Humanistic Therapy Handout

1.What is humanistic therapy, and what is its purpose?

–        The development of humanistic therapy occurred in the mid-1900s, and is often referred to as the “third wave” or “third force,” following Freudian psychoanalysis and behaviorism.

–        Humanistic therapy focuses on the concept of a whole person in the ongoing process of changing and becoming. Its general theory is that people are free to choose what they will become by creating and committing to their own values through their own decisions, despite environmental and genetic factors. Yet the freedom of choosing bring about the burden of responsibility and people suffer from guilt over lost chances to achieve their full potential.

–        Humanistic therapies focus on self-development, growth and responsibilities. They seek to help individuals recognise their strengths, creativity and choice in the ‘here and now’.

–        Humanistic therapy emphasizes a non-judgmental approach, with open-ended questions often employed to encourage the patient to explore his/her thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

–        Integration with the existentialist approach (emphasizes on people’s ability to meet or be overwhelmed by everyday challenge of existence).

–        Gave rise to the human-potential movement (The therapy movement that encompasses all practices and methods that release the potential of an average person for greater levels of performance and greater richness of experience).

–        Apart from existential therapy, client-centered therapy, and gestalt therapy, humanistic therapies also includes psychosynthesis, solution-focused brief therapy, transactional analysis, and transpersonal psychology.

2.Explain and give at least two situations/examples of how each of the following therapies work:

Client-centred therapy

–        Client-centred therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, mainly influence how many kinds of therapists defined relationships with their clients. The main goal of this therapy is to facilitate the healthy psychological growth of the individual

–        The base of this approach is to assume that all people basically tend to self-actualize (realize their potential) as Rogers believed that developing all capacities in ways that could maintain or improve the organism is the inherent tendency of all the organisms.

–        The conflict exists between people’s naturally positive self-image and negative external criticisms. This happens when healthy development is hampered by faulty learning patterns: people accept the estimate of others to replace their own ideas toward mind and body. The conflict will cause the anxiety and unhappiness and it may function unconsciously.

–        Client-centred therapy aims to create a therapeutic environment that makes clients learn how to achieve self-enhancement and self-actualization. Based on the assumption (people are potentially good), this therapy is nondirective and therapists build genuin relationships with their clients and they primarily help clients remove obstacles that restrain their natural positive tendency.

–        Basic strategy: recognize, accept, and clarify a client’s feelings. An atmosphere of unconditional positive regard (non-judgemental acceptance and respect) is necessary.

–        Situation 1: Michael has made an appointment to see his School Counsellor. He is due to finish school this year and is undecided about what direction he should take once he leaves school. Michael is a high achiever and his parents want him to make the most of his opportunity to enter University and study Law or Medicine. Whilst Michael is interested in Medicine, he feels that his interests at the moment are directed towards working and travelling abroad. He wants to discuss his preferences with the School Counsellor and to talk about the pressure he has been experiencing.

–        Situation 2: Client-Centred Therapy has proven to be particularly useful when treating dual diagnosis or low self-esteem in depression treatment facilities, addictions in drug and alcohol rehab centers, and disorders in eating disorder treatment clinics. By allowing the individual to connect with his/her inner-self, one is better equipped to transcend the limitations of addictions and other compulsions.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls, blends both physical and mental therapies. It associates an awareness of unconscious tensions with the belief that one must take personal responsibility to recognize and deal with those tensions. Clients may be asked to physically “act out” psychological conflicts so that they could be aware of the interaction between mind and body.

The major character of this therapy is its unpredictability. The therapist and client follow moment-to-moment experience and neither knows exactly where they will be led to.

A notable method of Gestalt therapy is the empty chair technique, in which the therapist puts an empty chair near the client, and let the client to imagine this chair is occupied by a feeling, a person, an object or a situation.

Example 1:  a client who is a freshman studying abroad is dissatisfied with her shyness when socializing with new classmates. The therapist would instruct the client to sit on a chair nearby an empty one. She imagines the occupant of the empty chair as her mother and reveal feelings that are difficult for her to express during campus life. She may then talk about her anxiety about being in a strange place of the home and appreciate her mother’s past influences on her. After that, she would probably feel more comfortable with her surroundings and be more willing to make friends.

Another method is guided fantasy, or visualization, in which clients, with the guidance of the therapist, close their eyes and slowly imagine a scene of the past or future events. Details are used to describe the event with different senses and thoughts.

Example 2: during the therapy session, the therapist lays a mother who is bored of her routine lifestyle down and asks her to close eyes and visualize a happy future event. She could think about what her children will be in the future, and fantasize how much contribution she has made to promote them to great success. She will then become more responsible of caring for them.



[1] “Humanistic therapies.” Counselling Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

[2] “Humanistic Therapy.” CRC Health Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

[3] “Gestalt therapy.” Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017

[4] Palmera, Casa. “Client Centered Therapy.” N.p., 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Barry, Jane. “A Case Demonstrating Person Centred Therapy.” Case Study Hub. N.p., 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.


Launch a Project Experiment: Gibberellin and Brassinolide

AP Statistics Project Proposal

(It has to be an experiment, no observational study will be accepted)

Group members:

Name ID
Jiayi Liu 2014530054
Ziyi Wang 2014530070
Fan Xu 2014530268
Junhui He 2014530723
  1. Topic (What is the research question)

Comparison of the Effects of Gibberellin and Brassinolide on Soybean Seed Germination

  1. Sampling (Be specific about how subjects might be selected)

Randomly select 120 soybeans that are purchased from the same source.

  1. Variables:

Explanatory variables:

Type of plant hormone being used: categorical, no plant hormone (control), Gibberellin, Brassinolide, or both.

Response Variable: the height of seedlings after 2 days; the height of seedlings after 7 days.

  1. Treatment:

We have 4 kinds of treatments.

For the selected seeds, randomly assign them to different treatments, which is soaking the soybean seeds in specified solution for 12 hours. Each treatment has 30 seeds:

No plant hormone 10-6 mol/L Gibberellin
10-6 mol/L Brassinolide 5×10-7 mol/L Gibberellin + 5×10-7 mol/L Brassinolide

After soaking, transplant the seeds to soil. Water the seeds every 12 hours, take an account of the proportion of germinated seeds. Also measure the height of seedlings after 2 days and 7 days.

  1. What extraneous variables might influence the response?

Environmental factors, like temperature, light intensity, water, and even soil conditions all could have impact on seed germination.

  1. How does the design protect against its potential influence on the response through blocking, direct control, or randomization?

We would use preliminary experiment to ensure the optimal conditions for plant growth. Despite that, we would also apply:

Direct control: All the seeds are grown in the same room and are expose to the same environmental factors so that the extraneous factors’ effects are not confounded with those of the experimental variables.

Randomization: Randomly assign the seeds to different treatment groups to ensure that the experiment does not systematically favor one treatment over another.

Replication: There is considerable amount of individuals for each treatment to achieve an adequate number of observations for each experimental condition.

  1. Statistical method (e.g. we plan to use…method to explore … We hope to have a …result)

Normally, we would apply what we learned from descriptive statistics: Calculating important statistics, like the mean heights of seedlings, and representing them in the form of a bar chart for comparison.

For the part of inference, we plan to use two-sample t-test to explore whether there is a significant difference in the effects of different plant hormones in the heights of seedlings. We hope that there is significant difference so that we could have evidence to support that one plant hormone is greater in promoting germination than the other.

We also plan to use regression analysis to explore whether there is a linear relationship between the heights of seedlings after 2 days and those after 7 days for a specific treatment group, thus implicitly see if each hormone has prolonged effect.


Project of Albert Camus’ The Plague

Above is our masterpiece!

(We received the project assignment at the right beginning of the new semester. This project instructed students to interpret one of the four levels operated in Albert Camus’ The Plague: Literal, political, metaphysical, and existential. We chose metaphysical. Through a week’s work for it, we accomplished an artwork. Here’s our project reflection, and two corresponding quotes that help us create our painting.)

Part 1: Reflection of The Plague Abstraction Project

Literary ideas could be simply expressed using abstract objects, such as the different levels of thoughts made in The Plague. This book operates on four lens: literal, political, metaphysical, and existential, each of which could be interpreted using different viewpoints. We selected metaphysical level to create our abstract work through the project.

This process took us about half a day to accomplish our goals. First, we brainstormed about the structure of this artwork and its corresponding properties, like colors, shapes, and some highlighted objects. Then we bought the required materials: a piece of A3 paper, pigments, water, and a paint brush. While three other students of our group have done the purchasing or explaining the ideas behind our creation, Blake worked for painting and finished it before school.

The artwork we created so far was revolved around the metaphysical lens that generally emphasizes the presence of evilness and people’s reactions toward it. Therefore, through this understanding, we attempted to create a scene that there was a red bloody background – symbolizing the deaths in The Plague – and a bar that represents Oran’s isolation. Within the bar exists a black solid circle, which is the plague itself, accompanied by various things that stretch out of the circle symbolizing different people’s reactions.

In my opinion, our portrait of this lens was successful in capturing the metaphysical lens through the coloring, shaping, and highlighting of this artwork. We could envision many different reactions in respect to the plague simply through the objects themselves. Besides the red background and the bars, the gloomy color tone also makes the audience aware that the plague puts the entire town into distress. However, since most of our objects that are attached to the black circle were based upon the main characters, our work could also be misinterpreted as portraying literal lens of the novel.

Nevertheless, I gained deeper understanding about different ways to view the novel The Plague. Instead of focusing on the written texts, I tried to convert the main ideas expressed in this novel into a simpler, abstract painting. Through the project, therefore, I knew to make what seemed complex into a vivid imagery. Moreover, I got to appreciate other groups’ works, and understood that there were other lens successfully portrayed in their paintings. Their works gave me insights about expressing different levels of meanings through abstraction.

Part 2: Analysis of quotes from The Plague in metaphysical level

Quote: Generally speaking, they did not lack courage, bandied more jokes than lamentations, and made a show of accepting cheerfully unpleasantnesses that obviously could be only passing. In short, they kept up appearances. (Part 2, Chapter 10)

Analysis: While the plague is expected to put the whole town into silence and fear, there are certain citizens who, surprisingly, would express their feelings in an extreme way. Instead of focusing on the plague, they seem to be indifferent toward its existence, pretend to continue normal lifestyles, and even accept the truth. This absurdity of actions makes us aware that different people conceptualize the world in different aspects, and thus behave distinctively to the society they perceive. They surely are the observers of this entire catastrophe, but they have different perspectives about it.

Quote: Rambert said he’d thought it over very carefully, and his views hadn’t changed, but if he went away, he would feel ashamed of himself, and that would embarrass his relations with the woman he loved. Showing more animation, Rieux told him that was sheer nonsense; there was nothing shameful in preferring happiness. (Part 4, Chapter 20)

Analysis: Confronting this plague, people may differ in their reactions throughout the passage of time. Rambert, though occasionally attempts to escape the town to seek his wife, changes his decisions through the impact of Rieux. The dynamism of his changing actions imply the transformation of his original viewpoints about the plague and the isolation of Oran. The interaction between the two characters also illustrates that in the face of evilness, they both decide to fight against the plague, though Rieux regards it as a necessary duty, while Rambert does this job through a moral conflict between rightness and wrongness.

Rhetorical Analysis of Man’s Search for Meaning

During the time around World War II, psychoanalysis had set its reputation in the field of psychology. Nevertheless, new theories of interpreting psychological factors arose and got new attention from the public – logotherapy was one of them. In Man’s Search for Meaning, the author explicated on his experience in concentration camp and the lessons derived from his sufferings. These things obtained him new insights about logotherapy as he explored deeper into the psychology of human beings.

Of course, the first part of this book took a long account telling the experience, but what’s more important is the three phases of the prisoners inside the concentration camp. “When one examines the vast amount of material which has been amassed as the result of many prisoners’ observations and experiences, three phases of the inmate’s mental reactions to camp life become apparent.” (P22) As Frankl observed the prisoners’ behaviors, he generalized them into three discontinuous segments, and took separated paragraphs to illustrate several examples of these phases. Moreover, the story was not written in chronological order, but rather in the form of different episodes that included different characters’ interactions. The full book itself is in first person, but besides the introspection Frankl took about his own experience in the concentration camp, it also encompassed other people’s thoughts about their own life’s meanings, as Frankl concluded from his observations: “It can be readily understood that such a state of strain, coupled with the constant necessity of concentrating on the task of staying alive, forced the prisoner’s inner life down to a primitive level.” (P40) Obviously, the author took his voice to convey the meanings that various factors implemented inside the camp might contribute to the mental disorder of the prisoners. By contrast, therefore, the author, having blocked the negative impacts of these factors, has gained the credibility of explaining what he envisioned about logotherapy.

The second part, being more naturally theoretical, describes his own psychological theory. In this part, Frankl explored on the way his school of psychology came into maturation, including his experiences of being a psychotherapist and his patients’ diagnosis. As he proposed several basic components involved in logotherapy, he also postulated this theory as similar but different from psychoanalysis: “Logotherapy, in comparison with psychoanalysis, is a method less retrospective and less introspective. Logotherapy focuses rather on the future, that is to say, on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in his future.” (P104) Through this explanation, Frankl successfully arrived at a new concept for the society to be learned, that is, looking forward to the dreams people have, and the motivation they inherently possess instead of neurosis. Compared to Freud’s relatively emphatic tone in The Interpretation of Dreams, Frankl tries to be communicative with the readers to introduce this seemingly sophisticated topic, thus making them readily capable of understanding his psychological theory’s concepts.

The postscript plunges into the optimism beyond tragic situations. As he mentioned, people suffers in different degrees, they have distinct views about their lives: some people are capable of coping with stressors while others are not. This distinction had given the readers a warning sign about their own attitudes toward living. Traumatic events and daily hassles all implement on the psychological well-being of men, so “the human capacity to turn creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive” (P139) is rather a fundamental part of Frankl’s ideal about tragic optimism. It is easy to observe this pattern during our learning of ideals of human emotion, stress, and health. Therefore, if the previous two parts are said to be describing his own psychological theory, the postscript answers the readers’ confusion of the theory’s application through connecting concepts of logotherapy to the general knowledge in the field of psychology.

Life has a meaning. Throughout this book, this central theme almost surrounds the entire text to testify different people’s fates inside the concentration camp, as they have diverged degree of hopefulness. Frankl often quoted Nietzsche’s maxim, “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” (P5) This sentence emphasizes his belief that men possess the ability to choose what is meaningful in his life. There are also a lot of arguments inside the first part. For instance, love gives life meaning. As the Frankl thought about his wife in the concentration camp, he could be relieved from the hardships he experienced: He did not know about his wife’s status, but was rather empowered by taking the emotional burden he had for thinking of her. In author’s view, religion also gives life meaning, as individuals are aware of the assignments the divinity gives for them a reason to survive. What’s surprising to the readers, still, is Frankl’s idea that suffering gives life meaning. He was not frustrated with the will to meaning though he was in bad conditions. He suffered for his loss to honor something he once owned.

The intended audience, ostensibly, is those who have experienced intense stresses in any way. Just like what the author mentioned about his life in concentration camp and other patients’ accounts, they could, in some way, be connected to the powerful message of this book about dealing with those stressors. It also has certain identification with people who have other sufferings, such as oppression or persecution, though not physically implemented, could also hurt their feelings. They might find some ways to cope with the stresses through the exploration of this book. Nevertheless, even people with relatively easy lives could find ways to connect to this book. They surely have gained adequate success, and possibly possess need for achievement. However, Frankl still prompted them to find deeper levels of their lives’ meanings. We adolescents, who are susceptible to identity and role confusion, can also be enlightened by this book’s reflection on purposes of people’s life circumstances and choices.


Frankl, V. (1992) Man’s Search for Meaning (Fourth Edition.). Boston, MA: Beacon Press

Is Don Quixote Really Insane?

(Just a homework-level response.)

Don Quixote, thought by most of the characters in Don Quixote, is really insane, because he has all the characteristics of a mad person, such as a crazy set of ideas that make him expose both himself and others to danger. However, his behaviors are actually out of consciousness, for he is involved into the chivalric fantasy illustrated in the books he read and tries to restore it by taking the actions that are, though, unacceptable for others.

Throughout most of the story, Don Quixote tries to deal with certain issues with his basic standard of loyalty, humility, and honor, besides the violence part. Definitely, he does great endeavor to protect “Dulcinea” from being debunked by other people about her beauty, showing that by taking righteous actions, he possesses faith to his love. Don Quixote also has humble and honest temperament, as he is sharing the story with the group of people he met in the mountain: “The canon stood amazed at Don Quixote’s methodical and orderly madness, in describing the adventure of the Knight of the Lake.” ( The phrase “methodical and orderly” illustrates that Don Quixote has a conscious and sincere explication about the adventure he describes. In fact, because he has read so many adventure books and knows the rules so well, he has, basically, created an entire belief system that is open to rational argument. Moreover, his chivalric deeds do win some people’s admiration, though most of them just think of them as entertaining. Nevertheless, in protecting his honor, as in the moment when he is defeated by Knight of the White Moon, he does follow the conditions and decide to return back home.

Actually, Don Quixote is never too stubborn about his optimism about being a knight-errant. At part I of the fiction he shows great enthusiasm for preparing to save the world, leaving others with the impression that he is insane. However, when the story progresses, we can obviously see that his behaviors are controlled, as he thinks about the rationale behind his chivalric deeds. Near the end of the story, he returns to his true self, “I perceive nonsense and impertinence of my knight adventure books.” ( What might account for the gradual change of his behaviors is the changes in others’ perspectives about Don Quixote. From the start of the novel, he is already sane, though not recognized by the characters around him. But as he grows reputation, people tend to regard him as a celebrity, therefore finding out more details about his personalities. These people put some impact on Don Quixote’s life experiences that help him regulating his actions in a more rational way.

“He is mad past recovery, but yet he has lucid intervals.” ( Ostensibly, we see Don Quixote as insane because of his abnormal actions. However, looking deeper inside his motives, we should know that he is a propagator of chivalric spirits, transforming the core value of knights into real-life use.


Works Cited

“Don Quixote.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Samuel Putnam. Third ed. Vol.C. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 386-516. Print.

Effects of Numbers and Labels of Choices on People’s Purchasing Decisions

Here is a well-written psychology essay for our group project of AP Psychology. Basically, this research centered on two independent variables, and we used appropriate statistical methods to conduct our data collection and analysis. Please check out the abstract below:

The experiment studies people’s decision making under different labels and numbers of choices when they are buying products. The questionnaires simulate the situation of choosing set purchase for mobile phone fee and four types of questionnaires (cheaper and standard; standard and premium; cheaper, standard and premium; standard, premium and super-premium) and 360 in total are distributed in three locations targeting three types of people: the middle-age and elder, teenagers and official staff. The result majorly corresponds to our hypothesis: differently-designed labels can influence customers to select different choices.

Keywords: decision, label, number of choices, purchase, subliminal message


Statistics Q&A

A research paper believes that the use of 2.4 oz. as the average size of a burger sold at McDonald’s is “conservative,” which would result in the estimate of 992.25 million pounds of saturated fat being lower than the actual amount that would be consumed. Explain why the author’s belief might be justified.


       This paper conservatively (given progressively larger hamburger sizes) projected that the next 100 billion hamburger patties sold by McDonald’s would be a 2.4-oz. which is the average of the 3.2-ounce Big Mac and the 1.6-ounce hamburger patties. However, there could be some extraneous factors that, due to statistics from different agencies, influence the result. One factor is that the Big Mac was the smallest of the larger burgers that had been sold during McDonald’s most sales-intensive years since the 1980s, indicating that there might be some more heavy burgers that could influence the average weight. On the other hand, according to a survey of a 10% sample of Atlanta-area McDonald’s, the Big Mac now dominates burger sales, and it is reported to be the top seller worldwide. This survey shows us the huge impact of the Big Mac on the overall weight. Moreover, the research concerns about hamburgers’ health effects and their corresponding nutrition facts including saturated fats, so changes in the number of different kinds of burgers being sold could alter researchers’ results.

Do you think it would be possible to collect data that could lead to a value for the average burger size that would be better than 2.4 oz.? If so, explain how you would recommend collecting such data. If not, explain why you think it is not possible.


       Although it is commonly believed worldwide that McDonald’s top sale burger is Big Mac, we cannot ensure how much more extent does its sale superior than those of other burgers. Besides, McDonald’s burgers vary in weights and categories significantly, and the numbers of consumers are not the same in different nations either. For instance, Chinese McDonald’s top sale burger is not Big Mac, and China might contain some distinctive small size burgers which could not be brought from other places. Moreover, the burgers that are designed for a specific place(in this example, China) might receive more popularity than other burgers since these burgers are created to meet the favor of local people(Chinese). The above are some confounding variables that lead to confusion. We cannot keep track of the differences in various nations and get plausible value for the average burger size better than 2.4 oz if we could not solve the problems mentioned above correctly. Since these problems are extremely hard to be excluded without the help of McDonald’s, we might conclude that we could not collect the accurate data.


AP Physics B Project Coil

Here features our team’s physics-essay that really took us a long time to accomplish our goals. Following is the conclusion part which is written by me:

According to the research given above, the theory has been successfully drawn by us. First of all, we all get the point that because of induction, there will always has some voltage in the secondary coil, no matter there is a device connected to it. That is, alternated magnetic field could bring alternated electric current and vise versa. The principle, however, is that the current through the primary coil is able to produce a magnetic field. Because of the presence of the iron bar, the effect of the mutual inductance will be magnified. Thus, it restrain the self-inductance and more emf will be in the secondary coil. Ideally, the relationship between the voltage of the primary coil and that of the secondary coil depends on the ratio of number of turns. If the number of turns in the secondary coil is greater, it will called a step-up transformer, and it can improve the voltage and decrease the current from the primary circuit. But if the primary coil’s number of turns is greater, the transformer will be named a step-down transformer which means the voltage will be reduced and the current will be increased. But in fact, since the influence is caused by self-inductance, the impedance will diminish the voltage in the secondary coil because the magnetic flux is dissipated. Despite the transformer, as for the instance of the launch system of the coils, magnetic field is widely utilized. As the content says, alternated electric current will produce a magnetic field. Thus, the coil is made up to two poles, and the object to be thrust is magnetized. Because of the relatively strong repulsive force, the object will be exerted a huge amount of force to be accelerated, and the consequence is, obviously, it will be shoot and travel with high velocity.