Theories of Psychotherapy
(Psy 305)

Dr. John Suler

Science and Technology Center, Rm 320
Rider University - (609-895-5430)

Required readings:

Madman, John Suler
The fifty minute hour, Robert Lindner
Man's search for meaning, Viktor Frankl
On life after death, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

This course surveys the theories and techniques of psychotherapy, including the psycho-analytic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic-existential approaches. Case studies, role plays, and in-class exercises will illustrate the principles of therapeutic change. The exercises often are experiential in that they encourage students to apply to their own lives the various concepts discussed in class. Students will also undertake an experiential project outside of class that will help them personally explore the psychotherapeutic process. This project is a contemporary version of an ancient practice known as the "vision quest." Participation in any of the experiential activities in this course is recommended but optional.


I. The "big picture" of psychotherapy

II. Psychodynamic and eclectic therapies (Read: Suler and Lindner)

*Midterm Exam: Lectures in I and II; Lindner book

III. Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

IV. Humanistic-Existential Therapies (READ: Frankl and Kubler-Ross))

V. The "best" psychotherapies

*Final Exam: Lectures in III and IV


Midterm exam = 65 points (65 multiple choice and true/false questions)
Final exam = 50 points (50multiple choice and true/false questions)
Quizzes = 52 points (T/F questions on Suler, Frankl, and Kubler-Ross books)
Vision quest paper = 30 points
Total points = 197

A separate handout, that I will give you later, will describe in detail how to do the vision quest and how to write your paper about the vision quest. Grades on the vision quest will be reduced by one letter grade level for each day the paper is handed in late.

During the semester you can calculate your percentage (and thereby estimate your letter grade at that point in the semester) based on the exams and paper that you completed up to that point in the semester:

Percentage score = (total points you have / total points possible) x 100

The total points you have (the numerator above) will include bonus points from exercises that we do in class.

A = 93 - 100

A- = 88 - 92

B+ = 83 - 87

B = 78 - 82

B- = 73 - 77

C+ = 68 - 72

C = 63 - 67

C- = 58 - 62

D = 52 - 57

FAIL below 52

* The instructor reserves the right to make changes in this course.

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