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MCAT Psychology – Supportive Interventions

  • by Kerry Goldstein
  • Feb 12, 2015
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Psychology, MCAT Question of the Day

A young adult man begins seeing a therapist and tells the therapist that he has homosexual feelings, and that he self-identifies as gay. He is plagued by feelings of worthlessness and fears that he will be subject to what his religion terms “eternal damnation”. He feels alienated from his family and friends, as he knows of no other homosexuals in his peer group or family.

 

In the course of working with the man, the therapist helps him see that his feelings are exceptionally common among people who have recently discovered their same-sex feelings, and encourages him to attend a support group for newly “out” gay men. The therapist’s approach demonstrates which of the following phenomena?

A) Stereotype threat

B) Groupthink

C) Universalization

D) Spatial discrimination

 

 

 

 

Explanation

A) Stereotype threat

B) Groupthink

C) Universalization

D) Spatial discrimination

Universalization is a form of supportive intervention in which the client is made to understand that others share similar feelings and experiences. This process helps the client see that his feelings are normal, and this normalization process helps reduce distress. That is what the therapist has done for his client in the scenario presented.

A: Stereotype threat refers to a phenomenon whereby those aware of a stereotype will alter their own behavior due to anxiety about living up to (or down to) the stereotype. It has most sharply been demonstrated in decreased performance on cognitive tasks by minorities, when those minorities are told in advance of the task that the task is an intelligence test.

B: Groupthink is when a group’s decision making process is hampered by an excessive focus on group cohesion and conformity, to the point of excluding any new data that might challenge the group’s worldview.

D: Spatial discrimination occurs when one group is subjected to different treatment based on geography. For example, if a new toxic waste dump is to be located in an area only occupied by disadvantaged minorities, then they are being subjected to a form of spatial discrimination.

 

 

 

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