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Human feelings and responses to live situations have always been unexplored spheres of human nature. Psychologists and psychiatrists made a lot of experiments to understand the human nature. Many methods of treatment and perspectives were revealed, but exactly behaviorism, cognitive psychology and gestalt changed the march of history.
Firstly, behaviorism as a field of psychology was opened by John Watson in 1913. The main idea that he advanced was that introspection was unnecessary as both stimulations and responses were obvious (Rott, 2000). Every behavior pattern was a response to some environmental stimulus. Psychologist could predict the response or behavior of a person when he or she was provided with a certain incentive (Rott, 2000). In fact, behaviorism is a study of meaning and main psychological factors. Mental responses, I mean unpleasant sensations and feelings, and “nerve tonics” are explored by behaviorists. Actions that are done in a prompt by people and incitements that call them up are the interests of psychologists of this perspective (Wozniak, 1994). For example, in case any person has claustrophobia, he or she will be asked by the behaviorist about their sexual life, family and childhood so that the reaction of the person is seen and it is possible to control one`s behavior.
Secondly, cognitive theory was invented by Aaron T. Beck in 1921. Abstract is a main thing that was developed by scientists in cognitive sphere. It is used to entitle some emotions or feelings that are defined without reference to the physical and mental worlds of the client. Specialists in cognition supposed that ideas and thoughts of men dwelled in their inner world (Quinlan, 2008). The main idea of cognitive perspective is that people are to create general statements about abstract entities. They have the possibility to recover themselves from mental disorders with the help of their positive thinking. People`s thoughts lie between the emotions of human beings and the environmental stimuli. Dualism of human nature and difference of mental and physical world are the main problematic aspects of cognitive theory (p.22). In case of the same person with claustrophobia cognitive methods give him or her a possibility to think of the reasons of this mental disorder and to think of one`s childhood.
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Thirdly, gestalt theory was invented by Fritz Perls in 1940`s. This theory is based on three major sources: psychoanalysis, which furthers the inner world of man; humanistic and phenomenological studies that help to unfold everyday life, personal experience and concentration on interaction and psychological processes. The main method of treatment that is used by gestalt specialists is contact, as it is considered to be a quality of awareness. Contact is a meeting of differences (Nevis, 1996). Awareness in this way is the background of a person; meeting of differences is considered to be boundary disturbance (p.12). Boundary functions or responses of individual are interrupted or altered during the meeting of differences (Nevis, 1996). Gestalt is the self of a man. Ego and id functions are the main instruments of gestalt therapy. Their clash gives a birth to a new gestalt – a middle mode. The sample of gestalt perspective can be the following: every morning we wake up after the alarm of the clock, our reaction is the same as we become annoyed, but when we ask another person to wake us up, a new gestalt will be created, as we will not have any background due to this situation (p.43).
Furthermore, cognitive theory and behaviorism are very similar, as both of them study laws of behavior, except for such law as a free will, which is denied by behaviorism and depends on the environmental stimuli. The main differences amid them are the following: behaviorists try to explain human nature solely in terms of observable things while cognitive specialists give the patient a possibility to treat himself using positive thinking. Emotional disorders, “acquisition and emotional disturbance” are considered to be cognitive aspects (Quinlan, 2008). While behaviorists study the methods of control and its influence on human responses and actions. Gestalt regards human as a unit. He or she has an informational background that allows them to expose different reactions. The therapy of gestalt specialists is based on contact, while behaviorists put up questions and cognitivists permit a person to describe the problematic situation.
To sum up, behaviorism invented the method of control over the human`s behavior by providing different emotional stimulations. Cognitive theory introduced psychology with a method of monologue to cure the mental disorder of the patient. It also studied abstract and differences between physical and mental parts of human nature. Gestalt theory considered human organism as a gestalt or unit that acts due to it`s background. Contact was firstly considered to be a meeting of differences, which provides understanding of the main differences of a certain person.
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