future to prevent what have happened before from repeating again?

Research on the various approaches aimed at increasing resilience

Discussion on the benefits and harms of the different ways.

There are various psychology approaches that can help to solve John’s problems.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach

The Biological Approach

The Behaviorist Approach

The Cognitive Approach

The Psychodynamic Approach The Humanistic Approach

Self-directed learning on whether the different types of psychology approaches available

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information researched

There are new psychology approaches available.

Can these new approaches be applied to John?

Positive Psychology

What is Martin Seligman about?


Martin Seligman’s learned optimism


Seligman’s “balanced psychology”

Is this approach advocated and supported by the various psychologists?

Research on positive psychology and Martin Seligman.

With an overview of the case backed up with all the research information. Which approach is most suitable to be used on John? Comparing and contrasting of the research information that we have found on the various approaches to psychology.

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information found.

October 14, 2009

We Love John Skit

Filed under: #4: solution presentation — ingenuity @ 6:41 pm

Scene 1

As the class is dismissed, Ms Lee pulls John aside for a private chit-chat…

Ms Lee: John, may I see you for a moment?

John: Yes Ms Lee…

Ms Lee: John what’s going on? I’ve been noticing a change in you John, and it’s affected your school work. How do you feel about that?

John: Who cares? Why should I bother? Ms Lee… I’m just no good at the studying..

Ms Lee: I’m sorry you feel that way, John, because I care! Anyway, why do you think you’re no good at studying? [ACKNOWLEDGING EMOTIONS]

J: I stupid what! Get bad grades, everyone dun wanna be in my group..

Ms Lee: Was the bad grades really the result of you studying or not studying? [BEGINNING OF A SERIES OF SOCRATIC QUESTIONING TO SIEVE OUT IRRATIONAL THINKING]

J: Errr.. not studying?

Ms Lee: So actually, you didn’t do well because you have not been studying or doing your homework?

J: Maybe..

Ms Lee: Maybe, if you actually study, you’ll do well. Let’s try this out: study for the next test, and we’ll see if you’re really “stupid” as you said. If a stupid person studies, then no matter what, he would do badly. But if you’re not a stupid person, and the real reason is a lack of studying, which I think is the real case, then we should see results. We’ll compare the test which you studied to the last test which you didin’t study for and we’ll see for sure if you’re stupid or not or it’s because of the studying. Will you be willing to study for the next test and see how this works out? [BEHAVIOURAL EXPERIMENT TO TEST HYPOTHESIS CONSTRUCTED FROM ILLOGICAL THINKING]

J: But Ms Lee, I don’t want to study.

Ms Lee: Why? [DOWNWARD ARROW TO IDENTIFY CORE BELIEFS – KEEP ASKING WHY]

J: It’s no use, my parents will still hate me.

Ms Lee: How do you know?

J: They…

Ms Lee: I’m here for you John, but if you’re not ready to share it’s perfectly okay.

J: Well… my parents think I’m stupid.

Ms Lee: How do you know they think like that? Have they actually told you? [BEGINNING OF A SERIES OF SOCRATIC QUESTIONING]

J: No, but I can tell…. They always scold me..

Ms Lee: So when they scold you, it’s because you’re stupid? [FINDING OUT THE CORE BELIEF: “No one loves me because I’m stupid”]

J: Yes…

Ms Lee: And when they scold you it means they hate you.

J: Yes..

Ms Lee: Well, that’s interesting. Because I met up with your parents, and I never heard them say that you’re stupid or they hate you. They were so concerned with how you’re doing in school, and they wanted to ask me how to help you do well. (pauses for effect).  John, your parents want you to do well, but they don’t hate you for doing badly in school. They seem distracted with their own problems, and it is probably a hard time for them so they haven’t actually been able to be there for you 100%. Is it very stressful at home? [CHALLENGING FAULTY THINKING; ACKNOWLEDGING FEELINGS]

J: Sort of. I don’t know what to do…

Ms Lee:  Then I think it is important that you don’t allow yourself to be affected, as hard as it sounds.  Sometimes, it is better not to be involved because parents can be so stressed up they forget about how to take care of you.  All of us care very much about you John, and not just about how you do in your school work. Whatever is going on at home, I want you to put it aside for now. Just think about YOU. Think about your future. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? [BUILDING SELF-CONCEPT; MAKING PROBLEM MORE ACCESSIBLE & CONTROLLABLE BY SHIFTING FOCUS AWAY FROM PARENTS]

J: Don’t know… so far away..

Ms Lee: I want to meet up with you again after the test, and I want you to think about where you want to see yourself in at the end of PSLE and 5 years later, write it down and show it to me. I want you to consider which secondary school you want to go to, what would be a perfect life to you in 5 years time and how you are going reach this perfect life. The point is that I want us to set goals together so that you can help yourself achieve greatness. Many people were successful, but did you know they were not always very happy in their life? Have you heard of Helen Keller? [SETTING GOALS; PROMOTING RESILIENCE BY REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES]

J: The blind woman?

Ms Lee: And deaf too. She was a great person, but her life was not smooth-sailing. You can read up about her life story. I had another student who… [goes on to elaborate on a similar  story of a trouble-maker who has a change of heart and goes to a good secondary school/becomes rich and successful]

J: Ok, so what? How to be like them… I’ll never be that good.

Ms Lee: Well, we’ll have to put that to the test before we conclude, right? Be more confident of yourself – you have a lot of strengths John, like you’re good at basketball and before all of this nonsense, English. Just study for the next test and think about your future for a bit. I’ll meet you after the test is over here, okay? [REINFORCE POSITIVE THINKING]

J: Okay..

Scene 2:

Some time later…

Meng Chong: Hey bully! What you want?

J: [thinking out loud to himself] Oh great. It’s them again. I promised Ms Lee that I won’t get angry with them. I don’t know if I can leh, they’re so mean to me. Good thing we practiced during our role-playing sessions so I know what to do now. [PRE-TAUGHT PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS]

Hi guys! I’m sorry about last time, I shouldn’t have hit you first. Can I watch you guys play basketball? [ACKNOWLEDGING AND RESPECTING OTHERS]

Meng Chong: Why should we?

J: Because I can be the referee and help get the ball for you. [USING ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO SOLVE A PROBLEM]

Meng Chong: Why… you …so nice to us huh??

J: Cannot meh.. don’t want then never mind lor. Your loss.

Meng Chong: Don’t want referee! We want to play 3 of us versus 1 of you. See how you like it!

J: Okay, bring it on! [FACING SPECIFIC SITUATION HEAD-ON INSTEAD OF AVOIDING IT]

[Since John is good in basketball, he scores a few goals. But because he is up against 3 people, he still loses to the other team. But he doesn’t lose his cool.]

J: Thanks guys, that was a good game.  [POSITIVE THINKING]

Ravi: You’re not so bad, next time play with us again. Actually… not very fair lah. We do 2 v 2 next time, more fun also.

J: Cool. See you!

Randomness

Filed under: things thrown nowhere — ingenuity @ 5:12 pm

Wow! have you guys checked out our Views Per Day Stats on the right side of the Dashboard?

My pulse is weak….

Aileen’s musings

Filed under: #5: review and evaluation, e-portfolio — ingenuity @ 4:47 pm

PBL is an interesting and relevant way to make the subject come alive for students and I would be keen to introduce this method to my higher-ability students. While there were some powerpoint lectures, most of the time we were conducting self-directed learning as a group based on what we wanted to learn, how we wanted to learn and why we wanted to learn. I found there was a good mix between the lectures and student group learning in the course. The scenarios were also very intriguing as they sounded exactly like real students and real issues we would meet in teaching. As such, there was a strong motivation on our part to do justice to John from scenario 3 (our selected scenario). We had discussed it over and although John’s scenario was the longest and most complicated, it was exactly the reality of the scenario, and the fact that we would have students like John, that compelled us to opt for it. It is rather amusing that our group had an affectionate relationship with John right from the start – our blog was termed “We Still Love John” and our discussion would revolve around how he feels and his perspective of others. I think this helped us to really treat the problem seriously as we would if John were a student of ours.

However, the more I placed myself in his shoes, the more I felt for him and the harder it was to see myself acting differently. This made me realize that when we or our students are facing problems and are depressed, it is not easy to climb out of the rut alone. We know that we are not supposed to feel or think this way, but unfortunately sad people will ruminate more than they act. So although we aimed to help John help himself, sometimes it helps to have a good friend or guiding mentor (the teacher!) to see us through and get out of inertia. While it is easy to give advice, the person receiving it will find it difficult to change. As teachers we have to beware of “talking down” to students or we might come across as condescending. Also, John’s teachers will have to be patient with him and not rush him to immediately think more positive. Hence, small improvements should be a cause for celebration so that the process becomes just as important as the end result (if not more important).

The biggest challenge in our group would probably have to be linking the different topics up, and I am pleased with the hard work that everyone did to consolidate all the information. Previously, my knowledge was mostly limited to cognitive psychology, and it was interesting to view the problem from a positive psychology and resilience point-of-view. The result is a richer, vibrant and more holistic outlook on how to help John than if we were to simply look at the problem from one perspective. Also, our teaching skills were tested: we had to ‘teach’ each other the research we had come up with. Thus, PBL also supports the idea that solving problems is most effective when it is viewed via many perspectives and using a variety of methods to get around the problem.

All in all, PBL was meaningful, training us to be more disciplined and sensitive to students’ backgrounds and needs whilst fostering positive thinking and important problem solving skills.

Summary of Scenario (The Story of John)

Filed under: #0: scenario — Elizabeth Hope @ 2:48 pm

John is a Primary Six boy who suffers from feelings of low self-esteem, convinced that he can do nothing better than fail in academic subjects. He believes that it is impossible for him to even pass some of his subjects like Chinese, because his brain has been damaged, and he has been consistently failing Chinese ever since he was in Primary Two.

At home, John faces a dysfunctional family situation, where his parents are divorced and constantly quarrel and argue over what’s best for John, wanting to take him into consideration but not realising that their arguments simply create a home environment that is not at all conducive for his social or emotional growth. His way of dealing with these situations is to unconstructively bang his head against the wall, or gaming his stress away.

His mother’s male partner deals with his poor academic behaviour by resorting to physical punishment, and his mother heaps on the emotional abuse by telling John he is an “embarrassment.” It is a far cry from his Primary One and Two days, when he topped the class and went home to proud and supportive parents. Now, his mother and her partner do not think twice about leaving him at home alone, as they go on vacations together, leaving his grandparents to take care of him.

In Math lessons, he is unmotivated and disengaged in group work because of his poor grasp of Mathematic concepts, and because he thinks that it does not matter, anyway. His Mathematics teacher is not very sympathetic to what he views as lazy and uncooperative behaviour. His form teacher, however, takes a concerned stance that John is not living up to his potential, despite the fact that he seems like a bright child.

To his Mathematics teacher, who once screamed at him for not getting his consent form signed, John reacted in aggression by throwing a chair at him, and did not bat an eyelash when he was sent to the principal for his behaviour.

John is a Primary Six boy who suffers from feelings of low self-esteem, convinced that he can do nothing better than fail in academic subjects. He believes that it is impossible for him to even pass some of his subjects like Chinese, because his brain has been damaged, and he has been consistently failing Chinese ever since he was in Primary Two.

At home, John faces a dysfunctional family situation, where his parents are divorced and constantly quarrel and argue over what’s best for John, wanting to take him into consideration but not realising that their arguments simply create a home environment that is not at all conducive for his social or emotional growth. His way of dealing with these situations is to unconstructively bang his head against the wall, or gaming his stress away

His mother’s male partner deals with his poor academic behaviour by resorting to physical punishment, and his mother heaps on the emotional abuse by telling John he is an “embarrassment.” It is a far cry from his Primary One and Two days, when he topped the class and went home to proud and supportive parents. Now, his mother and her partner do not think twice about leaving him at home alone, as they go on vacations together, leaving his grandparents to take care of him.

In Math lessons, he is unmotivated and disengaged in group work because of his poor grasp of Mathematic concepts, and because he thinks that it does not matter, anyway. His Mathematics teacher is not very sympathetic to what he views as lazy and uncooperative behaviour. His form teacher, however, takes a concerned stance that John is not living up to his potential, despite the fact that he seems like a bright child.

To his Mathematics teacher, who once screamed at him for not getting his consent form signed, John reacted in aggression by throwing a chair at him, and did not bat an eyelash when he was sent to the principal for his behaviour.

With his fellow classmates, John tries to engage with them, but because of a poor environment at home, he does not know how to relate well in social circumstances, leading to situations where the boys do not want to be on the same team as him, and he is often rejected and left out of activities. He reacts physically and aggressively to this, shoving his classmates and calling them names to protect his pride.

With his fellow classmates, John tries to engage with them, but because of a poor environment at home, he does not know how to relate well in social circumstances, leading to situations where the boys do not want to be on the same team as him, and he is often rejected and left out of activities. He reacts physically and aggressively to this, shoving his classmates and calling them names to protect his pride.

Problem Statement!

Filed under: #1: problem encounter — Elizabeth Hope @ 2:45 pm

“As beginning teachers, it is important to understand that we must see beyond just the surface of the child’s struggling performance in class, to other home and environmental factors that might influence the child’s motivation. As such, it is necessary learn how to cultivate a positive and encouraging mindset towards children and in the children themselves, so that we are able to make a lasting and impactful change on the child’s attitude towards studying, and towards life in general, so that they are able to face challenges with resilience and a positive mindset.”

What do you think about this? 🙂

Know, Need to Know, Do

Filed under: #2: problem analysis — Elizabeth Hope @ 2:04 pm

KND Chart

What We Know

What We Need to Know

What We Need to Do

John displayed negative behaviour towards external events. Why did John behave in such a negative manner?

Is John’s behaviour triggered by internal or external factors (environment)?

Why did he not do certain things?

How can we fix John’s damaging behavior towards external events?

What are the different types of psychology approaches that are available for John?

Analysis of information provided in the case study

Self-directed learning on the different types of psychology approaches available

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information researched

John has a negative thought pattern. What are the negative thought patterns relating to John’s self-defeating thinking?

Could John be suffering from depression? What are the symptoms of depression?

Does John need to learn how to seek help? Is there a difference between how woman and man manage their emotions?

Analysis of John’s responses towards the different events happening in his life

Research on whether how man and woman manage their emotions affects their psychological state

John does not know how to cope effectively with the external events happening in his life. Could we teach John coping strategies to increase his resilience so that he can cope better towards the negative events happening in his life? Research on the various approaches aimed at increasing resilience

Research on Richard LAZARUS

There are various

problem solving

models available.

Polya’s 4 stages of problem solving

– Understanding the problem (identify the problem)

– Planning how to solve the problem

– Carrying out the plan

– Looking back

Can we apply these four steps of problem solving that we learnt in Math in this topic?

Research on various problem solving models available.

Refer to Psychology textbook (Santrock)

Many negative events happened to John. Do we need to solve his past problems?

Do we need to clear his emotional baggage before trying to solve the current problems?

Alternatively, should we focus on the future to prevent what have happened before from repeating again?

Research on the various approaches aimed at increasing resilience

Discussion on the benefits and harms of the different ways.

There are various psychology approaches that can help to solve John’s problems. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach

The Biological Approach

The Behaviorist Approach

The Cognitive Approach

The Psychodynamic Approach The Humanistic Approach

Self-directed learning on whether the different types of psychology approaches available

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information researched

There are new psychology approaches available. Can these new approaches be applied to John?

Positive Psychology

What is Martin Seligman about?
Martin Seligman’s learned optimism
Seligman’s “balanced psychology”

Is this approach advocated and supported by the various psychologists?

Research on positive psychology and Martin Seligman.
With an overview of the case backed up with all the research information. Which approach is most suitable to be used on John? Comparing and contrasting of the research information that we have found on the various approaches to psychology.

Sharing of research findings with the group and discussion of information found.

October 13, 2009

Yi Ling’s reflections

Filed under: #5: review and evaluation — welovejohn @ 5:08 pm

– What are the three key things you have learnt …? – What did you learn about yourself + your peers? – What did you learn about your problem-solving approaches? – How do you apply it to another situation?

My biggest takeaway is knowing that positive psychology can be taught! It is also immensely gratifying to learn that happiness is scientifically proven to be good for health, as it is the most natural – and free – cure for many of our common woes. Because happiness is not a fluffy myth and can be consciously practised as a way of life, our education system should rethink and renovate its psychologically debilitating practices: students like John must be given a nurturing environment that should ideally heal him instead of obliquely blighting him further with criticisms or discouraging messages that contribute greatly to his low self-worth. More significantly, I have learnt that positive psychology is not mutually exclusive to real life problems. In other words, it is perfectly normal for positive and negative thinking to coexist, but the crux lies in what strategy we use to cope: do we tap into our strengths and virtues and take positive action to change our fate, or immediately castigate ourselves and become passive when we encounter problems? Seligman’s ‘learned optimism’ and ‘balanced psychology’ are thus very crucial learning points for me, for it reinscribes positive existentialist action in the individual by focussing on his strengths for self-help and self-regulation. As the saying goes, change must start from within. I deeply appreciate how positive psychology can give agency back to John while simultaneously recognising the difficulties in his life.

Through the PBL process, I learnt that it is helpful for us to have similar goals and dispositions because these greatly aid us in working effectively and harmoniously as a group. It is also very useful to capitalise on one other’s strengths in the division of labour, for e.g. the psychology majors in our group were important guides and signposts in determining the theoretical and practical coherence of the overall flow and direction of our project. On a personal level, I find that my learning process is not very painful because I enjoy my chosen research on positive psychology: I find it relevant to my life and my students’ lives in our highly hectic and demanding country where unhappy people are the norm.

My problem-solving approaches are shaped by my prior knowledge, experiences and habits of research: Google and fine-streaming. I tend to learn best from incidental learning moments, which presented itself in a few succinct quotations of positive psychology in my brother’s philosophy textbook; I tend to critically think and extrapolate from such moments, albeit in a group context, it might seem a little too haphazard. I have thus learnt to make stronger connections between my research area and my group members’ areas, and to always understand the problem with the big picture in mind so as to enable a more cogent overall flow.

This can be effectively applied to another situation by always streamlining and reorienting the overall focus onto the central protagonist of the problem, and not on the problem-solver’s pre-existing schema. It seems to be the easy way out, but especially in a group setting where professionalism and human destinies are at stake, organisation, coherence and focus are very important factors in any application of a problem.

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